A Lesson In Clearly Stated Company Goals and Mission — Merck and Company

It is clear that the best companies have well stated goals and strategies which guide the company’s decisions related to finance, technology, customers, projects and other areas. When it comes to projects, companies must choose which projects to pursue and which to not. If we proceed with the assumption that great companies will, in general, only engage in projects that align with their mission and strategic goals, then it is possible to examine their stated mission and goals and infer the types of projects they will pursue. We will examine how Merck and Company communicates its goals and mission and infer the types of projects they likely purse.

Merck and Company is a pharmaceutical company that is “driven by a desire to improve life, achieve scientific excellence, operate with the highest standards of integrity, expand access to our products and employ a diverse workforce that values collaboration.” [1] In other words, they see themselves as a high tech solution that improves the lives of their customers and employees by operating with high standards. They list five items that summarize their values:

1. Improving Life
2. Ethics and Integrity
3. Innovation
4. Access to Health
5. Diversity and Teamwork

Based upon this mission statement and goals, there are at least three types of projects that Merck and Company will pursue. The first, and most obvious, is they will be involved in research and development projects of new medical treatments. They have a strong commitment to innovation which means developing new medical products. Second, they will be involved in projects that influence public policy and industry standards. They likely have project teams and individuals who are tasked with being involved in industry standards groups. I am sure they have a project manager who manages their lobbyists who attempt to influence public policy at the Federal and local level. Third, they likely have projects that attempt to improve access to their products. They must, for instance, have projects with the goal of opening new markets. They may also have projects that develop pricing structures to increase access but also return a profit. These are just a few examples of projects that can be inferred from the mission and goals stated on the Merck and Company website.

Why is this analysis useful? It illustrates how very sucessful companies are clear about their goal and mission stations to the point that the types of projects they choose can be inferred. Other small and large companies can learn from this example.

[1] http://www.merck.com/about/our-values/home.html