Saturday, February 14, 2009

Creating a Mission for your student organization

Last time, I discussed how to make a vision statement. The next step is to create the mission statement. What is a mission statement? They are to show what your organization does. According to MGM4171 Strategic Management class it must have 9 components:

• Customers: Who are the firm’s customers?
• Products/services
• Markets, technology
• Concern for survival, growth, profitability
• Philosophy
• Self-concept
• Concern for public image
• Concern for employees

This is PepsiCo's mission: "Our mission is to be the world's premier consumer Products Company focused on convenient foods and beverages. We seek to produce financial rewards to investors as we provide opportunities for growth and enrichment to our employees, our business partners and the communities in which we operate. And in everything we do, we strive for honesty, fairness and integrity." You can my see blog's mission here.

You don't need all of the 9 components in your mission statement because you are not a company just a student organization. The important thing is that your mission statement must tell who you are. I will short list a few of the components that I started above that must be in your mission statement. They are: Customers, Products/services, Philosophy, and Self-concept.

Who is your customer? As a student club/organization it is your members who are your members (not your pengetua, your felo or anything like that), you are making activities so that your members are learning. That’s why you are called a student club.

What do you ‘sell’ to your ‘customers’? You are selling the learning experience. For example, a theatre club would ‘sell’ the opportunity to take part in the performing arts. An Aikido club would teach you Aikido lessons and etc. Remember, that your customer is students and your product is the experience. Some people are doing an activity just to get VIPs to come or just for the sake doing it or your pengetua/dean ask you to do it, than it means that you are not consistent with your mission. Because students is not your priority anymore.

You need to have some words in your mission statement that represent the philosophy and personality of your club. For example, my blog’s mission have “We strive with the desire to excel, passion to care for our university and the desire to actively shape our university life” in it. This represents what I am trying to do with my blog and also the attitudes that I put into my posts while I am blogging. Apply this same kind of mentality to your club because it can help motivate your club’s members and also help to shape your club’s branding in the future.

What makes your club so special? What is its unique selling point (USP)? AIESEC‘s USPs is Leadership, Exchange and Global Learning Environment. This is what makes AIESEC different from other student organization. So try to find out or create something that makes your club different from other clubs.

So discuss your mission statement with all your team mates. Discuss them according to the 4 components I mentioned above. Make sure you have a consensus, because a good vision and mission works because everybody agrees on the direction the club is going. Once you have a good vision and mission statement, write it properly somewhere everyone can easily refer. Having a good vision and mission statement allows you to see whether the activities you do will add value to your organization or not. Don’t be afraid to change your vision and statement if necessary, but they are a long term thing and don’t require constant changing, if it does that means your vision and mission is not good enough, and you must seriously consider what you’re club is about.

Once the foundation is laid, we can start the real planning for your organization. Things are just getting started…

Read the previous article in this series, here.

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