Module 1 – SLP
Mission and Vision statements defines an organization’s core values and are often used as the guiding principles in establishing organizational objectives. However, more and more companies have a discombobulated notion about the role of the mission and vision statement resulting to a creation of a rather more confusing jargon. What constitutes a good mission and vision statement according to Welch and Welch (2008) should convey a clear definition of realistic and more achievable expectations. Mission and Vision statements should possess specific elements that define the universal values of an organization.
The key elements that an explicitly constructed mission statement that demonstrates definition of an organization’s priorities are:
- Specific aim - Organizations often fall victim into creating a mission statement that drifts through a confusing strategy and without setting clear priorities. Mission statements should assure specific aims that will deliver a greater impact towards the organization.
- Accomplishment measure – By definition, accomplishment measure constitutes reliability that represents the difference or impact made towards the people within the organization.
- Mission gap – It is a description that describes the current state of affairs with people, places, and matters and to whom the difference was made for.
- Vision, and – Mission statements should be made close to what the Vision statement tends to convey. Creating an idea about the organization’s vision into the mission statement represents the issues that the organization is hoping to address can do it.
- Strategic stretch goals – Is a benchmark that determine the organization’s current position in terms of realizing the mission. Setting a goal sets the expectations for an organization, which when successfully accomplished can bring them to even greater success.
The rationale for choosing the described elements as the five criteria in creating the mission statement is because each element compliments the other. For example, strategic stretch goal sets the expectations and provides the benchmark to point out the organization’s position with its overall objectives. On the other hand, accomplishment measure helps in determining the organization’s position by providing reliability measures. The measure outcomes can be used to determine the mission gaps, which points out the difference that the organization has made with its adopted mission statement. Furthermore, the selected criteria for creating a mission statement set a clear direction for the organization in terms of stating priorities.
Along with the carefully constructed mission statement is an equally considered vision statement. Similarly, vision statement should also encompass key elements to reinforce its purpose in the organization. Szendirski, a senior marketing partner for SZEN marketing described the characteristics of an explicitly written vision statement as a unique individual strategic perspective (2014). A vision statement answers the underlying question of how the organization and its members act the way they do and also serves as the decision-making driver that creates leverage as opposed to competition (Szendirski, 2014).
The key elements that an explicitly constructed vision statement that demonstrates definition of an organization’s virtues and projection of goals are:
- Positive – Positive words used in vision statements encompasses energy that creates a similar impact towards anyone that reads it.
- Use present tense - Vision statements are declaration of the future of the organization relived in the present. Therefore, creating vision statements in future tense gives a notion that the organization is still yet far from achieving its goals. Whereas, the future tense constitutes a perspective that the organization is already living its future vision at the present.
- Short and simple – Long vision statements tend to lose their impact. This leads for anyone reading the statement to lose connection with the message of the vision. However, precision is imperative in making the statement short, otherwise a few collective words put together will fail to deliver the intended message of the vision.
- Challenging – Powerful vision statements encompasses a specific challenge that defines the motivation that the organization is needed in order to succeed. Vision is an end goal, which demonstrates the sort of challenge that the organization needs to overcome in order to get to the next level. At the same time, the challenge should be realistic, otherwise it eliminates the essence of motivation that the vision statement tends to provide.
- Relevant – In order to capture the interest of the people with the organization’s vision statement, there should be a great deal of relevance to the core values of the organization. Core values are the organizational philosophy that guides the organization in its everyday activities and decision-making. Creating a vision statement that closely relevant to the organization core values establishes the organization’s identity and purpose.
The rationale for the chosen criteria for the vision statement is the role of each element in assuring the long-term organization objective, and at the same time each element also embodies the realistic, measureable, and specific characteristics. Furthermore, the chosen criteria in creating the vision statement encompasses the important directives that will drive the members of the organization to work within the values set forth by the vision statement. In addition, inspiration is the main element that vision statement tends to convey, and such inspiration is imperative in keeping the organization in the right direction particularly in achieving goals.
