A good mission statement will incorporate things that are common across three areas:
- Things you are well known for and/or do really well
- Things your clients expect from you
- Things you strive to be known for
Hopefully there are a few characteristics that fall in all three categories. Then they can be incorporated into a mission statement with a few well placed verbs and perhaps an enhancing adjective or two.
I pulled some examples from various sources to help spur ideas. Some were:
We are a team of talented professionals committed to creating great ideas that get results for our clients and impact positive change in the world as well as our lives.
To be the agency of choice, recognized as a leader in marketing-driven programs, creativity, measurable results and community service.
For kicks, I went to the Dilbert website and pulled up his mission statement generator. The above statements were likely created from hours of thought and insight. Dilbert’s are created with the push of the Enter key.
We exist to authoritatively restore high-payoff content to allow us to enthusiastically integrate world-class benefits
We exist to proactively negotiate emerging products to allow us to professionally leverage other's virtual methods of empowerment
We envision to completely maintain business deliverables in order that we may interactively enhance progressive products to stay competitive in tomorrow's world.
I have to admit, none of these sample statements are even remotely close to anything we could rally around. We are in the advertising industry and although our specific niche isn’t in developing creative, we are very creative at what we do (media planning and buying if you want to look it up).
But I wanted to see where it would lead. I got all flip-chart happy and the peeps shouted out ideas. They seemed to be having fun with it. Every time I turned my back to write on the chart, they sounded busy coming up with ideas and giggling with glee. I was glad they were into it and proud of myself for running fun meetings. I’d turn to them and they’d all have big grins and shout out more ideas so I’d have to add them to the charts.
The key traits we landed on that fit all three categories were:
- New ideas/insightful
So, according to all the experts, our mission statement should say something like:
We are industry leaders who deliver results by providing creative, and insightful guidance through new and innovative thinking, while maintaining a fun and smart personality.
Right? Per all the worksheets, we come up with some mumbo jumbo shit like this that is supposed to be our company rally cry? It just doesn’t feel right for us.
But the peeps were all having fun and seemed to like the process. I turned back around and this is why they were having so much fun:
Yep, they were busy distributing fake mustaches to each other. And trying to coordinate the timing so they could all have them on and be looking right at me when I turned around from the flip chart.
I remarked that usually only porn stars have mustaches, but that I thought they were all on to something.
We haven’t settled on a mission statement yet. And I’m not sure what good this does for our clients, but so far I’m leaning toward something like this:
Earn a good living and have fun doing it.