How futureproof is your mission statement


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How futureproof is your mission statement

  1. 1. How future-proof is your mission statement? …an assessment of 20 companies in 5 industries… frederic de meyer founder institute for future insights
  2. 2. 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 companies mentioned.
  3. 3. 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, collaboration, solution-driven;  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 challenges;  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.
  4. 4. 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: GenY factor SocialResponsability resolve m egachallenge futureoriented Assessment: 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 bit vague. 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.
  5. 5. 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 GenY factor SocialResponsability resolve m egachallenge futureoriented Assessment: 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 computing devices. 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 we serve. Very inward-looking statement, very little 'direction' or vision on its societal role. Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners. Lack of 'finality' (or societal aim), 'value' and 'opportunity' not defined. 'Shaping the future' would attrackt GenY.
  6. 6. 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 factor SocialResponsability resolve m egachallenge futureoriented Assessment: 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?)
  7. 7. 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 factor SocialResponsability resolve m egachallenge futureoriented Assessment: 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 treated' 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.
  8. 8. ENERGY & UTILITIES MISSION STATEMENT: GenY factor SocialResponsability resolve m egachallenge futureoriented Assessment: 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 deliver excellence 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. Are you prepared to make the maximum out of long-term trends? Now available on click here (in presentation mode) “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
  11. 11. website blog mail Phone +32 478 68 13 08 for useful long-term planning tools: Discover our services… ° thought-provoking speeches for your strategic planning session or industry event ° training on how to manage a megatrend exercise in your company ° assist you all the way in conducting an in-house megatrend exercise ° audit your business in how future-proof you –and your competitors- are in the light of megatrends