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This post is about the structure of a strategy map and the importance of using a purpose or mission statement at the top to anchor the strategy you are describing.

Before we detail the financial perspective we must position the organisation’s purpose or mission statement at the top of the strategy map.  (For the purpose of this conversation I am treating the organisation’s purpose and mission statement to be the same thing).  I do this with every strategy map I create.  The effect of this is to make it clear the overriding purpose of the organisation and, combined with the strategy map, how the organisation will move towards it.

Including a statement of purpose has several advantages.  It provides a test of coherency between the strategy, as expressed in the strategy map, and the organisation’s overall purpose.  It will be difficult to read the strategy map from top to bottom if the strategy is not consistent with the purpose.  This will also test whether there are any omissions and how the themes of the strategy consistently support the statement of purpose.

The purpose also provides a pivot point for cascading the strategy map.  As the strategy is cascaded to each smaller business unit or support function, the purpose gets reinforced. Each unit should be thinking about how it contributes, through its strategy, to the overall strategy and the purpose of the organisation.

If a sub-unit has a local purpose or mission statement it can be placed underneath the overriding one.  This will ensure consistency and make any inconsistency between them immediately apparent.  They will need to say, “Our overall purpose is to …corporate mission statement…”.  To support this as a department we need to ensure we .. local mission statement.”.  Finally the story of the strategy can be rounded off by saying, “This will mean that as a department we will be able to  … departmental mission statement… which directly contributes to the … corporate mission statement”.