|Improving Customer Service
Issue # 37 of 70
By: Dr. John T. Self
The Mission of the Mission Statement
Ahhh, the mission statement.
One of the greatest examples of a mission statement (although light on Political Correctness):
"To boldly go where no man has gone before."Note the passion: not just go, but boldly go.
Also note the clear focus and direction: Go where no man has gone before.
Passion, clear focus and direction, not to mention the most important thing: They lived their mission statement. It wasn't some corporate slogan generated to look good for stockholders in their multicolored annual report. The crew of the Enterprise lived it. Each and every crew member knew it and was expected to live by it. Indeed, they were proud to live, and be influenced by, the mission statement in their daily routines.
Is fact so far removed from fiction that this blending of mission and behavior is simply not possible today? Why are so many companies not living their mission statement? How many people who are reading this know their own company's mission statement?
If not, the mission statement must not be very important.
But therein lies the irony; it is important. Of course nothing can be seen as important when people don't even know it exists or don't understand it. Or the managers and the employees of the company really don't "own" it or buy into it.
Anyone who is a long time(Internet time) reader of this column knows I love sayings. One reason is that they can be so true. Take, for example, this old saying:
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
Definitely true and precisely put when the saying is applied to mission statements. Make it short, simple and elegant. The mission statement should encompass the core values of the company as well as its spirit and passion and it should be specific about where the company is going or how it is going to achieve the mission.
A process to accomplish this is the following:
Text © Dr. John T. Self, 1997,1998. Part of the original Sideroad.