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Does your company's mission statement sound like this?

April 9th, 2007 · 11 Comments · Branding, Customers/Clients, Employees

Picture_3 "We are the market leader, earning our clients’ loyalty by providing exemplary service and value.

We value honesty, innovation and our employees most of all."

If so….shame on you.

Flickr photo courtesy of slight clutter.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Jim Lane

    Years ago, I remember a website that said, most mission statements aren’t. If what you say does not separate you from the herd, it is not a mission statement. If it reads like some new-age holistic religious tract best recited while wearing a white robe, it is not. If your average employee cannot look at it for five minutes and remember it verbatim the next week, it is not. If it cannot be fit onto one slide with a type font that can be easily read from the cheap seats, it is not. It might be a statement of principles, it might be something, but a mission statement it is not.

  • Katie Konrath

    Such an engaging mission statement! I’d love to work for them… and where can I buy???

    Or not. That is one of the most bland and uninspiring mission statements I’ve ever seen. It tells me nothing about the company.

    Jim mentioned above that it has to be memorable–well, I could memorize that easily–but it gives me no direction.

    I bet the company is extremely proud of it though.

  • Drew McLellan

    Jim,

    Most mission statements are crafted by a committee, approved by a CEO and then blessed by a board.

    They don’t stand a chance. They use what we at MMG call “weasel words” or words that no one can actually attach measurable meaning to.

    It’s not memorable, it’s not actionable and it’s not inspiring.

    But sadly, it is most of the world’s reality.

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Katie,

    But if you looked at most companies — this is what their mission statement looks like.

    It sounds great and means nothing. Now what does that tell the employees?!

    Drew

  • Tony D. Clark

    You’re right Drew.

    They didn’t even use the words “paradigm” or “synergy.” What the heck were they thinking? ;)

  • David Reich

    Bland or not, wouldn’t it be wonderful if that company really lived up to its stated mission?

  • Cam Beck

    David – It would, but a statement like this provides no tangible direction or clear focus, and thus, no utility.

  • Drew McLellan

    Tony,

    Well, I am sure they started out with those words too, but the commmittee did some editing!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    David,

    Yes…I agree. Even if most of the words are wishy-washy. It would be remarkable if most companies worked to move beyond “acceptable.”

    The good news is for the few that do, they can really gain traction!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Cam,

    That was sort of my point in the weasel words post. People worry more about what their mission statement sounds like (is it majestic enough) versus is it something we’re actually going to put into practice and live by.

    Drew

  • Penny Coleccio

    Need to learn this and input in my company

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