The life expectancy of Fortune 500 companies in the 1950s was 60 years. Today it is less than 15 years. Globalisation, technology disruption and the pace of change are killing off companies faster than ever.

To keep pace, organisations, their leaders, Boards and workforces are under enormous pressure to become more agile and stay relevant in the face of rapidly changing customer needs.

Mission, Vision, Values was never designed for leaders and their workforces trying to survive, let alone succeed, in this kind of economy.

Although an increasing number of leaders recognise the importance of ‘purpose’ in setting and maintaining organisational direction, most fail to achieve the clarity required to have a meaningful impact on business performance.

Why the Mission statement is failing business

Creates confusion rather than clarity

People are confused about the difference between Vision, Mission, and Purpose. Their statements often comprise corporate jargon, buzz words and marketing speak and, as such, are vague and confusing to employees, and customer alike.

Focus on the wrong human behaviour

Building behaviours around basic human values such as ‘Honesty’ and ‘Integrity’ results in action disconnected from the true purpose of an organisation and creates companies that are indistinguishable from their competitors.

No formal development process

There is still no universal, robust process for formulating purpose and it invariably comes down to the ability of the leadership team to define, with absolute clarity, what the organisation stands for and then articulate it in a way that everyone not only understands but can actually execute.

No formal embedding process

There is no definitive process for embedding purpose within a business, measuring engagement or monitoring effectiveness. That’s why employees often see them as window dressing.

Cost valuable leadership time

Workshops, retreats and endless meetings. Is it any wonder many Mission/Vision initiatives are treated as box-ticking exercises or abandoned entirely by frustrated CEOs?

Generalised and undifferentiated

Most Mission/Vision statements say nothing specific about ‘why the organisation exists’ and could easily apply to any similar business.