Why Is Organizational Mission so Important and what to Do about it?

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Every organization has to have a reason to exist. And this reason is always about serving somebody or something else. Its very existence depends on that. Otherwise, there would be no point for the organization to exist. The premise is very simple. If there is a need that has and that can in some way be satisfied, the organization can exist. Otherwise it cannot and will not. Should however there is a reason, there can and there has to be a purpose. And the purpose would need to be to serve this need in such a way that the organization would be chosen by those for the service of whom it exists, not only once but repeatedly.

Organizational purpose embodies the answer to the fundamental question of why the organization should ever exist. And the answer to this question is the first and foremost one. It is essentially what drives the answers to all the “what”, “how”, “who” and “when” questions. Simply put, without a well-defined answer to the fundamental “why” question, no other question can be answered. And it is organizational purpose as it is embodied in the organizational mission that does exactly that. Apart from answering the fundamental “why” question however, a well-defined organizational mission needs to define what the organization is and what the organization is not, namely its identity. At the same time, it needs to define what its capabilities are as well as how those capabilities can best be matched with what the receivers of the services of the organization expect. And it does not only have to do that for the present. It needs to do it for the future as well! Finally, a well-defined organizational mission needs to operate inside an also well-defined value system of the organization.

Organizational mission serves as the starting point for the definition of the vision of the organization, which can effectively be realized through the managerial process of target setting and the designing of the relevant strategies for achieving them. And it is this way that organizations can move forward by setting the course and by driving on it. In this context, organizational missions have to be specific to the particular organization and have to be sufficiently detailed. There is no problem with shrinking an organizational mission in one sentence. But, this sentence has to be supported by a detailed organizational manifest. However, there is change and since it does, even the most well-defined organizational mission may become irrelevant soon. When its mission becomes irrelevant however the organization becomes irrelevant too! It is therefore important that organizations design and redesign their mission regularly and it is this process that can help them to ensure that they young forever!