The Absence of a Strategic Mission

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Ashridge Mission Model > Best Practices > The Absence of a Strategic Mission

The Absence of a Strategic Mission
Isaac E. Kruger, Management Consultant, South Africa, Member
In any organisation there is a time to reflect and/or report.
But how can one reflect and report if there is no clear defined objective/mission?
A lot of managers still miss that point. One cannot asses how far you are if you don't know where you are going...

The Absence of a Strategic Mission
Mauricio Crippa, Manager, Brazil, Member
I do believe to have a clearly defined mission is an important driver to company strategy, but I disagree it's a "thing you can't live without".
In fact, we see several private and family held companies without a formal strategic plan, but well guided by the founder's entrepreneur personal vision and beliefs.
I do think it's better to have clear values, intrinsically defined, but internalized overall the processes, than a "lab built" mission which few could believe or even understand.

Ashridge Mission Model - (Campbell)
Simonhorsman, Member
This is the first time I've looked at this model, but I like it lot.
I'd say it was fairly mainstream, but that to me suggests it's more likely to be about right and useful.
In my teaching / consulting I begin with values but I stress the systemic nature of these variables. So in a sense it may not matter where you start. Things are rather more fuzzy in real life, for example not all people find it easy to articulate their values.

No Communication of Mission
Hidekazu Sase, Manager, Japan, Member
In Japan, many top managers don't communicate what is the vision, mission, values.
Many people can't even listen to the boss.
The new, IT venture companies are free to talk to an owner who has strong leadership and policies.
Why can we not talk to management about the strategy, vision, mission and value?
It's corporate culture homogeneity, preliterate civilizations, the tradition of seclusion of the edo period.
Now, we are learning the assessment for MB Award, OPM3, CMMI, ISO15504.
However, our top manager is not interested in the strategic, vision, value.
It is done by middle managers.
Many executives think in their rooms, about strategy and speak one-sidedly in outside.
Their corporate strategy, corporate values​​, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, missions do not get sympathy.
This is organizational capability maturity level 1 or 2.

Absence of Strategic Mission is of a Larger Dysfunctional Organizational Perceptive
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
Strategic mission is the identity as well as the role and place of an organization in the socio-economic sphere.
In the absence of the above strategic mission (strategic planned objective) the organization is definitely misdirected and cannot prove the reason for its existence in the socio-economic sphere.

Keep it Simple
Sam Hwambo. BA Hons. Bus Stud (Open), Accountant, Zimbabwe, Member
I believe in a clearly defined mission / vision statements with simple objectives which are easy to understand than complicated mission / vision statements which are posted in most companies' reception areas. Hanging these at reception areas is to expose our strategic thinking to competitors while our own workers do not even know about them.

The Absence of a Strategic Mission
Carol Roberts, Management Consultant, Canada, Member
-- Where there is no vision the people perish --.
This old proverb applies to moving forward without a proper strategic mission. If you do move forward or it's not clearly defined then it's nothing more than a shot in the dark.

Some Missions are Hiding the Actual Targets
Wulf-Dieter Krueger, Teacher, Thailand, Member
Sarcastically I would rather say that you need a strategic mission to hide the fact that you have no objectives.
Strategic missions are often so verbose that they blur targets so staff does not really know where the company is going.
I say this out of my experience as a translator, who has the displeasure to translate such 'missions'. At times I actually get the feeling they are not sincere.
I strongly believe in objectives / targets to be set by an entrepreneur / top management and to leave it to the staff to work out the strategies to get there. The communication, however, must be a two-way one.

Strategic Mission for Entrepreneurs
Rafael Angel Calvo Arguedas, Business Consultant, Member
Having a strategic mission is important for would-be entrepreneurs, since it provides them a sense of direction. A correct balance needs to be established between the "just do it " approach and the "planning" approach.
Note that the "strategic mission" is peculiar to each organization and should not be copied.

Strategic Mission acts as a Measuring Stick
Keshia Nelson-Brown, Accountant, Jamaica, Member
A strategic mission is important, it acts as the measuring stick to assess the accomplishments of the business. Strategic missions should be simple and well communicated. Often times they are verbose and complicated and average employees fail to understand it. Hence they are reluctant to be supportive of the mission.

Strategic Mission Important for Large Organizations
jules Nkundwa, Entrepreneur, Tanzania, Member
Strategic mission is very important for large organisations. I can't imagine a multinational company operating without a strategic mission.
Small firms and some family businesses can survive without a formal strategic mission.

Missions are Often Misunderstood
Anantharaman, Professor, India, Member
Organizations make statements of their vision and mission and publish them in their annual reports.
The meaning of these statements is not properly understood by employees who are responsible to make it happen.
The decisions and actions taken do not, on many occasions, fall in line with stated mission and no attempt is made to explain the deviation to employees.

Any Road...
R.J. van Schaik, Management Consultant, Netherlands, Member
There's an old saying: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do".
That is exactly what is happening in many companies (and governments for that matter).
This is a fearsome situation, bearing in mind that most companies started from a clear need (spirit) to offer products or services of which people could benefit.

