Friday, September 7, 2012

Da Do Do Do, De Da Da Da - Avoiding Management Gibberish

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Is all I want to say to you - The Police - (Catch the video link here if you can't see the embedded code)

Seriously peeps, I'm ending up the week here on a funny note.  Well, it's a funny note in that "forehead slap and groan sort of way."

Recently, I was doing some browsing and I ran across a company website.  It looked like a company that I might be interested in so I stopped by to check them out. The name of the company was cool and the logo was fashionable but neither were particularly descriptive.  The home page was a little vague. So I immediately started looking for a vision or mission statement for clarification.  I mean who were these guys anyway?  What is their purpose?

Here is the honest-to-glob-I'm-not-making-this-stuff-up mission statement.

Our mission is to:

Deliver profitable solutions in a resource-limited world
Build successful long-term client relationships
Empower a healthy team environment

Well, that's underwhelming.

In fact, I'd say the gibberish up there is almost meaningless. Those are nice things to say, but who doesn't want to do those things?  Does any of that make you unique?  Is there anyone who says, "Our mission is to deliver unprofitable solutions and waste as many resources as possible, churn through clients like a bad B-move horror flick and treat our people like dirt?"  This consultant-ease seems sincere, but ultimately it is meaningless. Any statements that shed light on what they do, how they do it and who they do it for are absent.

We have a lot of examples of management gibberish floating around in the association community.  I have seen some doozys. People seem to either make their jargon as confusing as possible so they seem smarter, or as bland as possible so nobody could possibly be offended.  (I'm not throwing rocks at glass houses.  I have a "wordiness" gene and I often take 80 words to say what I could have said in 10.  I'm trying to be better with that.)

Regardless, I would encourage all of us to look at our vision and/or mission statements today with a critical eye.  Give them to a friend who knows little or maybe nothing about your association, and see if that friend can make heads or tails of them.  If nobody but you and your board can understand your sterile, inoffensive, cutesy, jargony mission statement then I don't care how much you paid your consultant for it - take it off your website.  Now.

Substitute a short paragraph about who you are as a placeholder and then spend some time with your volunteers retooling your vision and/or mission statements until you can quickly and clearly communicate who you are, what you do, how you do it and who you do it for.

I still have no idea what this company does.  No clue at all. I left the website minutes later and didn't look back.  Your members and potential members will do that on your website too.

I hope you guys get to create some "synchronicity" this weekend...:D - De Do Do Do Do.....


  1. Timely post for me, Shelly. NFPA is tweaking its mission statement as we speak, and I just led a brainstorming session with our staff in which two camps with alternate points of view about who we are and what we're supposed to be doing clearly emerged. Kind of underscored the need for clarity!

  2. Eric - Thanks so much for the comment. Clarity is the name of the of luck - I know you and your team will come up with something really great!

  3. Those who are living with a goal should go on achieving their targets and no to bother about anything. If anyone is starting his mission try to encourage them not to discourage them.

  4. Great points....being clear about who you are and what you are doing is key to success....

  5. If you really wanted to achieve something, just walk straight to your goal and not to worry for anything and don’t bother about others sayings which will really change your mind to another direction.

  6. Exactly! you are the one who knows your limits and capabilities, so do not hesitate once you decide on a certain matter. Self confidence plays a major part in everyone’s live.

  7. Thanks all for the great comments, I appreciate your readership....



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