Monday, 19 December 2016

Rule 90: Know the mission statement – and understand it


By on 11:40
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Football Buff, Kojo Williams


In the good old days, a company’s mission statement was probably ‘Make as much money as possible and keep the shareholders off our back’.  Not any more it ain’t.  A mission statement is now much more complex.  If you want to make a success of your employment, you have to know and understand the mission statement – and then milk it for all you are worth.  Quoting the mission statement earns you brownie points if you make sure it looks as if you are really on the side of the company.  If your boss doesn’t support the mission statement, or considers such things as rubbish and not worth bothering with, then keep quiet about mission statements.

To understand the mission statement is usually quite easy – Walt Disney’s ‘To make people happy’, Wal-Mart’s ‘To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people’ – but to really understand it, you have to read all the small print.  For instance Disney’s is quite simple but there is a whole lot more because they also have a ‘value statement’ which covers:

·                    No cynicism
·                    Creativity, dreams and imaging
·                    Nurturing and promulgation of ‘wholesome American values’
·                    Fanatical attention to consistency and detail
·                    Preservation and control of the Disney ‘magic’.

 “To understand the mission statement is usually quite easy – Walt Disney’s ‘To make people happy’, Wal-Mart’s ‘To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people’ – but to really understand it, you have to read all the small print

If you can’t find something here – assuming you work for Disney – to milk, you aren’t worthy of calling yourself a Rules Player.  Imagine what fun you could have with some of these.  Imagine what power you would wield at meetings just quoting some of this. Someone suggests an idea you don’t like, you could just say it isn’t wholesomely American.  Brilliant.  It’s like being part of the Spanish Inquisition – our chief weapons are... Amongst our many weapons are such diverse….

Some historical mission statements were very grand and could have safely been milked for all they were worth:

·                    Ford (early 1900s) – Ford will democratize the automobile
·                    Sony (early 1950s) – To become the company most known for changing the world-wide poor-quality image of Japanese products.
·                    Boeing (1950) – to become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age.
·                    Wal-Mart (1990) – to become a $125 billion company by the year 2000.

(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to Identify & Handle the Opposition” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

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