Mission statements are supposed to be the ultimate piece of prose: in one sentence you have the entire essence of a company: what you stand for, what your values are, how you treat customers, everything. This is serious stuff. Making jokes about the mission statement is often considered committing sacrilege. 

Mission statements often feature on page 2 of a corporate presentation, right after the title slide. Here you are: our company in one sentence.

It takes time to develop a good mission statement. Projects to craft one can take weeks. The entire organization needs to be involved. Words need to be adjusted. Values need to be discussed.

And that is exactly the problem for an external audience. They miss the context of the 3-week project. They miss the background of the debate. They have no idea about that offsite where you discussed your company's values. For someone who reads the mission statement for the first time, it is well, just another sentence with familiar sounding words.

The ultimate example of the Curse of Knowledge.

When I pooh pooh mission statements in presentations I did not mean to make fun about the values of your company. I think mission statements are valuable. Slide 2 of your presentation is just not the right place for them.

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