Mission Statements That Make You Wilt

16 August 2017

Why do so many mission statements lack ambition, stifle creativity and come across as about as inspirational as Theresa May reading The Harvester menu?

The worst one I have personally ever seen was at a business I was working for, which had the statement:

“We aim to be the most creative, innovative business we can be.”

In itself, you could argue that it is well meaning. But this statement was in the font Arial with the company logo underneath…

Printed on an A4 sheet of paper…

Stuck to the wall of the toilet with Blue Tack.

It wasn’t even laminated!

It should have said, “We have recently been told by an expensive consultant to create a mission statement but we don’t really understand it, or believe it, so please excuse the fact that the way we say it lacks any creativity or innovation whatsoever.”

It’s a bit like USPs. If I could count the number of times someone has told me their Unique Selling Point, which sounds exactly the same as someone else’s. Or an ‘original’ concept that is about as original as a STEPS song.

Lots of marketers talk about touch points as places to connect physically but the touch should actually relate to feel.

In a world with trillions of web pages, inane social media posts and tweets and memes, and an audience with the attention span of a… What was I saying?… It’s time to create a brand proposition that sticks two fingers up to 50% of the people and connects strongly with the ones that matter, and that includes staff.

Take the mission statement I mention above. If you really do want to be creative and innovative, find a creative and innovative way to get that message across. You’ll attract a more cohesive group of employees, and clients, and create a business culture… which is the aim of the game in the first place. No amounts of A4 sheets of paper on a toilet wall can beat it!