Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Does Mission Matter?

This blog post is in response to September 2015 ASQ Influential Voices topic "Does Mission Matter?"a guest post  written by Pat La Londe, incoming ASQ board chair at:

I concur with Pat's guest post. Here is my experience around a mission in for-profits, non-profits, and academic teaching in business schools globally.

Let me begin with my blog post for September 2014 on "Charting A Strategy for Quality-and Beyond" at: http://voraonquality.blogspot.com/2014/09/charting-strategy-for-quality-and-beyond.html.

Let us look at definition of Vision, Mission, and Values first.

Vision/ Mission/ Values Definitions: 

Vision (Long-term Dream, Destination):
¨Is it inspiring?
¨Is it clear and vivid?
Mission (Purpose of being, Path to your vision):
¨Why you exist? (business purpose)
¨What you hope to achieve in the future?
¨Does the Mission provide focus and inspiration?
¨Does the Mission provide criteria for strategic choices?
Values (Guiding Principles):
¨What is important to people?
¨How will people work together? 

Few quick observations:

1). Mission is developed as a part of the strategic planning process by the senior leadership team.

2). Mission should link to the organization's vision. It is a path to achieve organization's vision.

3). It is critical to share the Vision, Mission, and Values widely across the entire organization including all stakeholders. This is the obligation of senior leadership team.

4). When business conditions change, the organization's strategic plan should be reviewed to address changes in the environment.

5). The mission should be realistic and not a pie-in-the-sky statement. 

6). The strategic plan should lead to developing key strategic initiatives and which need to be prioritized and staffed with competent people. A regular review of key strategies is essential to measure the progress and success of key strategies using a Balanced Scorecard.

I want to share an example of Mission for the Blind Foundation for India (BFI), USA  established in 1989 to support over 15 million blind people in India accounting for 1/3rd of the world's blind population. The BFI mission is: "To prevent and cure blindness, and educate and rehabilitate permanently blind people in India".

I look forward to your views on Mission of your organization.


  1. I like this. A mission is similar to any sales pitch. "We help THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE by providing BENEFITS with our SERVICE/PRODUCT". Using the example "We help the blind in India by providing prevention and cures through education and rehabilitation". It's interesting how these things all tie together.

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