If you are a small team, starting out to solve a problem, having a mission is hardly a concern. What must concern you at that stage is getting to the product market fit and customer validation.
But even after building a successful product and scaling the business to a sizeable extent, many startups hardly articulate a compelling mission for themselves. With early signs of success, founders directly jump onto growing the team, building feature-sets and scale the organisation. Not very far in the journey, many startups end up facing employee attrition, lack of passion in teams and alignment issues in their organisation.
Founders of growth stage startups often mention retaining talent and alignment as a big area of concern; and end up applying many tactics to resolve talent-related problems. However, the cause of these issues is much more fundamental and intrinsic to the organisation.
Before your push the scale button and look outside to attract other people to your startup, the impact of your mission can’t be overstated. It is very important for the founding team to sit together and extract and articulate the mission for their business. A meaningful mission that matters to the world would instantly change how you look at yourselves and the business. The same regular job would inspire a lot more passion and a sense of pride in doing it. A well-articulated mission makes it easier for prospective team members, customers and investors to relate to your business, decisions and get similarly inspired.
Every problem worth solving is hiding within it a deeper challenge and glorious mission, which needs to be extracted with patience. For instance, the mission for a food delivery startup could be “Savings humans worldwide from the discontent out of hunger”.
Beyond inspiration, a mission opens up the avenues of long-term thinking and frames the canvas of opportunities, ideas and themes of innovations for the business to pursue.
The author is the Co-Founder & CPO, CommonFloor.com