I’ve never been one for the fluffy stuff. I’ve instructed colleagues to slap me repeatedly around the face if i ever use terms like “adding value”.
So when I recently found myself thinking it might be a good idea to have a written mission statement or “vision” for my company I started getting worried I was going soft in my old age. To get input from others, I posed the question on Twitter:
DuaneJackson Fri May 28 18:30:37
Mission Statements/written visions for startups. Essential or a poncy waste of time?
Here’s a selection of the replies I received:
AndyCDoyle Fri May 28 18:32:36
@DuaneJackson have one, but don’t harp on about it
dougsom Fri May 28 18:35:39
@DuaneJackson If they’re written for reference by people in the company = good. If they’re written to be used as mktg blurb = poncy. (IMHO)
billflo_ian Fri May 28 18:43:12
@DuaneJackson throw them in the bin when written, but spend time thinking bout them. also do write core values (dont throw them in bin tho!)
DavidTurner1 Fri May 28 18:52:11
@DuaneJackson Mission / Vision statements – worth having, so staff know what you stand for. Don’t have to be poncy though!
CarlReader Fri May 28 18:59:49
@DuaneJackson both essential and poncy imo!
DebjMeredith Fri May 28 19:15:01
@DuaneJackson Not essential but in bad times it helps to remind you why you started up in the first place.
creospace Fri May 28 19:22:22
RT @DuaneJackson: Mission Statements/written visions for startups. Essential or a poncy waste of time? <~ Visions/goals are essential.
RuralBroadband_ Fri May 28 19:31:28
@creospace @duanejackson goals essential but mission statement not so.
After given it some more thought, I’ve decided I am going to write one. For internal use only. Not a customer-facing, marketing-fluff document.
When the company is relatively small – ie, 5 to 8 people – everyone knows what the mission/vision is. As the business owner, I’d be working with all of them fairly closely and we were all on the same track.
But as the company grows (there are over 20 of us now), you lose that intimacy. There are people in the company now that I have very little to do with just because I don’t need to as they’re managed by others and I’m too busy to put aside the time I perhaps should.
So for that reason, I think it is worth having a written statement concisely explaining what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re going to get there. That way we can all focus on the same goal and all know where we’re headed.
So what do you think? Do you have a written and shared mission statement or vision for your company? Why? Or if not, would you consider it?