Monday, March 25, 2013

You Don't Need A Mission Statement, You Need A Purpose Statement

I think company mission statements are useless.  Most of them at least.
Here's a selection of some mission statements from companies large and small:

  • "Dedicated to convenience, excellence, and serving everyone."  Wow!  Be still my heart.
  • "Be the best in the eyes of our customers, employees, and shareholders."  Please pass some sugar for that bowl of oatmeal.
  • "The Company's primary objective is to maximize long-term shareholder value, while adhering to the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates and at all times observing the highest ethical standards."  Good to know your primary concerns.  Yawn.
  • "We are committed to attracting, developing, and keeping a diverse work force that reflects the nature of our global business."  How politically correct of you.  Next!
  • "Undisputed Marketplace Leadership."  Ooookay.  And what was your product?

What's the problem?  I could slap any one of these on the wall of any company, anywhere.  They are bland, impersonal, and interchangeable.  They don't inspire employees to meaningful action.

And, most importantly, they lack purpose.  A company's reason for existing.  The drive for doing what they do.

What's the purpose of your business?  If you answer that by saying "to make money," I'm going to reach right through this computer screen and slap you.  Making money isn't the raison d'être of your business.  Money is simply the measurement of how well you're communicating your purpose to your employees and customers.

Why is purpose more important than mission?  How is having a clear and meaningful purpose important to building employee morale in your company?  In the next post I'll talk about the link between purpose and morale and why you should toss your mission statement and create a Purpose Statement.

Related Posts:  Purpose and Morale

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