Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Mission Statements

It's the new catch you know your mission statement?  Everybody's doing it.  Workplaces have them, families, churches, even factories have them.  What are they exactly?  How are they arrived at?  Aww, there-in lies their rub with me.  How ARE they arrived at?  HOW are THEY arrived at?  They are arrived at by a team of people known as a committee.  (COMMITTEES-defined as the place where good ideas go to die.  These committees are also places where, if the committee is friendly together, many rabbits will be chased, caught and released. The right is reserved to chase,catch and release said rabbits again.  If the committee is not so friendly, two main people will speak freely and often, grow a bit contemptuous with one another and make the rest of the committee side up.  These battle lines will make all future meetings a source of dread to all the other committee members.  The two 'side leaders' will look forward to each and every battle, er, meeting.)

So, all these committee meetings will eventually produce the mission statement.  It will be glorious.  It will be lovely.  The committee will be proud of it and have a sense of ownership because they will know exactly how many hours of blood, sweat and tears went into it.  They will know exactly how many hours they wasted spent invested in the mission statement.  The strong need to nurture the mission statement, defend it and rally it will be evident to any one that dislikes the mission statement.  In fact, the mission statement has the potential to become a topic so tender that it is discussed in hushed tones so that no committee member overhear said discussion.

The mission statement will serve no real purpose, nothing much will change, except some ideas may be shot down here and there because they don't line up with the mission statement.  A few other ideas will be supported wholeheartedly because they do line up.  Many of the ideas that line up will die due to lack of interest and involvement.  This will not be much of a change from life before the mission statement.

This post should be read with tongue firmly in cheek and yet...there is alot of truth buried in there.  I have been on committees, can you tell?  I think the same amount of energy spent on goal setting-concrete achievable goals like, "Hire a full time housekeeper after we save $500 in a custodial account.", not abstract goals like, "Be more missional in all activities."  Mission statements are politically correct.  The whole goal is for all of us to just get along, not get our feelings hurt, and be rejected softly...because of the lack of aligning with the mission statement NOT because your idea sucks out loud and everybody knows it.

I am unwilling to come up with a mission statement for my life.  I refuse, no matter how 'in vogue' it becomes.  I am willing to set some hard goals with time limits.  I know how I am and if I give myself a fluffy abstract mission statement, I will never do a thing towards accomplishing it OR I will be wildly successful for a month and then slack off down to nothing and then get a real sense that it is time to make some changes to the mission statement.  It is ALWAYS in MY best interest to steer clear of anything abstract unless it is some form of art and even could be dangerous.

1 comment:

Ami said...

::not using profanity::

Spent years in different corporate settings. So very glad to NOT be there now.

Mission statements are an empty gesture, meant to keep the peasants happy. Sort of like voting. If it really changed things, it would not be legal.