Friday, September 19, 2008

Name That Mission Statement!

Corporations sometimes hire a consultant to come in and sit with the principals in a conference room with a flip chart and colorful markers to devise a mission statement. When I worked at Rhino Records, we went through some big changes and decided to rewrite our mission statement, only to discover we didn't have one to begin with.

Harold swore he'd seen it in his desk drawer recently. It took us TWO WEEKS. We kept arguing about how to include some reference to making money, as if not including it specifically would lead us to forget that aspect. "Oh shit! We should be charging for this stuff!" I argued that it was implied by the mission and it just sounded tacky and low rent to say it. "Money is not the mission," I argued. "Money is the result of successful execution of the mission." But sure enough, at the end of a beautiful statement about integrating community service into our work and being teachers to each other and creating amazing CD re-issues it said, "and to make a little money." It was so falsely modest, as if the money was an afterthought..."yeah, well hey maybe we can make a little, no big woop."
Anyway, I subscribe to some unlikely blog updates from people who tend not to align with my values. I amuse myself with the other side's view. Sometimes NOT so amusing. I found the mission statement of a company whose name I will not reveal yet because I want you to guess who it is. This one has consultant stains all over it as do most, using the awkward obfuscation of management-speak, the sort George Carlin could reduce to smoldering ash in short order. I challenge you to find any clue as to who this is based on the statement:

Innovation Begins with Experience

___________efficiently and effectively integrates a wide range of resources and core competencies to provide unique and timely solutions that exceed our customers’ stated needs and expectations.

We are guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world. __________ professionals leverage state-of-the-art training facilities, professional program management teams, and innovative manufacturing and production capabilities to deliver world-class, customer-driven solutions.

Our corporate leadership and dedicated family of exceptional employees adhere to essential core values- chief among these are integrity, innovation, excellence, respect, accountability, and teamwork.

Insurance? Accounting? Shipping? Okay, ready? It's Blackwater, I subscribe to their weekly email...just to confuse the Homeland Security spies. "Huffington and Blackwater? Do we terror-list this guy...or hire him?"


Wednesday's Korner said...

I guess "outsourcing" and "world-class" are considered synonymous to the D.O.D. these days. But I wouldn't classify them as that when looking at's definition: 1. Ranking among the foremost in the world; of an international standard of excellence; of the highest order
2. Great, as in importance, concern, or notoriety.

Anonymous said...

I was going to guess "The haymarket"