Planning to Go Nowhere...
Clifford Dube, Project Manager, Member
Compare a mission to someone who plans a journey. In order to move from where you are there must be a defined destination. Once a destination is defined, issues like the mode of transport and the time of departure must be considered.
A business without a mission is like someone who plans to use a certain mode of transport, but without having defined a destiny. This is planning to go nowhere.

Organisation Mission versus Employee Mission
Katie Chan, Management Consultant, United States, Member
A defined company mission is important, but as discussed it's not unusual that employees have their own mission!
Transparency and communication are important elements to ensure staffs are aware that in order to achieve their own mission, first the company mission must be in view, understood and achieved.

The Effects of the Absence of a Strategic Mission
Wilfredo E. Taveras C., Financial Consultant, Dominican Republic, Member
I have read all interesting reaction about the topic, and I think Mauricio from Brazil is quite right. In my country, 6 out of 10 companies do not have a mission statement. In the case of those who have one, it remains hanging on the wall at the entrance of the company or back in big plans carefully presented behind the chair of the chairman or in the boardroom.
How could we measure and compare the effects of having or not having a mission on the success of firms?

Emergent Strategies
Mauricio Crippa, Manager, Brazil, Member
Remember the fact a company doesn't have a formal strategic planning process, this doesn't mean it doesn't have a strategy at all.
According to Prof. Mintzberg, strategies can be planned (deliberate) but also emergent, simply defined by culture and past experience. They are not written and "emerge" on daily decisions.

How's This for a Novel Approach?
Sean Smith, Analyst, Australia, Member
Some very interesting comments here. My personal view is organisations should have a clearly articulated VISION.
That way, all organisations could actually have exactly the same mission - 'our mission is to achieve our vision'.
It is the individual goals, objectives, initiatiives and projects that lead to achieving the vision and it is at these levels that the most focus and effort should be given.

Employees Have no Sense of Mission
Sibusiso, South Africa, Member
In South Africa, I find it difficult to relate to the assumptions posed by the article.
Employees in the lower ranks of the organisation have no "sense of mission" as assumed and do not want to have a sense of mission. They simply need an inspiring vision in a successful organisation to create their identities. They hardly speak of the mission of their organisation. Maybe organisations should look at compelling mission statements rather than assumed sense of mission.

Supporting the Misson
Michael McAteer, Manager, Canada, Member
It is imperative that companies have a mission / vision what's more important is that each level is structured and linked to the next level to support the mission so the mission can be carried out successfully. This way all levels are working toward the same goals.

The Tacit Strategic Mission
Hidekazu Sase, Manager, Japan, Member
What is the strategy mission?
I think that one of motivation is coming from "munasawagi", "kazenotayori", "tennnokoe".
At any time, we must listen to the news from the wind, uneasiness, or the voice of heaven.
That is the tacit mission.
However an explicit strategy or mission may make mistakes. Due to the cognitive bias it may be a mixture of human errors.
If you have a good belief, you will see the vision of the future.
Strategic leaders can see the future vision.

Strategic Mission Shows the Corporate Direction
Adewuni Stephen Oladapo, Student (MBA), Nigeria, Member
An organisation without strategic mission operates in the market without direction. Hence the hope of realising the organisational goal is dashed and therefore cannot survive the wind of competition.

A Mission Helps to Focus
Lloyd Madzokere, Student (Other), Zimbabwe, Member
A mission helps in focusing the effort, ideas and energy towards the attainment of organisational goals. It brings synergy.

Mission: the Secret of Most Great Achiever
Popoola Olanrewaju, Student (University), Nigeria, Member
The problem of most African leaders is the lack of a mission or the presence of a mission based on selfishness interest.

Mission and Vision Matter
Wulf-Dieter Krueger, Teacher, Thailand, Member
Mission and Vision Matter - provided they are sincere and well communicated.
I can think of 3 examples where missions and strategies did not work and I watched the companies going 'belly up'. I watched them as I was a freelance language service provider in these companies. I heard what they told me about their missions an visions and it did not match what I saw. I read their press releases which betrayed my visual impressions when I walked along the corridors.
There is a lot of self-deception in these issues and consultancies that provide the service of providing such missions and strategies function by the Exocet Principle (fire and forget).

A Mission Gives a Sense of Direction
Akolgo Isaac, Analyst, Ghana, Member
In the world, the greatest thing is not so much where we stand, but rather the direction we are going. A company needs to know the direction it is going in order to employ strategies to meet its aspirations.

Empoloyee Buy in and Dynamic World
Thabo Motsoasele, Project Manager, South Africa, Member
I have read all the interesting comments and would like to emphasize that the model will not be successful without the buy in / input of employees and their values. A good mission/vision statement without dedicated individuals to live it is worthless.
Another point to note is that mission statements should support a dynamic world/environment.

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