Meaningless Mission Statements

I’ve worked in the corporate world long enough now to develop my own cynicism regarding mission statements. Every new re-org or CEO seems to require a new mission statement — while the vast majority of the worker bees just keep on doing their jobs, oblivious to the high-falutin’ corporate mumbo-jumbo being foisted on them by the demigods above them.

So it was with great pleasure that I read this critique on “the plague of mission statements” by Kati Irons.

I wanted to write a piece about funny mission statements, but what I quickly realized is that while almost all mission statements are laughable in some way, they’re rarely funny. A perfect example is the Mission Statement Generator found on Dilbert.com. The idea of the Generator is hysterical. They’ve programmed in every business buzz word you can imagine like “proactively”, “seven-habits conforming”, “empowerment”, and “paradigm shift”, and then the little generator spits out complete mission statements, ready for cutting and pasting into your annual report.

Getting to the bottom line:

If a company really expects their employees to “live” their mission then they need to make a mission statement their employees can actually DO.

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