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Company mission statements-- nonsense or actually damaging? - Input Junkie
November 30th, 2015
05:14 am


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Company mission statements-- nonsense or actually damaging?
Lucy Kellaway did one of those nasty little exiperiments-- she asked 20 managers to identify their company's mission statement. Only 5 managed it.

She then goes into why mission statements are potentially embarrassing guff-- VW listed sustainability as one of its values.

Here's the punchline:
Seventeen of Britain’s 100 biggest companies are sensible enough to have no values at all — or at least none they care to disclose on their websites. And how do they get along without them? Maitland suggests that these companies are laggards and that they should get in line. Values, the report says portentously, are the “next frontier”.

Absolute nonsense, and I have facts to prove it. I asked a man in our statistics department to crunch some numbers for me and compare an index made up of the 17 values refuseniks with one made of 83 who are toeing the line. He went off for a bit and has come back with a graph so conclusive that I hope it will stop all windy talk of value statements forever.

Over the past 10 years the 17 valueless companies have outperformed the others in the FTSE 100 Index by about 70 per cent.

If this is a consistent pattern, it's huge. It's very hard to find such a strong guide to investment.

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Date:November 30th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
Many years ago my then employer adopted a mission statement. It began, "To produce the products that X sells. . . ." There was no hint of commitment to any specific product, activity, or target market; it really just came down to "to make money." I've felt a certain cynicism about mission statements ever since.
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