Bite-size Case Study

American Airlines and Southwest: evaluating mission statements

Published on February 28, 2023 Originally recorded 2022   5 min
0:04
Most organizations would have something at the very top of what they do that they may call a mission statement. A mission statement typically is the main purpose of the organization. This may be in line with the values or the expectation of stakeholders or shareholders and so on. Just to make fun of this a little bit, this is a vignette that shows how sometimes mission statements are created. There is a sense that we need to create something that is heartfelt and aspirational, but sometimes we get entangled in jargon, so we struggle to do this. In the vignette guided by a relentless focus on quality then the people trying to come up with it struggle with something and the person there says quality again, but it's been already used. Sometimes these mission statements are just a collection of buzzwords. Other times instead, they can actually be something that express a sense of purpose, a sense of aspiration, which is sometimes accompanied by vision statements that relate to a desired future state. These too can be very powerful. There's recent research that shows how these statements can be powerful, particularly in moments of change and disruption. There's been a study looking at COVID and the impact of mission/vision statements and purposes and so on, and how they've actually made people feel more connected with their employer because, of course, the sense of aspiration and belonging was challenged. These statements can make a difference, but they have to be connected to the rest. In other words, they don't tell us what to do on a Monday morning, but they can give us a sense of what we want to do. These then connect to the strategy of the organization. In essence, a set of choices that should make sense and be coherent so that the organization accomplishes its main goals. I want to show you one example and comment on this.
Hide

American Airlines and Southwest: evaluating mission statements

Embed in course/own notes