Why Screenwriters Need A Mission Statement

December 27, 2010

By Suzanne Lyons

Article from Gideon’s Way

1) WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? A company mission statement is “a written statement of the purpose of a company (your sole trader screenwriting business).  It should guide the action of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making.”  It provides “the framework within which the company’s strategies are formulated.”  According to Nightingale-Conant, a personal mission statements is “a purposeful promise that carries you toward your goals, giving you the focus, direction, and accountability you need to accomplish your career, financial and personal goals.”

2) WHY WRITE IT? Janel M. Radtke believes we (screenwriters) should write it because it explains why your company exists and what it hopes to achieve in the future.  He says “it must express your company’s purpose in a way that inspires commitment, innovation and courage.” Randall Hansen (quintcareers.com) says the company mission statement is designed to provide direction and thrust to an organization.  When my film partner and I were writing our mission statement for Snowfall Films it really helped us not only define our company, but impacted the design of our company, our company’s future, even the benefits for those who joined us.  One sentence states, “Snowfall Films provides the opportunity for people to excel, expand, risk, laugh, be nurtured, and have creative breakthroughs.”

3) WHAT SHOULD IT INCLUDE?: Radtke suggests we look at three specific areas when drafting our company mission statement.  1) Purpose – what are the opportunities or needs that we exist to address?  2) the Business – what are we doing to address these needs?  3) The Value – what principles or beliefs guide our work?  What are your company’s core values, core purpose and visionary goals?

4) BRAINSTORM AND BREAK IT DOWN: I find it really helps to brainstorm with my business partners, friends and colleagues, talking ‘out loud’ about the purpose, the value, the vision, what’s the future, what are my  goals, the possibilities and the big picture. It all helps me get clear and formulate my commitments.  Another suggestion is to break it down into sections.  For example Starbucks’ mission statement is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”  Then they go on to break it down covering all aspects of their business… “our coffee”… “our partners”… “our customers”… “our stores”… expanding on each category.

Read the rest of the Article, HERE.

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