NEED A MIS­SION STATE­MENT? WRITE ONE THAT WORKS

Inc. (USA) - - LAUNCH -

ASK WHY, NOT WHAT

Be­fore you pen a mis­sion state­ment, con­sider why your com­pany ex­ists, not just what it does. One com­pany’s ex­ecs told Brad Federman, COO of con­sult­ing firm F&H So­lu­tions Group, “We make elec­tri­cal parts. It isn’t sexy.” But its com­po­nents are in the Em­pire State Build­ing and the Golden Gate Bridge. That led to a new per­spec­tive and a clear mis­sion: “We help build and sus­tain Amer­i­can icons through qual­ity Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing.” KEEP IT SHORT

“Three sen­tences are about the most you should ever have,” says Federman. “If there are a lot of para­graphs, peo­ple won’t re­mem­ber them. One of the best was Pepsi’s one-time mis­sion state­ment ‘Beat Coke.’ Peo­ple would come to work think­ing, ‘How do I beat Coke to­day?’ ”

IF YOU CAN’T DO IT RIGHT, DON’T DO IT

“If a con­sul­tant or mar­ket­ing firm wrote it for you with nice, flow­ery lan­guage, it’s mean­ing­less,” Federman says. A bad mis­sion state­ment can hurt you, he adds. “If it says one thing and peo­ple see the com­pany do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent, it cre­ates doubt in em­ploy­ees’ and cus­tomers’ minds. You’re bet­ter off with­out one.”

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