On A Mission

At the end of last week, my Big Boss (the boss who begat boss who begat boss) gave a presentation to us troops. An “All Hands” is what they call these events. “Quarterly state of the department” and stuff like that.

We have a new Very Big Boss and so Big Boss had just given him an overview of who and what we are about. The All Hands was scheduled so that Big Boss could show us what he presented. This was so we could, you know, live up to all of his promises.

As part of the presentation, Big Boss unveiled our new mission statement.

I hate mission statements. I really do.

But to his credit, Big Boss was able to take our former three paragraph run on sentence and bring it to a few lines. The lines still say meaningless things, but it’s at least easier to read.

So thinking about mission statements and writing mission statements and the sort of language mission statements use, I figured there had to be someone out there who created an online mission statement generator.

I was right. Many are actually serious affairs, trying to genuinely help business people crank out something useful. I didn’t want that. Then I stumbled across this Mission Statement Generator. It uses a slot machine interface.

Now we’re speaking my language.

First pull:

We probably should be hindering a high level of employee dignity by dedication to bribery discarding all principles.

Oooh. Bribery. I do like the idea of a mission statement that fully owns up to the magic of kickbacks in the business environment.

But then again, Mr Sarbanes and Mr Oxley to tend to frown upon such things.

Time to pull the lever again:

We are committed to providing unquestionable investor return with quality products and integrity of the highest integrity.

Ah yes, investor return always a popular phrase. And throwing quality and integrity in there….good stuff. Integrity with integrity? Sure!

Pull three:

We are dedicated to challenging world-class dynamic metamorphosis by expansion through personal goals at the highest level.

Ok, now we’re talking. “World class”…a full bag of yes! Metamorphosis! Good, good. Expansion? Who can argue with that? We’re getting close, but I think we can do better.

Last pull:

We are committed to generating the full range of our staff development with expansion through added value from the lowest level.

Ok, that’s just downright scary. I think our actual mission statement says something almost exactly like that.

Creepy when comedy blurs the line into reality.

: shudder :

Image from the fabulous Rob Cottingham and his Noise to Signal cartoons. This particular panel couldn’t be more perfect! Used under a creative commons license.

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  • Lucky

    We have a mission statement at the middle school where I teach. You’d think our mission would be fairly obvious, but I guess not. I have no idea what this mission statement is, despite having seen it every day as I entered school. Something about expecting success from every student and believing every student can achieve. Or something.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Lucky – And I can tell that mission statement is inspiring you to even greater heights of educational excellence.

      Or something. ;)

  • Natalie

    One time I was chairman of a committee for some thing I don’t even remember exactly what it was called for pulling together community input around hiring the next superintendent of schools for APS. The other people on the committee just couldn’t believe a lowly parent was chairing… until I presented them with their first task: write a mission statement. They looked at me like I was from outer space. I’d read it was the right thing to do in some book about hiring superintendent of schools.
    Dumb as it was, it worked to pull those pretentious asses together and get them to listen to me.
    Blah, blah, blah.
    I’d rather just create a slogan. You know, like, “Finding the lesser of all evils to serve you, the none-involved but vocal public!”

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