Remember when mission statements and corporate values were the big buzz words on the block? It all started in the late 1990s. Big shot management gurus adopted this theory that if chieftains of the organization came together and developed a mission that drives a company, the company would flourish, and its people would multiply, and they would be proud.
There are two misconceptions about this theory. One is that it was a new concept. I disagree. Let’s go back to school. What made you proud of your school? The school motto. Its colors. Its song. Its history of remembering the motto, the colors and the song, passed down from generation to generation. I would say that schools — the teachers, the PTA, the principal, and the students — developed the first mission statement and values we’ve adapted to the business world. And it was these emblems that made you true to your school.
The second misconception is that a good mission statement will make an organization successful. What is that malarkey all about? One of the easiest things to do is bring a group together with the sole purpose of writing an organizational mission statement. One of the hardest things to do is get it right.
Do your mission statement and corporate values hang, yellowing and ragged, on the wall or cubicle of every employee? Never read, never said? If they’re just a bunch of words with no action behind them, then, yes, those papers are yellowing like an unused ribbon in a box that’s never opened. Doing no one any good. Certainly not making your company bigger, better or stronger, prouder.
Most schools last for many generations. And their colors, their motto, their song, never change. Because, after all, they stand for why the school exists and they create a sense of self in the history of the school. To tamper with them would be sacrilegious. The same should be true for a mission statement. So, a lot of thought should go into it. Your wishes, dreams, business and cultural goals for the organization should be part of your mission and core values. Otherwise, it’s just useless wallpaper framing a disillusioned work force.
Several years ago, we, like most organizations, brought a team together to write a mission statement. But, before we cast it in type, we wanted to make sure it had the strength to outlive generations of Shamrock employees. We asked for input from everyone at Shamrock. We made sure it not only served the needs of our customers, but that it also served the needs of everyone who worked at Shamrock. We plan to have our mission statement and values around a long time. It will remain true to our school of thought. Don’t believe me? Check out our mission, values and philosophy for yourself at https://shamrockcompanies.net.