Mission (Out of) Control

After a year of (painful?) meetings, Stanford Business School concluded that their mission was “to be the leading academic school of management in the world in terms of its impact on management theory, thinking, practice and performance.” Prior to that effort, we had no idea what they were about. Glad to have that cleared up. Years later, mission statements are still a key focus in the practice of strategy despite being almost ignored in the academic literature. One could ignore this in teaching strategy (many do) or one might discuss when mission statements are a grand waste of time and when they may prove to be useful. Automated mission statement generators help to make this point. While there are several good ones, this Mission Statement Generator is my favorite. With a single click, you can get profound statements like “It is our mission to continue to assertively operationalize principle-centered intellectual capital as well as endeavor to globally morph multimedia based solutions to meet our customer’s needs.” Of course, there is no shortage of Dilbert cartoons on the topic of mission statements. Now, Weird Al has gotten into the game with a new song that could have been written entirely from a mission statement generator. I think he deserves an honorary MBA for the strategic management anthem.

Contributed by Russ Coff

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