Mission Statements — Four Pitfalls

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Fri, Nov 24 - 5:00 am EDT | 7 years ago by
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DangerMenCookingSignDo you believe your Company’s Mission statement? How about your department’s Mission Statement? If you don’t, there are some very good reasons why. We’ve talked about Mission Statements being all the same and have identified five characteristics of good Mission Statements.

But the Pimps here at PYW look for the pitfalls as well. Mission Statements can be a great tool for identifying and implementing a strategy — or not worth the electrons it took to write it. Here are the pitfalls:

  1. Mission Statement says one thing and company executives do something different. As my father used to tell me, “Watch what people do, not what they say.” If your culture is different than the Mission Statement, there is a serious problem at hand.
  2. Mission Statements are lost in the churn. How many times has your department been reorganized? How about your division? How many managers have you had in the last two years? Mission Statements take a lot of time to develop, with a lot of thought and collaboration to develop at the department level. Constantly reorganize the department and Mission Statements mean very little.
  3. Mission Statements are developed without passion. We rarely have the opportunity to develop a corporate Mission Statement, but often can create a departmental one. If your creation simply goes through the motions because it is something that needs to get done, there won’t be any passion to deliver on the Mission Statement.
  4. Mission Statements are not connected with the work. Unless an employee can directly see how their work is helping to accomplish the mission of the corporation, there is a loss of impact in developing the mission in the first place.

This Pimp is all about the mission. Without a good Mission Statement that is executed well by the management team, the mission effort is lost in the translation and becomes a meaningless exercise in typing.

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  • http://www.wentworthconaultants.com/blog Bill Quinn

    Absolutely right. I work with many organisations who have grand mission, vision and value statements which look great in the annual report. Inevitable they often fall far short of these in practice. If companies are striving to make profit for the shareholders, then that is what they should say in the statements.

  • http://scotherrick.com Scot Herrick

    Yes, one level of this is having the company say what it means.

    The other level is companies executing against the mission statement. It does not take long for people — both customers and employees — to figure out that what is written in the mission statement doesn’t match what happens in practice.

    Thanks for the comment, Bill; it’s appreciated.

  • Ssamba Steven

    This is absolutely write, in my country managers have learnt at business school how to write mission, vision and value statements. however their organisations have failed to realise these statements as the managers have little skill in creating the culture that thrives on such statements.

  • Ssamba Steven

    This is absolutely correct, in my country managers have learnt at business school how to write mission, vision and value statements. however their organisations have failed to realise these statements as the managers have little skill in creating the culture that thrives on such statements.