This article has been updated from a post originally published on December 4, 2015 by Gartner. Current Gartner research may include updated and/or alternative positions on these issues.
Corporate strategy teams undertake strategic planning every year, but how often do heads of strategy revisit their organization's mission statement — if there is one?
An updated mission statement helps answer questions from employees about why they are being asked to do something. It helps line managers articulate how an employee’s role in the organization contributes to the overall growth of the company.
“When we asked a group of strategy leaders how often they reviewed their mission statements, half of them indicated that they did it when necessary and there was no regular process behind it,” says Ben Seesel, practice leader at Gartner. “There’s a decent chance it’s time for many teams to dust off their mission statements and update them.”
Learn more: Solutions for Strategy and Innovation
Three Main Missions
Our analysis of the mission statements of various organizations shows they broadly fall into three categories based on the main mandate — the growth champion, trusted advisor or strategy champion. The growth champion mission statement embraces growth acceleration across all business units and locations. The trusted advisor statement highlights collaboration and ensures all business units pull together to achieve corporate goals and implement strategy. The strategic champion statement outlines a strategic plan that will help the organization pursue its growth initiatives.
While all strategy functions will likely include elements of each of these statements, it’s important for strategy planning teams to choose a mission statement that most accurately represents their organization’s primary, long-term objective.
Corporate strategy teams should also revisit their mission statement if their company’s own mission has changed drastically — organizations that are ready for aggressive growth after a more moderate approach.