Found a great question asked by Katherine Ters over at the IABC Memberspeak forum, asking if Mission Statements were going out of fashion.
I can imagine mission statements going (slightly) away simply because the vast majority of readers of a mission statement are not emotionally impacted by them.
To take a ‘cluetrain’-ian perspective, the mission statement is, by and large, a statement of how well ‘we’ (the company) will do, not how ‘you’ (the customer) will directly be affected. Most mission statements miss the WIIFM factor.
If markets, both internal and external, are now conversations (and there is growing evidence that this is indeed the case) then the mission statement is a one-way monologue. And who wants to listen to yet another highly-paid executive lecture you when you are an employee or customer at the lower end of the food chain and are struggling to make ends meet… High ideals are great when you can afford them, but high ideals don’t feed the family.
However, the mission statement cannot afford to die entirely, because without it a company’s ‘reason to live’ dies with it. If you don’t know why you are or why you should be in the marketplace, don’t be.
To add another twist to the discussion, I came across this link to FastCompany and their mission statement: