How future-proof is your
…an assessment of 20 companies in 5 industries…
frederic de meyer
institute for future insights
The views and opinions in this file originate
from my personal opinion only.
These are not intended to express any
judgment on the value of any of the
What this presentation is about
• Your mission statement is the cornerstone of your exposure to your
stakeholders. A mission statement –if it is consequently acted upon- is
an instrument for your company to start and build a unique relationship
with investors, future employees and loyal customers.
• For a mission statement to successfully answer your stakeholders’
changing requirements of businesses, it needs to:
be appealing to GenY by expressing values and purpose, drive and change,
build trust by adhering to principles of social responsibility and shared value;
express a purpose by showing how a business is answering one or more long-term
show a future direction or at least an understanding of how the future of the business’
environment will shape.
• This presentation assesses the mission statement of 4 randomly
chosen companies in 5 industries, in the light of these four metrics. The
assessment is based on a personal opinion of the mission statements
and does not express any opinion on the value of the company.
Many companies in the pharmaceutical sector integrate their role in long-term
challenges to some extend in their mission statement, though most of these
companies merely mention it instead of putting it at the heart of their mission.
PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES MISSION STATEMENT:
We want to discover, develop and successfully market innovative
products to prevent and cure diseases, to ease suffering and to
enhance the quality of life.
This statement is a bit 'inward'-
looking; although it contains
elements of 'social good' they are a
We work to protect the health of the earth’s 7 billion inhabitants,
improve their quality of life and respond to their potential needs.
We are creating new approaches to our activities and work
sectors, and are mobilized for our priority goal of bringing
medicines and vaccines to patients.
Very specific about their role in the
growing world population. 'New
approaches' could appeal GenY but
could be stated more specifically.
We will become the world's most valued company to patients,
customers, colleagues, investors, business partners, and the
communities where we work and live.
Most valued company' in what
terms? It can be interpreted both as
emotional value or financial.
We have a challenging and inspiring mission to improve the
quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better
and live longer.
Appealing for GenY to work on a
visionary challenge. Link with aging
and growing population is clear.
Technology companies excel at explaining what they do, but not so much at what
they do it for. However, due to the nature of their business (innovation, future
shaping, …) most of the mission statements are likely to attract GenY.
HARDWARE TECH COMPANIES MISSION STATEMENT
At IBM, we strive to lead in the invention, development and
manufacture of the industry's most advanced information
technologies, including computer systems, software, storage
systems and microelectronics.
We translate these advanced technologies into value for our
customers through our professional solutions, services and
consulting businesses worldwide."
Lack of 'finality' (or societal aim),
'value' needs to be defined more
specifically. The 'strive' factor might
appeal to GenY.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world,
along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple
leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online
store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its
revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced
iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and
Stating what a company has done in
the past is hardly a mission
statement, though -in this case- this
might appeal to GenY.
Dell's mission is to be the most successful computer company in
the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets
Very inward-looking statement, very
little 'direction' or vision on its
Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value
and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and
Lack of 'finality' (or societal aim),
'value' and 'opportunity' not defined.
'Shaping the future' would attrackt
The mission statements of Internet companies are remarkably crisp and to-the-point,
and point to a vision of the future in which they have an active role to play.
INTERNET COMPANIES MISSION STATEMENT GenY
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make
it universally accessible and useful.
Clear, future-oriented and societal
vision and its role in it.
Our vision is to be earth's most customer centric company; to
build a place where people can come to find and discover
anything they might want to buy online.
A slight lack of societal value.
Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and
make the world more open and connected.
Clear, future-oriented and societal
vision and its role in it.
eBay’s mission is to provide a global trading platform where
practically anyone can trade practically anything.
Vague and static (what happens
once that platform is installed?)
The mission statements of Retail companies point to a social value and a future
direction, but lack some relationship with solving challenges related to megatrends.
RETAIL MISSION STATEMENTS GenY
We save people money so they can live better.
Short and to-the-point. 'Leading
better lives' could be more specific.
Our core purpose is, 'To create value for customers to earn their
lifetime loyalty'. We deliver this through our values, 'No-one tries
harder for customers', and 'Treat people how we like to be
Slightly inward-looking. 'Creat value'
could be more specific.
Carrefour is totally focused on meeting the expectations of its
customers. Our mission is to be the benchmark in modern
retailing in each of our markets. As a global retailer, Carrefour is
committed to enabling as many people as possible to purchase
consumer goods, in accordance with the principles of fair trade
and sustainable development.
Strong social committment. Sense of
'modernity' and committment to
values will attract GenY.
Ikea's mission is to offer a wide range of home furnishing items
of good design and function, excellent quality and durability, at
prices so low that the majority of people can afford to buy them
Aimed at rising middle class, but
lack of social goal and future vision.
ENERGY & UTILITIES MISSION STATEMENT:
Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to being the world's
premier petroleum and petrochemical company. To that end, we
must continuously achieve superior financial and operating
results while adhering to the highest standards of business
conduct. These unwavering expectations provide the foundation
for our commitments to those with whom we interact.
Very inward-looking. No 'What do
we do it for?'.
To continuously deliver shareholder value by:Manufacturing and
supplying oil products and services that satisfy the needs of our
customers;Constantly achieving operational
excellence;Conducting our business in a safe, environmentally
sustainable and economically optimum manner;Employing a
diverse, innovative and results-oriented team motivated to
Despite the ultimate goal directed at
shareholders, the statement
contains many elements related to
sustainability and future challenges.
Offer innovative energy solutions, based on our energy mix and
associated services; ensure the security of Europe's energy
supply, creating major infrastructures; assist individuals, cities,
and businesses in developing a responsible relationship toward
energy; place sustainable development at the heart of our
businesses, developing renewable energy, fight against global
warming; Develop synergies between our businesses in energy,
energy services, and the environment.
Directly related to energy
dependence and sustainability.
Focus on innovation and assistance
will attract GenY.
Performance, Forward thinking, Trust, Customer Focus and
Reliability define the way we act in day-to-day business and are
the attidues we adopt to put life into.
Strong focus on values but no
forward direction on active role in
solving future issues.
Most energy companies assert their social responsibility but fail to include it in a
coherent statement of their role
The ‘mission statement’ is only one of the 26 metrics we
assess in the Future Readiness Benchmark
…and obtain an overall score and competitive benchmark:
…assess yourself and up to 5 competitors on 26 long-term metrics:
get the Future Readiness
Benchmark template at
or contact us to have the full
benchmark performed for you
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“Frederic offers a unique insight of how global changes
translate into new business opportunities. This book is an
essential tool for any future-oriented manager or
entrepreneur and anyone involved in innovation strategies”
Philippe De Ridder, co-founder, Board of Innovation
“Designing and implementing a good strategy is quite a
challenge. In an increasingly complex world, it is becoming
increasingly difficult to recognize the core from the noise.
This book on megatrends will help you do this. It will give
you the necessary insights to focus on the themes that are
crucial to the future of your company. A must read!”
Jeroen De Flander, co-founder, The Performance
Factory, author of Strategy Execution Heroes
“This excellent book is a comprehensive overview of the
major trends and also offers a methodology to better assess
the future reality and master its consequences. The author
provides an essential guide for any strategy exercise”
Peter Corijn, Vice-President, Procter & Gamble
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