Daily Archives: November 2, 2011

“Mission” vs. “Objective”


Very different, but rarely understood.


I have a friend, a very smart and successful businessman, who is completely disdainful of company "mission statements". He believes that they're useless; because he says a company's mission is to make money.


Making money is the OBJECTIVE of any for-profit business; but its MISSION is otherwise…a clear statement of what the company does — or strives to do — so employees and shareholders understand its activities.


Most of the so-called mission statements I have seen — from prominent and successful companies, large and small — deserve my friend's disdain. They're a bunch of verbal drivel, often waxing philosophical about their values, their place in the world, and how they love their customers. Nonsense…real mission statements don't contain such crap. Here are a few good ones…and the good ones are rare.


Google:  Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.


Hulu:  Help people find and enjoy the world’s premium video content when, where and how they want it.


Applied Micro Circuits:  To be the premier supplier of high-bandwidth silicon for the world's intelligent optical networks.


The William C. Norris Institute at the University of St. Thomas:  Support the commercialization of innovative, socially beneficial technologies by Minnesota entrepreneurs.


Public Radio International:  Engage listeners with distinctive radio programs that provide information, insights, and cultural experiences essential to understanding a diverse, interdependent world.


These are all excellent and understandable. Unfortunately the people at Greenpeace don't seem to know the difference between goals, missions, visions, and tactics; and their "statement" is much too long and rambling. I won't bore you with it here; because bad mission statements — and NON-mission statements — are readily available everywhere. We shouldn't be wasting our collective time reading them.






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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Uncategorized