In comparison, mission statement is different vision statement, although the two statements are bring made to come together in complete harmony. Take for example in a kitchen; a chef cooks delicious dishes out of several ingredients and other components. For instance, spaghetti is a single dish identified for its unique characteristics and appeal. However, a spaghetti meal does not come as it is, but with a use of different elements combined together to create the dish. It is the same with the mission and vision statement, two different purpose and characteristics coming together as one single purpose of defining an organization. Vision statements constitute the broad perspective about the organization. It is normally directional, denotes inspiration, and timeless. On the other hand, mission statements are measurable, targeted and multi-directional. Both statements are realistic and timely, but the purpose they serve comes are different as mission statement provides the goal while vision statement provides the perspective. Going back to the spaghetti analogy, mission statement provides the taste that says the dish was spaghetti while the vision statement tells people that what they are looking for is indeed spaghetti without tasting the dish. This is because the perspective itself is enough to tell the people of what they will expect to taste, just as in organizations, the perspective is enough to tell the people what they can expect to get.
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Module 1 – Case Study (Kraft Foods Group)
The case study will highlight the importance of analyzing the organization’s strategies beginning with the evaluation of the Mission, Vision, Values, and Objectives. Kraft Foods Group is an international in the food industry that has created an impact towards consumers, and earns the legacy of becoming a household name. However, the consumer would have known the Kraft Foods Group as a major manufacturer of food products, but not all of the consumers are aware of the company’s internal goals, and its mission as a food company. This encompasses the importance of the case study, which will focus on examining the strategic adequacy of the Mission, Vision, Values, and Objectives adopted by Kraft Foods Group in terms if defining its business strategies.
The company’s Mission, Vision, and Values demonstrates the establishment of a legacy by recognizing its responsibilities towards its consumers while striving to establish its position as the best food and beverage company in North America. In comparison of Kraft Foods Group’s mission and vision statement, it is apparent that both statements are closely tied to one another and puts greater consideration towards benefits of the stakeholders. However, the mission statement requires redefining of its measurable goals because the concepts embedded in the mission statement appears unattainable. In terms of the vision statement, the company was able to put forth an adequate statement of the organization’s future perspective requiring no further revision.
Companies are often faced with the dilemma of keeping up with the fast-paced dynamics of the business world. At some point companies tend to lose their grip for the reason that they are not able to keep up with the challenges. Michael Porter devised a specific tool to help companies to identify their weak areas and addressing them accordingly using its own strengths. The Porter’s five forces analysis have helped companies to overcome challenges by analyzing the important aspects of the business. From the analysis comes the formation of strategy, which enables companies to work their way out of failing in the competition (Hammond, 2007).
Among the important aspects of the business that needs adequate analysis is the Vision. Mission, Values, and Objectives. Applying the concept of analysis to evaluate a corporation’s strategy starts with examining the Mission, Vision, Values, and Objectives. Kraft Foods Groups will serve as the subject of the analysis examining its current strategic prose in terms of adopting its mission, vision, objectives, and values. Even though the company has been around for over a century, Kraft Foods Group has redefined itself through its mission, and vision in a more concise manner. However, improvements can be still further made particularly in the mission statement as it lacks adequacy in clearly stating the company’s realistic goals. The case study will accomplish the analysis by means of drawing the relationship between the statements and how their impact towards the stakeholders.
Kraft Foods Group Mission Statement and Analysis
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. prides itself as one of the largest food companies in the world. However, its mission statement reads: “to be North America’s best food and beverage company” (Welcome, 2012). The statement is a well pointed out message, straight, and concise. It encompasses the majority of the key elements identified as the major criteria in creating an effective mission statement. Based on the composition of the mission statement, it appears that Kraft Foods Group is aiming for the ultimate goal of excelling in every aspect of the food industry business such as delivery, quality, taste, employee care, and product availability. In terms of defining the company as a whole, the mission statement was able to describe the overall purpose of the organization (McNamara, 2009).
On the other hand, there are certain inaccuracies in the company’s current mission statement. For one, the mission statement is unattainable as being the best encompasses being the prime in the herd, but it cannot be attained on the grounds that several other companies in the same industry are also claiming the same position. Being the first and the best requires several components to prove such as market shares, consumer preference, product variation, and so on. There are other even bigger companies than Kraft Foods in terms of market, products, and capital shares. Therefore, on order for Kraft Foods to achieve its mission, the company needs to match the scale of business achievement that bigger food companies have. Furthermore, the mission statement is no longer appropriate because the goal is geographically limited. Kraft Foods have already penetrated the international market; therefore, the mission statement should also reconsider its international presence in its goals.
