From Randall Hoven:
I was originally in favor of the concept of mission statements. It is important to know what you are really doing and why it is important. We should be purpose-driven and not just go through the motions or do daily tasks mindlessly.
The trouble usually came from the group meetings. Mission statements resulting from group meetings seemed to have two features in common:
(1) We are saving the world.
(2) We don't seem to do anything specific; the statement could apply as well to a group designing military fighter jets for Boeing as to one assembling toasters for Target.
I recall a typical mission statement as going something like this:
To enhance value for our stakeholders, in partnership with our suppliers and customers, by delivering world-class quality products and services, by empowering our teammates in an environment of mutual respect and diversity, and by fostering sustainable industry-community relationships.
I came to believe we could randomly mix and match phrases using key words like "enhance," "value," "world-class," "quality," "stakeholders," etc. and do just as swell a job.