mission statements

Subject: mission statements
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 09:43:50 EST

Kari Alt <kdalt -at- MICRON -dot- COM> wrote:

> My Technical Communications group is in the process of
developing a mission statement--I searched the archives and found
only a few references to M.S--so I am curious if any of you out
there would like to share your mission statements or give me some
ideas on what should be included. Any input would be greatly

Sit down, children, and I'll tell you all about a division and
its mission statement.

Once upon a time, there was an division that lived in a house in
the forest. It had a papa and a mama and about fifty children.
Some of the children had more responsibility than others -- let's
call them managers.

One day, Papa decided to go for a walk to the beach and make a
mission statement. He asked Mama to come with him, and he also
asked all the manager children to come with him. The forest paid
the bill for this walk. The other children stayed behind and did
the work of the division, cleaning and cooking and all the little
tasks that ran the division.

Papa thought it would be a good thing for the division to develop
a mission statement, so that all the other inhabitants of the
forest would know what the division was all about and so that the
division would redouble its efforts and make lots of money for
the forest. So Papa, Mama, the manager children, and some other
very important people in the forest worked long and hard over a
three-day weekend at the beach to develop this mission statement.

When they came back, behold! A wonderful mission statement had
been created! Papa and Mama even brought back sumptuous presents
for the children who had stayed behind -- each child got a lovely
T-shirt with the name of the forest embroidered on it!

And they all lived happily ever after. -- What's that you said?
What did the mission statement say? Well, nobody really knew.
It sounded like every other mission statement I've ever heard.

-- How did it affect the forest? It didn't. In fact, the
children who had stayed behind scoffed at it. They were angry
that Papa, Mama, and the manager children had gotten a free trip
to the beach. They also resented the mission statement, because
they felt their ideas were ignored. They told Papa and Mama

-- What did Papa and Mama do about it? Nothing, really. The
mission statement is framed and hung everywhere in the little
house, but nobody pays any attention to it.

-- Did the forest become more profitable as a result? Did the
house run more smoothly? Well, Papa left Mama about a year after
the mission statement, and the house runs about the same as it
ever did. The children who did all the work make fun of the
mission statement and pass around Dilbert strips that seem to
have been written about the little house in the forest.

That's enough questions, children. Time for milk and cookies and
then a nice nap. Run along, now!

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
BNA and I do not speak for each other. The company also does not
speak for fortune cookies. Today's message:

Wisdom is the principal thing.

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