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CHAPTER 5 Defining and Articulating the Organization's Mission, Vision, and Values This chapter is intended to assist the planning team with defining and articulating the basic Creating a Process Plan and Road Map philosophies that will shape the organization's strategic posture. (Chapter 3) The purpose of the chapter is to enable the planning team to do the following: Develop a statement that defines the organization's role and market in a way that reflects the Evaluating and Understanding the values and priorities of management (mission statement) Organization Develop a statement that describes the desired future position of the organization (vision (Chapter 4) statement) Develop a statement that reflects the organization's beliefs and its social responsibilities (val- Defining and Articulating the Organization's Mission, ues statement) Vision, and Values Communicate each of these statements in clear, simple, and precise language and develop buy- (Chapter 5) in and support at all levels of the organization Scanning the Environment The results of the online survey strongly support the development of mission, vision, and val- and Predicting Developments ues statements during the strategic planning process. Of the survey respondents, 84 percent indi- (Chapter 6) cated that vision and mission statements belong in a strategic plan and 76 percent indicated that a definition of organizational values should be included. In addition, 45 percent of the respon- Identifying Strategic Issues, dents noted that the most important reason for developing a strategic plan is that it provides a Strategies, and Long-Term sense of direction for the organization. The mission, vision, and values statements play a critical Objectives (Chapter 7) role in establishing this sense of direction. Formulating Short-Term Objectives and 5.1 Mission Statements Creating Action Plans (Chapter 8) A mission statement is a concise statement of the organization's purpose and reason for exis- tence, developed from the perspective of an organization's customers. Almost all of the airport Writing, Communicating, strategic plans reviewed during the research phase of this project included a mission statement. A and Executing the Plan mission statement should be tailored for the individual circumstances of a particular organization (Chapter 9) and is typically structured to answer three core questions. The first question ("What do we do?") addresses the purpose for the organization's existence and what it seeks to accomplish. The second Monitoring, Evaluating, and question ("How do we do it?") addresses the main method or activity through which the organi- Modifying the Plan zation tries to fulfill its purpose. The third question ("For whom do we do it?") addresses the tar- (Chapter 10) get market for the organization's services. Below is a list of key questions that the airport mission statements reviewed during the research phase of this project answered: 52

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Defining and Articulating the Organization's Mission, Vision, and Values 53 Why does our airport exist? Example answer: "To serve the aviation needs of the Upper Valley" (City of Lebanon, New Hampshire, Lebanon Municipal Airport).14 What services does our airport provide? Example answer: "Safe, convenient, environmentally sound and cost-competitive aviation services" (Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota).15 What is the airport's competitive advantage? (A competitive advantage is a condition that enables an airport to operate in a more efficient or otherwise higher quality manner than its competitor airports, which results in benefits accruing to the airport.) Example answer: "[DFW] shall be the Airport of Choice . . . by exceed[ing] our customer's expectations" (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board, Dallas/Fort Worth Interna- tional Airport, Texas).16 What values guide our airport? Example answer: "To operate in harmony with the surrounding environment" (Aroports de Montral, Montreal-Mirabel International Airport and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Canada).17 Who are the airport's customers? Example answer: To provide "efficient and effective service to aviation and local business, tourist and second home travelers, and recreational flyers" (District Municipality of Muskoka, Muskoka Airport, Ontario, Canada).18 The mission statements reviewed varied in length and specificity, and there was no apparent relationship between the size of the airport and the length/specificity of the mission statement. Some mission statements for large and medium hub airports were extremely general (e.g., see the mission statement for Bradley International Airport below), while others were longer and more tailored to the particular business environment in which the airport operates (e.g., see the mission statement for Toronto Pearson International Airport below). 5.1.1 Example Mission Statements Mission statements (from airports, corporations, and public sector organizations) collected dur- ing the research phase of this project follow. Airports We are dedicated to developing and managing Bradley International Airport in a way that allows it to become and remain the best airport within the United States (Connecticut Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aviation & Ports, Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Connecticut).19 To develop and operate for the public benefit an airport system which supports the eco- nomic development and cultural diversity of South Central Ontario and Canada, provid- ing aviation facilities that achieve: the highest standards of safety and security; excellence in customer service, environmental stewardship and sustainability; and cost effectiveness 14 Airport Strategic Plan, 2007. 15 The Metropolitan Airports Commission Strategic Plan 20092013. Available online at 2013_Strategic_Plan.pdf. 16 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Strategic Plan, March 2006. 17 Aroports de Montreal 20082012 Strategic Plan Summary. 18 Strategic Business Plan for the Muskoka Airport--2006. 19 Connecticut Department of Transportation, Bradley International Airport, Strategic Plan 2009. Available online at (accessed May 28, 2009).

