March 8th, 2013
I read an article recently that declared that it was more important to have goals than a mission.
Not long after a credible source published a piece that argued that organizations were wasting time and resources on “brands” when attentions should be focused squarely and singularly on customers. Both commentaries likely captured enormous audiences hoping to reduce the number of balls that they have to keep in the air at any given time. Both will leave those audiences disappointed.
To be clear- you don’t need a mission to identify goals. BUT… identifying objectives and tactics without a unified mission statement, brand promise, or indelible purpose is the root of distracted, diluted, and disposable leadership. The biggest and best !deas are sacrificed by unfocused teams working half-heartedly at cross purposes because they don’t have a foundational sense of “why” and “how” tactical decisions are to be made, efforts focused, and resources allocated. A grounded guidepost advantages the likelihood that the working collective will fervently support the concentration of focus- which is why missions, core ideologies, purpose statements, and brand promises have endured as governing forces.
And as far as abandoning brand development or management for customer focused strategies- well, now there is a conundrum. In order to get a following of customers to focus on you, you’ll need a clearly defined and differentiated position in the market place. And once you have attracted the attention and support of those said customers you’ll want to meet their needs and surpass their expectations- which demands that your leadership, HR, operational, and marketing teams have a valued and shared understanding of the brand promise that drives internal decision making and external buying decisions. Aligning organizations around meaningful pursuits is a remarkable strategic advantage- which is why brands are critical to culture building and customer growth strategies.
If there is one thing- it’s that there is no one thing.