Excerpt from “Corporate Crap” – Chapter 10: Mission/Vision/Values

Published December 16, 2018

Semantics on Steroids

Among my least favorite meetings to attend during my forty years
in corporate America were those devoted to helping companies
write or recast their “mission, vision, and values” statements. As
a corporate wordsmith, I was invited to participate in a number
of these games of high-level corporate semantics. Companies
think these carefully crafted declarations of self-righteousness say
something unique about them and help define their “cultures.” The
reality is that it is hard to distinguish these things from one company
to the next, and most people don’t care about them outside the
executive suite.

Inside corporate boardrooms, however, a company’s mission,
vision, and values statements take on exaggerated importance. Some
organizations view them as if they were the Ten Commandments,
which is appropriate given that the process to create them is no
less arduous than Moses could have endured. Corporate executives,
middle managers, and consultants spar over every word as if the
future of the company rode on which unnecessary hyperbolic
adjective to include…