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54 Strategic Planning in the Airport Industry and efficiency. This mission will be achieved through: developing a skilled and dedicated workforce; maximizing technology innovation; and excellence in corporate governance (Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, Canada).20 The Muskoka Airport will be a regional asset by providing efficient and effective service to aviation and local business, tourist and second home travelers, and recreational flyers (District Municipality of Muskoka, Muskoka Airport, Ontario, Canada).21 Corporate Our mission is to profitably grow the company by providing our guests with great food, service and hospitality, in a clean, comfortable restaurant, twenty-four hours a day (Denny's).22 Bringing sweet moments of Hershey happiness to the world every day. To our stakehold- ers, this means: Consumers--Delivering quality consumer-driven confectionery experiences for all occasions Employees--Winning with an aligned and empowered organization . . . while having fun Business Partners--Building collaborative relationships for profitable growth with our customers, suppliers and partners Shareholders--Creating sustainable value Communities--Honoring our heritage through continued commitment to making a positive difference (The Hershey Company).23 Public Sector The mission of the Department is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, effi- cient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national inter- ests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future (U.S. Department of Transportation).24 The mission of the Port of Houston Authority is to provide, operate and maintain water- ways and cargo passenger facilities, to promote trade and generate favorable economic effects upon and contribute to the economic development of the Port Authority, the City of Houston, the communities of Harris County and the Texas Coastal Region at rates that provide sufficient funds to cover the Port Authority's operational expenses and capital investments (Port of Houston Authority).25 In contrast to traditional corporate mission statements, which emphasize maximizing the profitability of the corporate entity, airport mission statements tend to place greater emphasis on the airport's community economic development role. The Port of Houston Authority mission statement is a unique hybrid example that may be instructive to airport organizations, blending community economic development objectives with internal finan- cial considerations. 20 GTAA Corporate Strategic Plan Summary: 20062007 Edition. 21 Strategic Business Plan for the Muskoka Airport--2006. 22 Jeffrey Abrahams, 101 Mission Statements from Top Companies Plus Guidelines for Writing Your Own Mission Statement (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2007). 23 The Hershey Company, "Mission Statement." Available online at 24 U.S. Department of Transportation, "Mission of the Department of Transportation." Available at mission.htm. 25 Texas Ports Association, "Port of Houston--Profile." Available online at

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Defining and Articulating the Organization's Mission, Vision, and Values 55 CASE STUDY Developing a Mission Statement--San Antonio Airport System The San Antonio Airport System consists of San Antonio International Airport, a medium hub airport, and Stinson Municipal Airport, the second oldest general aviation airport in continu- ous operation in the United States. In 2007, the City of San Antonio's Aviation Department, operator of the airports, decided to revise its mission statement and develop a vision statement for the first time as part of the process of developing an RFP for a strategic business plan. The Aviation Director and Assistant Aviation Director participated in an offsite retreat in October 2007 to develop the mission and vision statements. Discussion at this retreat was facilitated by a consultant with strate- gic planning experience. The organization's objectives were to develop mission and vision statements that are concise, easy to remember, and indicative of continuous improvement. Before the retreat, the mission statement for the San Antonio Airport System was as follows:a The Aviation Department, through its facilities at San Antonio International and Stinson Municipal Airport[s], provides to the citizens of San Antonio and the traveling public safe and secure, cost-efficient, first-class facilities while providing a catalyst for economic develop- ment, fostering an environment for business growth, and ensuring an exceptional customer experience. After two sessions totaling one half-day, a new, shorter mission statement was developed: To deliver airport services that reflect the community's values, and exceed customer expectations. A concise, aspirational vision statement accompanied the new mission statement: Better and Better. aSources for the material that follows are internal Aviation Department documents. 5.1.2 Developing a Mission Statement By completing Worksheet 5.01, "Developing a Mission Statement for Your Organization," the planning team will do the following: Draft the organization's mission statement and evaluate the statement against the require- ments for a successful mission statement (the mission statement should be realistic, demon- strate a commitment to serving the public good, and so forth) Make any necessary changes to the wording of the mission statement and seek internal and external review Recent strategic planning research has shown that establishing staff-level employee focus groups to review the mission, vision, and values statements gen- erated by the planning team leads to greater buy-in from these employees.26 26 John Cheng, "Effects of Bottom-up Visioning Versus Adopting a Vision on Employee Buy-in: Analysis of the BC Ministry of Forests and Range Succession Planning Project" (M.B.A. thesis, Simon Fraser University, 2005).