Writing Your Mission Statement in 15 Minutes

tampaHow long does it take to agree on a mission statement that works?  In today’s strategy meeting in Tampa, FL, I worked with a technology reseller on their Managed Services offering.  The first step was to establish a mission and vision statement for this new practice area – the mission should really be an extension of the current company-wide mission…if you have one.  In our case we had to start from scratch…here’s what we did.

I asked the group to take a moment and write down 5 deals they’ve done this year as a company, that exemplify the passion of the company.  I was looking for projects that were sold and delivered to the kinds of companies they like working with – deploying the kinds of solutions they are passionate about…after about five minutes, each person was ready to share theirs.

Going around the room, I was not surprised that many had the same deals listed.  After going around, I had four deals on the board that everyone agreed on…from there I asked the group to start telling me about the deals.  We looked at how the project was sold, who the consultants interfaced with, how it benefited the clients listed, etc.  In about five minutes we had 7 or 8 sentences written down…words like “Innovation”, “Transformation”, and “Advise” stood out.  This company was passionate about one of the four things buyers buy (something I often write about) – in this case, Operational Efficiency.  They had a passion for advising business leaders involved in transformational projects.  They believe they can help business leaders approach their business in a new and unique way, helping them think outside the box, transforming their businesses with technology.  They are inspiring business leaders toward – “Innovation”.  With that said, we drilled down into a few areas to fill out our mission – and in just a few minutes we had one all seven participants agreed on.

Do this – look over the past year, select the projects your company has sold and performed, and see if you can identify the common elements that make these deals your passion.  This is the WHY Simon Sinek is always talking about.  Once we had our mission, it was much easier to talk about the target clients, the solution set needed in their managed services offering, and the right marketing strategy.  It all builds on the WHY.  As Sinek points out, the HOW and the WHAT must align with the WHY.  Tomorrow we’ll wrap up, organizing our thoughts and constructing a road map to take them where they need to go.

© 2013, David Stelzl


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