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Mgt599 Module 1 Case

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Trident University

Module 1 CASE Assignment
MGT599: Strategic Management Process/Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
Dr. Nanette Metz
June 19, 2016

Executive Summary

Coca Cola Company has executed the most successful beverage strategy of the past 50 years. Its strategic communications, however, fall short of the success of its underlying strategy. Coca Cola advertises a formal mission statement that does little to communicate its strategy to its stakeholders, and should therefore reshape a more specific formal mission statement. Its vision statement is hidden deep within its website, and also falls short of guiding the company's future. While the vision statement more closely aligns with the company strategy, it should also be reshaped in order to provide a more specific tract for future growth and goals.

Coca Cola Company is the most successful beverage enterprise in the United States-it is the largest (as measured by customer volume), among the oldest (125 years in business), and most profitable (with 59 consecutive years of dividend growth), (Coca Cola, 2016). Coca Cola operates under a winning strategy- and when a strategy is working, it should be largely left alone. All that remains is synchronizing all the elements of an organization in order to execute such a strategy with efficiency. The most fundamental purpose of a strategy, after all, is to "inform each of the many thousands of things that get done in an organization every day, and to make sure that those things are all aligned in the same basic direction," (Hammonds, 2007). Coca Cola can refine their operational execution through the use of more relevant and effective mission and vision statements.

Coca Cola’s Mission Statement

The mission of Coca Cola Company is, "To refresh the world...To inspire moments of optimism and happiness...To create value and make a difference, (Coca Cola, 2016). In some respects, this makes for an effective mission statement. For example, it is universally understandable to stakeholders inside- and outside the organization, (Zahorsky, 2011). The mission places a focus on customer experience-clearly defining the expectations of the product. It also references investors, with clear focus on creating value. There is, however, some room for improvement.

Room for Improvement: Mission Statement

Taken out of context, Coca Cola's mission statement could apply to any company, in any industry. There is a vague reference to "refreshment," but the focus of the first statement is on globalization of the market, not on the product. The mission of an organization should address the fundamental purpose for existence. Coca Cola's statement, taken as a whole, induces distraction-"moments of optimism and happiness" is a marketing image, not a reason for existence. In an industry with razor thin profit margins, and cutthroat competition, Coca Cola operates under a strategy that attempts to sets it apart from other brands. Its mission statement should reflect this reality.
In addition to answering the fundamental reason for existence, a mission statement should identify a company's core values, (McNamara, 2009). The current mission statement captures these values well. "Refreshing the world," speaks to Coke's value on global growth. A large part of the mission statement is, however, undefined. How the company provides optimism and happiness is left to the audience to define-and efforts to find an internal definition failed. Instead of having the audience infer such a connection-it should be immediately and universally apparent.

Stakeholder Interests: Mission

Coca Cola's mission statement focuses two main stakeholders-customers and investors. It conveys to customers that their satisfaction with the service is their primary concern. While a noble goal-certainly no business is concerned with anything over profitability. If Coke makes a direct connection between optimistic and happy customers and profitability, that such a goal is appropriate. It certainly communicates customer expectations effectively.
The second stakeholder addressed by the mission statement is investors- specifically, shareholders. "To create value and make a difference," clearly communicate a commitment to shareholder value, and responsible global business. It may be a dubious connection, however, to assume altruistic global "difference-making" and profitability share connected actions.

Coca Cola’s Vision

Coke defines a lengthy vision statement:
People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs.
Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization. (Coca Cola, 2016). It is an effective vision-designed specifically for Coke stakeholders-in that it builds a strong framework without being too specific. Corporate leadership has structured a clear, forward-looking, explanation of how the company should run-all the while allowing individual employees to decide for themselves how best to operate within that structure. Not only does the vision not read merely like an employee checklist, it specifically addresses the responsible global product growth the mission statement defined. This should embolden employees to apply critical thinking in order to improve their day to day tasks and how they are accomplished.

Room for Improvement: Vision Statement

The vague structure of this vision, however, has room for improvement. Any useful corporate vision should both inspire and specifically direct employee action, (McNamara, 2009). While this example does specifically direct employee action by pairing the image of the internal company relations with that of external customer relations; it falls short of an inspiration to do so. Employees are left to fill in their own motivation into to inspire action along the path of the vision. This may be by design-as organizational motivation can be difficult to craft into a universal format. Perhaps Coca Cola corporate leadership has decided to leave the inspiration to subordinate levels of the company-which would likely be better suited to motivate their respective employees.
One other area that Coke's vision could improve is in its considered time horizon. The current statement largely focuses on current operations, albeit with an allowance for future improvement. This eye on the future should be communicated through a kind of visionary goal articulated in the vision statement. This is conspicuously missing from Coke's vision.

Stakeholder Interests: Vision

This idea of multiple levels of stakeholders being targeted by a single, concise statement is key to a company's vision. Coke's vision targets all its primary stakeholders: employees, shareholders, customers, and business partners.
The main effort of the vision statement focuses on employees. With a single statement, Coke provides management across all levels with vivid guidance on how to structure the workplace. Middle management is charged with providing "a great place to work, where people are inspired," (Coca Cola, 2016). This builds an actionable, albeit vague, framework for management to operate around-and when it applied incorrectly, upper leadership can address corrections in terms of the desired framework.

Coca Cola’s Goals

Medium and long-term goals are absent from Coca Cola's publications. The 2010 report to shareholder s identifies a single "goal" that the company will focus on in the coming year. This statement does not comprise a strategic goal as much as an efforts to increase operational effectiveness, (Hammonds, 2007). Specifically, Coke seeks to, "use our Company's assets - our brands, financial strength, unrivaled distribution system, global reach and the talent and strong commitment of our management and associates - to become more competitive and to accelerate growth in a manner that creates value for our shareowners," (Coca Cola, 2016). This is so vague as to be meaningless.
More effective goals would include such specific, difficult-but-achievable accomplishments such as retaining the top market share in non-alcoholic beverage industry. Add an expansionary goal such as become Fortune magazine's most admired company for 2011, and these goals will begin to provide both motivation and strategic guidance across the business.

Hammonds, K. (2007). Michael Porter's big ideas. Fast Company, 44. Retrieved on June 19, 2016, from
McNamara, C. (2009). Basics of developing mission, vision and values statements. Retrieved on June 19, 2016, from
Coca Cola, (nd). Vision, Mission, & Values. Retrieved June 2016 from
Zahorsky, D. (2011). Writing a Meaningful Mission Statement. Retrieved June 2016 from

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