Posted by: Bill von Achen | October 24, 2009

Why Most Mission Statements Are Dumb

In developing a strategic plan, most company leaders start with creating a mission statement that defines who they are, and what they want the business to become in the future. Problem is that most mission statements wind up being just pretty sentiments that no more reflect the reality of the business than the fortune in your cookie at the end of a Chinese meal.

Writing in the current issue of Fast Company Magazine, columnist Nancy Lublin reviews the mistakes that we all make in writing mission statements (and I’ve made my share of those mistakes as well!). She also offers the following advice for those who want to take another stab at defining their business:

“Write a mission statement with a goal that’s an action, not a sentiment; that is quantifiable, not nebulous…Take your wonky mission statement and rip it to shreds. Then, ponder your ambition, and write and rewrite the thing until it reflects–in real, printable words and figures–the difference that you want to make.”

You can read Lublin’s entire column at And, just maybe you’ll be motivated to give your mission statement another look!


  1. Wrote about this article on my blog as well ~ love your line about the fortune cookie!

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