Most companies have a mission statement that often reflects executive management's vision of the business's direction and goals. There is an old proverb that states where there is no vision there is no hope (Proverbs 29:18). The mission statement cannot stand on its own unless it is meant only as a public relation or marketing gambit rather than a key point to link goals and objectives to. In the realm of psychology, the term "identity" relates to the basic sense of self, the core of values and mission in life. The absence of a well- formed personal identity can often lead to major psychological problems, or, at a minimum, limit the individual's ability to reach their full potential. In the business world enterprises must likewise have a defined and communicated identity or mission that will form the basis for developing strategies and serve as the guiding beacon and key navigational tool for the enterprise. Without this foundation, any operating framework and architecture, including the service delivery framework, will not be well formed. The absence of a clearly defined and communicated identity or mission can be potentially disastrous to any enterprise.
In the past the definition of an enterprise's identity or mission has been decreed by an autocratic CEO, or created through a collaborative process involving varying organizational levels and participants . Traditionally, once the identity or mission was established, it remained unchanged, often for the lifetime of the enterprise.
A space rocket off target a fraction of an inch at launch will miss its target by orders of magnitude if corrections are not made during the course of its flight. It is critical for business enterprises to be on target with their missions. It is also vital to realize that just as with the rocket, substantial energy must be expended to change course settings or missions in midstream. Just as not having a well-formed and communicated mission can be fiscally disastrous for an enterprise, not having the ability to validate the mission, measure adherence to it, and make required adjustments can be equally disastrous.
The traditional approach of assuming the mission as valid and often using it as a public relations slogan rather than a guiding force to be actively measured against will not work in an environment in which change occurs at exponential rates. A new approach to the strategic business view must be developed to not only accommodate this change, but also embrace it and use it as a competitive advantage.
Only with a thorough understanding of the overall enterprise mission, direction, and dynamics can an ISD environment truly be created.