Don’t write a mission statement; write a grandma statement!

For decades companies have proudly displayed their corporate mission statements on the masthead of their company websites and at the front of their annual reports.  Most of us pay little or no attention to what they say, but there are countless websites dedicated to their creation.  One of my many colleges professors (who’s name I can’t remember–he obviously made a lasting impression), taught that a well-crafted mission statement should communicate: the purpose of a business, the focus of a business, and the direction of a business; all in one sentence.

I often wonder who the first person was to be tasked with writing a mission statement.  Wait, nope, that’s a lie.  This is the first time I’ve ever thought about who the first person was… BUT, whoever the unlucky individual was probably intended it to be a clear, simple description of a business.  Instead, mission statements have gotten really complicated.  Run-on sentences (essentially a paragraph) full of corporate jargon and words Webster probably can’t even spell.

Mission statements may have been great for companies founded by baby boomers, but as a millennial I think you should give great consideration to the grandma statement.  What is a grandma statement?  It’s a statement about what you do that’s so simple even your grandma will understand it!

My first exposure to this amazing grandma trend was from a friend who also happens to be a millennial entrepreneur.  He owns an independent insurance company.  Instead of trying to explain the difference between independent insurance companies and your mainstream brands, like most of his competition is doing, he chose to sit down with his team and write a grandma statement.  They successfully crafted a statement that explains what their purpose, focus, and direction; as well as put his competition on their knees with three words:  Do Insurance Better.

I don’t know how a three-word statement looks in the front of an annual report, but if I were a stockholder I would be extremely happy with the company’s direction.

 

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