Kraft Foods Group Vision Statement and Analysis
When it comes to vision statement, the company was able to nail the precision criteria of a powerful statement in its vision statement: ”make a legacy” (Kraft Foods Group Inc., 2012). The statement was among the first things that anyone can find in the company’s website, but make no mistake because the statement is also among the rare statement that anyone can find that perfectly fits the bill. It is short, concise, and encompasses visionary power to see and convey a certain level of achievement. The company owes it legacy from its century old history from the time the company was just a small factory in 1903 to today’s current position as a food giant. The vision encompasses a sense of emotion and inspiration drawn from notion of achieving success through time and being able to stay strong more than a hundred years, which not all companies can easily achieve. Furthermore, the statement conveys a great impact not only to the members of the organization, but also to the world. Another positive point about the statement is the fact that the vision statement has already been achieved. The only thing that needs to be accomplished is to keep it going and head on to the future bearing the legacy the company has created and strengthen that legacy as the company add more years to its existence.
Kraft Foods Group Values and Analysis
Similarly, the company embodies a short, but concise values statement that shares the similar characteristic with its vision statement. Kraft Foods, Inc. does not normally declare its values statement as often as they do with their mission and vision. However, the values are simple, “responsibility.” A one word values that stretches beyond the scope of a typical set of corporate core values. Furthermore, the value statement constitutes a commitment to do some good that transcends from using food packaging to promote healthy lifestyle to reducing environmental impact contributing to environmental and social cause. This is why the company’s value statement is will remain as it is without the need for further revision.
The alignment of Kraft Foods Group mission, vision, and values are well tied up and works well with one another. To quickly summarize the stakeholder’s impact towards the stakeholders, the statements simply convey encouragement for the consumers and stakeholders to make better choices (Kraft Foods Group Inc., 2012). The commitment to embody responsibility as a corporate strategy encompasses a greater focus to devote the company’s efforts in improving everyone’s decision-making practices. Driving change is inspired by the legacy that the company was able to establish by staying strong and to continuously grow through the years. Lastly, it is apparent that the company’s mission, vision, values, and ultimately its objective apply to everyone and everywhere in the organization.
The only change that can be recommended to change in the company’s strategy is its mission statement. There is not much to change in the vision and objective as they are working effectively for the company. Kraft Food Group, Inc. mission statement is already an admirable one and encompasses a clear goal. Furthermore, the goal was measureable and can clearly identify the company’s current position. However, it needs more precision and focus. It needs focus in terms of setting a realistic goal, one that can be achieved effortlessly with the company’s current resources. The mission statement can be further improved by invoking a sense of attainability. In addition, simply implying the goal of being the best is very generic and is one of those words that several companies are using. The term best is vague, instead of using the word in composing a mission statement, it would be better to make emphasize specific goal such as becoming the more preferred food brand, or the largest maker of household food products. In that sense, the company can focus its efforts in achieving such goal.
Throughout the case study, one should be able to see the relationship between goals, mission, vision, objectives, and values. It is not difficult to compose a vision statement or mission statement, but integrating all the necessary criteria in order to create precision is what’s more difficult. By analyzing Kraft Foods Group, Inc. mission, vision, values, and objective, it becomes apparent that strategy is not always about how the company conducts its operations and other technical aspects of running the business, but rather begins with the statements that defines the organization. The recommendation to change the mission statement was intended to further align Kraft Foods Group, Inc. business objectives. Furthermore, the company’s current statement still encompasses potential, which will also reflect on the potential of further success.
Hammonds, K. H. (2007). Michael Porter's Big Ideas | Fast Company | Business + Innovation. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/42485/michael-porters-big-ideas
Kraft Foods Group Inc. (2012). Corporate Governance. Retrieved from www.kraftfoodsgroup.com/Investor/corporate-governance/index.aspx
Kraft Foods Group Inc. (2012). Welcome. Retrieved from http://www.kraftfoodsgroup.com/welcome.aspx
McNamara, C. (2009). Basics of Developing Mission, Vision and Values Statements. Retrieved from http://managementhelp.org/strategicplanning/mission-vision-values.htm
Szenderski, G. (2014, January 3). 5 Elements for Creating a Powerful Company Vision – Emergent Path. Retrieved from http://emergentpath.com/5-elements-for-creating-a-powerful-vision/
Welch, J., & Welch, S. (2008, January 2). State Your Business - Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-01-02/state-your-business