We all seem to agree that mission statements need to change. Like our old analog TV that needs to be replaced with a sleek, up-to-date digital model, our clunky mission statements need to be traded in for sleek, jargon-free, concise, hard-hitting ones suitable for a digital, wired, and fast-moving world.
Lots of people have opinions about how to do this...some even think we should just forget about mission statements altogether.
John Haydon says, "State it simply - with balls - and then be done."
Dan Pallotta asks "Do you have a mission statement, or are you on a mission?
Kevin Starr of the Mulago Foundation insists that socially minded companies he funds can express their mission statement in under eight words.
Guerrilla Marketing wants your mission statement to answer three questions.
I happen to be a fan of mission statements. I think they are a way to keep an organization on point. If done well, they can even be featured on your website, not just buried on the About page.
Like the Lewis Carroll quote, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there," I do think a mission statement tells your organization and everyone else just where you are going.
My favorite approach to mission statements is that of the authors of Breakthrough Branding:
"Branding is also intimately connected with mission. Indeed, the two almost become one. Mission commonly drives a nonprofit organization, helps it to set priorities and keep the nonprofit on task. With breakthrough branding, mission becomes part of a 'brand platform' which then infuses the entire organization with its ultimate meaning."
All of that said, if you have an analog mission statement, change it right now. To provide some examples of some pretty decent, in my opinion, mission statements, I've put together a Mission Statement Showcase.
See what you think of these mission statements. Use them as models. Let us all know if you have an up-to-date mission statement and share it with us.
Photo: Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty Images