Last week I covered why most Mission Statements are meaningless. So while I no longer believe in Mission Statements (or Vision Statements), here’s what I do believe in.
Whether it’s a networking event, a trade show or a social encounter, when you tell someone the name of your organization they always ask the same question: What do you do? And they want you to tell them in one, simple, easy-to-understand statement the essence of what your organization does.
When you want your people focused and motivated, looking beyond their day-to-day jobs, understanding the big picture, you have to continually convey one thing: What winning looks like.
What We Do and Winning are positioning statements. And good positioning statements have these elements:
1) Purposeful. They’re crafted with a particular audience and objective in mind.
2) Memorable. To be effective they have to be memorable and to be memorable they have to be concise. And not just a mash-up of overused words.
3) Conversational. The intent isn’t to end the conversation it’s to engage the conversation. Your statement should naturally lead to follow-up questions: How do you do that? What markets do you serve?
Yes, you should have positioning statements. Just don’t default to meaningless missions and vacuous visions.