Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Distinction Between Mission Statement and Strategy Statement

It was clearly mentioned in the article how Mission and Strategy statements are different from each other. It was stated in that "The mission statement spells out the underlying motivation for being in business in the first place" while "a strategy statement is the single precise objective that will drive the business over the next five years or so". It is often confusing to clearly form distinction between these two.

In the context of business, this might be hard to understand. We will look at this in the context of military, to better understand the difference. Let’s take the case of World War II. All the Allied forces had the mission to end the Axis power's aggression. Some of the countries were directly affected by the aggression and some indirectly. But if we see the strategic options pursued, each country had its own means to gain the advantage in the war. Russia was pursuing from the north, US was engaged in both the ends of the Pacific Ocean. Britain was constantly engaging in Africa and in Europe. France was resisting internally.

All the allied parties had the same mission and yet their strategy and the strategic advantage they chose pursue were completely different. Thus the common mission was the driving force for each country and the strategic option pursued was the advantage they had in winning the war. Although a formal mission or strategic statement is hard to derive in a war, in the context of business it should be fairly uncomplicated, provided enough time and sufficient work is done.

In a travel, if you take the destination as your mission, then the direction and the means you chose to achieve that destination can be your strategy. You can say i am traveling to 'X' and want to do so by covering all the other destinations on the way. You can also say that you want cover all destinations in and adjacent to 'X'. In both the cases you will be choosing different modes of transport and your companions should know the choice, so that they can go along with you or choose a different route. Thus for your strategy to be communicated effectively to the root level, the strategy statement should clearly and confidently stated.

From the article also we can observe how the companies Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, LPL financial and Edward Jones had kind of similar mission but their strategy was different in terms of customer acquisition and customer relationship. When starting the article, i had the notion that both mission and the strategy statement are going to be one and the same or similar in manner. But to canvas to your customers, the competitive advantage that you have, a strategy statement is essential and one that is particularly distinct from you mission statement.

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