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Dec 13

Meaningless Mission Statements

Posted by Ray Sanford

If your organization has a mission statement, make sure it means something. Take this one, for instance, from Albertson's:
Guided by relentless focus on our five imperatives, we will constantly strive to implement the critical initiatives required to achieve our vision. In doing this, we will deliver operational excellence in every corner of the Company and meet or exceed our commitments to the many constituencies we serve. All of our long-term strategies and short-term actions will be molded by a set of core values that are shared by each and every associate.
It doesn't sound human. It sounds like it was written by a consultant who's never worked in the grocery business. It could apply to almost any company. In other words, it's worthless crap.

Instead of self-important pontification, deal specifically. Make it mean something. Inspire yourself and others.

Contrast the one above with the one from Nike:
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Which company would you rather work for? 

Answer these: Who do you serve? What problems are you solving? Why does it matter? 

Write it out. Then simplify. Get it down to as few words as possible. Say it out loud. See if it rings true. Say it to others. Note how they respond.

Do they repeat it back? Do they get jazzed? If they don't buy it, why do you think your clients or customers will?

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