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July 31, 2005

Mission Statements

The company that currently pays my mortgage has decided to engage in a orgy of team-building enthusiasm on Friday and Saturday this week. Among other things we will be proactively re-engineering our mission statement, massaging our corporate goals and being bored out of our brains. As part of the reflective process that substitutes for preparation, I had to check out the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator. I reckon we could save heaps of time and have more fun by just clicking on 'Regenerate' until we get a good sounding (but meaningless) phrase like:

  • Our mission is to enthusiastically foster emerging infrastructures in order that we may completely engineer performance based intellectual capital to meet our customer's needs.
  • Our mission is to continue to efficiently disseminate quality data while continuing to authoritatively maintain unique sources to exceed customer expectations
  • Our goal is to synergistically build quality resources in order that we may authoritatively promote business content for 100% customer satisfaction
  • We have committed to enthusiastically foster inexpensive intellectual capital to allow us to authoritatively enhance diverse infrastructures while maintaining the highest standards

(All copied from the Dilbert generator).

Posted by Peskie at July 31, 2005 12:00 PM


I second the motion.. Dilbert Wins..

I will not participate in a meaningless exercise which the management need to develop themselves...

Posted by: MB at August 3, 2005 12:45 AM

Calling it meaningless may be somewhat extreme. Misguided - yes, meaningless - maybe. I think something happens when you become a manager - your grasp of reality begins to weaken and you start to hallucinate or fantasise about what might motivate people. I have down these exercises many times and the only people motivated by it are the managers who suggest it. The average peon only sees them as a time-wasting annoyance - to the extent that many of the peons would prefer to actually be at work...

Posted by: Ozguru [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 4, 2005 08:11 AM

I disagree Ozg, it is possible to do this in a constructive way but it needs participatory management - i.e. an environment where management seriously listen to their staff. In most workplaces, management give no more than a token nod to participation and then wonder why the h*ll the staff stop providing feedback or participation.
If you want to work out whether this applies to you, think about a major event that has happened inside your company - a reshuffle perhaps or a staff member leaving. How was this presented - was there "round table" style sessions or did a senior manager lecture everyone and then demand to hear opinions? In the later case, the way of presenting the facts and the body language are all designed to intimidate "peons" into "agreeing" or at least not "disagreeing" with the lecture.
I worked in a place where the morale was low and a number of staff had left. The management team started to harp on the phrase "dead wood". Whenever another person left, there would be "special" meeting and the most senior manager available would explain how the person who left was "dead wood". Everyone would be too intimidated to stand up and say "Hey, so-and-so was a hard worker who did a good job but just got tired of working for this place".
On the other hand if you really have good participatory management, then the "mission statement" exercise can be both productive and fun. It all depends on what sort of management you have...

Posted by: Rofl at August 4, 2005 08:29 AM

Holy crap - the beavers must have had a field day collecting all the "dead wood" from the Chatswood area lately - they must have build a fair sized damn by now.

Posted by: u know who at August 5, 2005 11:16 AM

wow - the beavers must have had a field day collecting all the "dead wood" from the Chatswood area lately - they must have build a fair sized damn by now.

Posted by: u know who at August 5, 2005 11:31 AM