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"(Office Story)...Mission Statement" Topic


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758 hits since 23 Jul 2013
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jul 2013 1:53 p.m. PST

..We (as in our office), is going "corporate"….

And I educated my boss….

I've noticed this recently with certain small 'administrative changes" that have been undertaking here recently.
Today in our staff meeting, the final thing we had to go over was something that was pulled on us.
Boss looks at us and says "We have to have a mission statement."
I cringe when I hear those words…
So he tosses up what he "thinks" is the perfect "mission statement for the department".
Everyone reads it, and there is an uncomfortable silence…
He says "Is everyone okay with this?"
I raise my hand…
"May I speak openly?" I ask him.
He tells me "Sure."
I look at it and look at everyone and then him. "I'm not trying to make waves or cause issues, but I'm going to be a bit unpfrofessional here. That statement is too darn long."
People murmured their agreement.
I continued. "Look…I've been here in this industry for almost 20 years…Mission statements should be short, sweet, to the point, and easy to remember. Here you have four very long complex sentences filled with vagueness and technical jargon backed up by six bullet statements. That's not a mission statement, that's a performance profile and outline."
Boss then says "So how can we make this better?"
I then explain two fundamental things about mission statements:
"1: The purpose of a mission statement is to give people a basic idea of what we do as a department and how we meet their needs. The simpler we can make the statement while focusing on that, the beter.
2: Mission statements should be decisive, and brief, yet have room for flexibility. Do not use five dollar words in a fifty cent statement or else you will A: Lose 90% of the people as they will not know what you are talking about. B: Someone will actually ask you "What do you mean by that?" and so if you have to explain yourself, then your mission statement has failed, or C: Someone will see through the smoke and mirrors, and realize the bs for what it is."

One of the programmers says "Wow..sounds like you've done this before…"

I respond "I was in the military for 15 years…"

Boss then says "Well how do you know if your mission statement works?"

I shrug…"That's easy. Read your mission statement between 3-5 times out loud. Then turn off the screen and go get a cup of coffee. Come back and sit down and see if you can remember it word for word, or mostly word for word. If you can't get half of it because you've forgotten it….then it's a fail…"

So we take a break….Boss sits there going over it, again and again and again….I wander out to get coffee…and chat with a network guy.
About 10 minutes later he comes back…"Son of a *****" he says to me quietly. "I just tried it and you were right…I couldn't remember it and I WROTE the damn thing."

I nodded and smiled and sipped my coffee.

So for the second part of the meeting, he shows us "the improved mission statment: Two simple sentences saying essentially that "we provide our customers high speed, real time IT support and assistance to help solve their problems."
And no bullet statements…

But the fact that we are no getting a "mission statement", is the beginning of "Reeking of Corporatism", that is beginning to concern me….

I really love this company and the last thing I need or want to see happen to it is for it to become Dunder-Mifflin, or Dilbert World….

sigh…

Submitted respectfully;

Murphy

Streitax Inactive Member23 Jul 2013 2:17 p.m. PST

Sure as the stuff that falls out our rear ends, as a company grows/becomes successful, someone decides they need some 'professionals' to help them put it all together. So they hire a bunch of MBAs with no experience in their industry. So they do the only thing they know how to do, org charts, mission statements, bean counting. Classic example? Pfizer hires a guy who ran Boston Chicken as CEO. Four years later he's out and the company is trashed. What did he do to fix it when he was hired? Picked the guy who led them into the mess they were in to lead them out. Yeah, that works. 'Gee, Captain, here we are in the middle of a minefield with half the company lying dead or wounded, what should we do?' 'Bayonet the wounded, form up and keep on marching. This minefield can't go on forever.' Yeah.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member23 Jul 2013 3:01 p.m. PST

You would love the Mongol Embassy's MS then.
'Get their money first, then socialize!'

charared Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2013 3:19 p.m. PST

How 'bout a *NEW* "MS" required EACH year for public library!?!

Submitted along with a meaningless budget (if there WERE extra $$$ just floating about in the State budget, the library would be the VERY *last* to see any).

Just more paper to file in more file cabinets which were purchased… (oh, well).

Public "service" is it's own level of hell.

frown

TNE230023 Jul 2013 5:49 p.m. PST

I once had to listen to a CEO state that the solution to losing customers because of QA issues was to:

"lower customers' expectations"

only management was surprised when we kept losing customers!

Nick Bowler23 Jul 2013 6:08 p.m. PST

I work in Dilbert world. On my 3rd reorg in 6 months. Its how I can pay for miniatures.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2013 6:09 p.m. PST

Someone should hunt down the SOB who came up with the term "Mission Statement" and shoot him down like a dog in the street.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian23 Jul 2013 6:16 p.m. PST

But does it meet the "Vision"?

Jay Arnold Inactive Member23 Jul 2013 6:52 p.m. PST

You mean commander's intent? That's in the Execution paragraph.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2013 7:35 p.m. PST

After being a dispatcher for AAA Emergency Service, they asked for a mission statement and I said.."To bring Order to Chaos."….I got out of a lot of meetings.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2013 8:15 p.m. PST

Saber6's comment is apropos. Next will be management's
'vision'.

Wretched, retched world…

MahanMan Inactive Member23 Jul 2013 11:23 p.m. PST
Militia Pete Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2013 4:44 a.m. PST

Here is one:
Quality is defined by customers.

You can also now start on the corporate core values…..

jdpintex24 Jul 2013 6:30 a.m. PST

Meh, Mission Statements are easy.

Just wait until you have to develop Management Systems and Control Frameworks. Then you'll really know what hell is. :)

Personal logo The Tin Dictator Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2013 7:22 a.m. PST

"We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganization; and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization."
– Petronius Arbiter – Greek Navy – 210 BC

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2013 3:19 p.m. PST

ooh ooh ooh. Does anyone else have to "close the loop" each year?

Gotta love it.

Militia Pete Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2013 5:56 a.m. PST

I remember with "Big Evil Shipping Company" in 2008 we had cost controls. This included a 5% reduction in salary, elimination of bonuses (15% of a managers pay) 301k match, and no pay increases unless it was a promotion.
This was in order to keep other team members employed.
Yea, three months later a bunch got laid off.

Just a note, we never got our 5% (plus 3% cost of living increase) back. But, the stock is above $100 USD dollars !??????

zippyfusenet Inactive Member26 Jul 2013 3:56 p.m. PST

And Catbert, the evil Human Resources Director, was purring…

Did you buy any of your own company stock and benefit that way? It's the American thing to do, to bet on yourself. Just make sure you diverify that 401K, 'cause what goes up must come down.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member27 Jul 2013 11:51 a.m. PST

I've always used a variation of "To crush your enemies, see them run before you and hear the lamentations of their women."

Talisman27 Jul 2013 6:08 p.m. PST

My favorite mission statement;

Satisfy your clients.
Make money.
Have fun.

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