Business – Management
Strategic Management Process/Vision, Goals, Objectives
“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit” (Southwest Airlines, 2011).
A mission statement defines the company’s purpose and primary goals. Its main function is internal to classify the key measure or measures of the company’s achievement and its prime viewers are the leadership team and the stockholders. A good mission statement should: express the core competency of the business, including the organization’s strengths, values and purpose, state the organization’s overall strategy for , explain why they organization exists and explain what the organization is trying to accomplish (Mission Statements and Vision Statements, 2011).
Southwest’s mission statement expresses its core competency in its dedication to the highest quality of customer service. They explain their strategy for providing this high quality customer service by providing warmth, friendliness, individual pride and company spirit. What their mission statement does not state is the organization’s strengths, values and purpose. They also don’t explain what the organization is trying to accomplish. These are two very important things that should be included so that the mission statement would be complete.
“At Southwest Airlines, we consider ourselves much more than just a business; we are a neighbor in the community where you live. We champion causes that matter most in the communities we serve by developing relationships with nonprofit organizations on both a local and national level” (Southwest Airlines, 2011).
Vision statements also classify the company’s purpose, but it’s done in terms of the company’s values rather than the bottom line measures or the things that are guiding beliefs about how things should be done. The visions statement communicates both the purpose and the principles of the organization. For workers, it gives direction about how they are anticipated to act and encourages them to give their best. Shared with consumers, it shapes consumers’ understanding of why they should work with the company (Mission Statements and Vision Statements, 2011). A good vision statement should explain what the business wants to accomplish, should set the time for accomplishing the goal, inspire creativity, energize growth and motivate employees.
The vision statement for Southwest is good, but it is not as good as it could be. They state what it is that they want to accomplish, which is being a neighbor in the community by championing causes that matter most in the communities they serve by developing relationships with nonprofit organizations on both a local and national level. They set no time frames for accomplishing this goal, so no one knows how long they want to try and accomplish this goal. There are a couple of things that are lacking in this vision statement. The company does not having anything in here that necessarily inspire creativity, energize growth or motivate employees. These three things are very important for the company as a whole as well as individual employee. People need to know where the company is, where they want to get to and how they are going to get there.
“Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long-term competitive advantage” (Southwest Airlines, 2011).
Corporate values have become an ethical foundation for business, particularly over the last few years. Core values became very popular as a result. They document established principles in key areas of importance. They also provide standards for behavior at every level of the business. Core values provide a vision of a company’s intended principles, as they relate to dealing with employees, serving share holders, and accepting responsibility for their community and the environment (Stacey, 2007).
Southwest has identified their greatest value as their employees. The see their human capital as their most enduring long-term competitive advantage. This is definitely an area that a company should value the most. Without good employees most businesses do not stay in business very long. What appears to be missing is that they could have stood to identify some other values for the company. They need to identify some that relate to the share holders, and their corporate and social responsibilities. Focusing on the employees is important, but people need to know that they have their finger on the pulse in other areas as well.
Desire to be the best
Follow The Golden Rule
Adhere to the Principles
Treat others with respect
Put others first
Demonstrate proactive Customer Service
Embrace the SWA Family
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Enjoy your work
Be a passionate Team player (Southwest Airlines, 2011).
The major outcome of strategic road-mapping and strategic planning, after gathering all necessary information, is the setting of goals for the organization based on its vision and mission statement. A goal is a long-range aim for a specific period. It must be specific and realistic. through strategic planning are translated into activities that will ensure reaching the goal through operational planning (Kotelnikov, n.d.).
The goals that have been set down for Southwest Airlines appear to focus quite a bit on their employees. This is good since they have been identified as the company’s greatest asset. Some of the goals can be tied back to the vision and mission statements that have been set down for the company. For example, the mission statement focused on high quality customer service. The goals of treat others with respect, put others first and demonstrate proactive customer service are all things that will make the carrying out of their mission statement a whole lot easier.
The thing that their goals are lacking is any tie to their vision statement. There are not states goals that relate to championing causes that matter most in the communities that they serve by developing relationships with nonprofit organizations on both a local and national level. If this is something that they company really wants to do then there needs to be some articulated goals set on how they are going to accomplish that.
Growing a business requires setting short- and long-term goals. Often the short-term goals are the steps necessary to achieve the longer-term goals. In Southwest’s case the goals that are set all appear to be very short-term, . There don’t appear to be any long-term goals. The company needs to set some long-term goals and then tie the short-term goals to them. Having a game plan laid out is the best way to make sure that the goals are met and in the end success is achieved.
In order for a company to be successful they have to figure out where they currently are, where they want to be and how they are going to get there. In Southwest’s case, they have done a very good job in figuring out where they are. They have done a mediocre job in laying down where they want to be. They have some things defined that they would like to see in the future, but not everything is spelled out. And since they have not completely defined where they are going, the roadmap to get there is also incomplete.
It would be hard for anyone on the outside including stakeholders to know where it is that this company wants to be in five or ten years. They have not articulated that plan and set the steps on who to accomplish it. These are things that employees as well as those investing in the company want to know. Employees want to know that there future at the company is somewhat secure and stockholders want to know that they have made the right decision in investing with this company and that it is going to be profitable in the long run.
Kotelnikov, Vadim. (n.d.). Corporate Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategies. Retreived from http://1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/vision_mission_strategy.html
Mission Statements and Vision Statements. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_90.htm
Stacy, Diane. (2007). How important are company values? Retreived from http://www.helium.