The member benefits section in the latest Golden Key newsletter features an announcement of a business partnership. Take a look at the first paragraph and see if you can figure out what the company does:
Owens Corning is a company with an unwavering commitment to delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives. It’s who we are. It’s why we are here. We do it by fully engaging our employees in support of growing our customer’s businesses. And when we do, we grow ours as well.
The second paragraph explains that they manufacture building supplies and provide construction services. The third contains a brief summary of the company’s history.
Now, tell me, what that hell is the point of the first paragraph? As best as I can tell its purpose is to make readers tune out before they actually get to the informative stuff.
Too many mission statements (my own firm’s included) come across as executive brainstorming sessions where the reocrd-keeper was instructed to take every single one of the ideas thrown out and turn them into one or two clause-laden sentences. They rarely make any sense, and when they do they’re usually trite beyond words.
My company also has a trio of “core values” that actually functions better as a mission statement — and, in fact, these are used when looking at proposals and directions (“how does this fit into our core values?”). So the concept of trying to sum up something about your company in a few phrases isn’t necessarily a bad one — it’s just too often badly executed.
I intend to conquer the earth and enslave your race to my values!
how’s that for a mission statement?
Hmm, it’s clear and concise. The only ambiguity is in “my values,” since the reader doesn’t necessarily know what the speaker’s values are.
But it clearly conveys that the speaker is in the world domination business. As mission statements go, that’s well ahead of the crop!
This cracked me up! Reading through that first paragraph, I though the company is some sort of a business strategy consulting firm. Building supplies and construction services, eh? 😉