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|THE MISSION PRIMER
Richard and David O’Hallaron
Gast’s laws are based on enduring properties of human beings, and not on the
specifics of a particular economic, political, or social environment.
. GAST'S LAW
Making a profit is not the main purpose of a business.
1. Organize a mission team.
2. Use Gast’s laws to construct the fundamental objectives of the
3.. Use the fundamental objectives to construct the mission statement.
4. Use the mission statement regularly and strategically.
This book is a concise guidebook to help you develop an effective mission
statement for your organization, whether it is small or large.
Walter Gast was a Professor in the School of Commerice and Finance at St.
Louis University during the ’40 and ‘50’s.
. Law 1: A business must produce a want-satisfying commodity or service,
and continually improve its ability to meet needs.
. Law 2: A business must increase the wealth or quality of life of society
through the economic use of labor and capital.
. Law 3: A business must provide opportunity for the productive
employment of people.
Law 4: A business must provide opportunities for the satisfaction of normal
. Law 5: A business must provide just wages for labor.
. Law 6: A business must provide a just return on capital.
Values of Trust
Gast's laws are based on basic values of trust, respect for people, and quality
that resonate strongly and naturally with all of us. The premise of this book is
that Gast’s laws describe the objectives of a successful organization.
Mission Statement Required
A mission statement identifies the fundamental objectives of a business. . . .that
is, a set of high-level goals that are neither time-specific nor quantified. Mission
statements are used to guide organizations strategic planning effort, to help set
day to day priorities, to evaluate new or on-going programs and to evaluate the
policies and practices of the organization.
WHAT’S A GOOD MISSION STATEMENT?
A good mission statement consists of a set of fundamental objectives that
describe how an organization intends to comply with Gast’s laws.
Organize a Mission Team:
1. Use a representative cross section of the organization and charge them with
the task of developing a mission statement. Brainstorm to list an initial set of
values. Identify the values that are the most important to the group.
2. List values: Here’s a list of 40 values to show what a value is considered:
Accessibility accountability appreciation for resources
citizenship clear identity cooperation dedication dignity
empowerment encouragement enjoyment enthusiasm
equity excellence financial fulfillment flexibility freedom
fulfillment of potential globalistic happiness humor innovation integrity
loyalty mentorship personal growth pride quality product respect for
diversity responsibility reward security selfishness
sensitivity teamwork unity urbanism
We write down all of the suggested objects on tear sheets and fill up the sheets,
paste them on the wall. Go over one by one. Eliminate some. Add some.
Law 1: A business must produce a want-satisfying commodity or service, and
continually strive to improve its ability to meet needs.--the need to clearly
understand the core business of the organization both now and in the future
and – the need to continually improve its ability to engage in its core business.
You can ask these questions:
1. What industry are we in?
2. What is our core business now?
3. What do we envision our core business being in the future.
4. Who are our customers?
5. Who are our competitors?
6. What geographic area do we serve?
7. How are we different from our competitors?
8. Where should we rank relative to our competitors?
It is extremely rare to find a successful company that doesn’t continually
improve its ability to meet customer’s needs. . . thus it is important to include
that in your mission statement.
A business must increase the wealth or quality of life of the society through the
economic use of labor and capital.
This says that a both workers and managers have an obligation to contribute to
society and to ensure that the organization produces high quality goods or
services cost-effectively. The organization must provide appropriate
management, systems, and resources. Employees must work hard to make the
best use of the resources they are given.
1. How does our organization help or hurt the community?
2. Should we be doing more to help?
3. Should we be doing less to hurt?
Recognition of the obligation to society and community appears in all of the
model mission statements.
LAW -3 A business must provide opportunities for the productive employment of
people. –This says a business is not required to hire people it doesn’t need, but
if and when it does hire them, it assumes an obligation to work as hard as
possible to keep them productively employed. Employees are respected and
valued by the organization.
This law describes a fundamental relationship between an organization and its
employees, contractors, and suppliers that is based on trust and respect. Every
mission statement must speak directly to these key values of trust and respect.
A business must provide opportunities for the satisfaction of normal
occupational desires.—The organization has an obligation to create a great
quality of work life for the employees. . . so that people enjoy coming to work
and participating in the activities and goals of the organization. Such a place
has its own built-in quality improvement program carried on by employees who
want to see the organization improve and succeed.
1. What are we doing to help employees learn and grow in their jobs.\
2. What aren’t we doing that we should be doing?
---This objective is to recognize the need to create a great environment for
people to work, to help them develop professionally, and to be the best
employees that they can be.
A business must provide just wages for labor.
Providing fair compensation to all people that an organization deal with
including employees, vendors, and subcontractors is completely consistent with
the notion of respect for people. (from law 3-4)
A business must provide a just return on capital to the owners.
CONSTRUCTING THE MISSION STATEMENT
For the organization….it is important to for as many people as possible to
review and buy into the statement so that it is a useful tool in the day to day
operation of the organization.
USING THE MISSION STATEMENT
First. The head of the organization must believe in the mission completely and
recognize it as an important tool. Second the most effective mission statements
address all of Gast’s laws. Third, the mission statement is used on a daily basis
and plays a significant role in the operation of the business. – in strategic
planning, problem solving, in day-to-day decision making and in promoting the
objectives of the organization.
If there was one book I would have as a reference book to use in todays open,
transparent business world this is it. I suggest you buy this book and read it,
digest it, and get to work on your mission statement as soon as possible.