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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Remembering the mission statement

Do you ever have moments when you realize that you've forgotten something basic in the clutter of time and process? So I felt at our bi-annual planning meeting last week when we were to discuss the company's Mission Statement.

I had failed to connect that we actually had developed our Mission Statement at an earlier planning meeting, and the Action Item to review and develop new "tag lines" for this statement actually represented an updating and clarification, rather than "create from scratch" process. But, no, I went out over the Christmas period, blogging my thoughts on this topic, and coming up with some tentative wording for a new Mission Statement.

Well, all this came crashing down to earth when facilitator/consultant Bill Caswell pointed out the page number and specific references to the Mission Statement in the corporate business plan. So here we have the company president, in front of the entire team, having to admit he had obviously forgotten to reread the plan before trying to reinvent the wheel.

Fortunately, I have a thick skin, coupled with a healthy degree of humility about my weaknesses. We only needed 15 minutes to review the Mission Statement, tweak some wording, and then set it out and back into the business plan. Here it is:
Construction News and Report Group of Companies
Mission Statement


The Purpose of Construction News and Report is to provide news about the construction industry. Specifically our purpose includes providing news that readers wouldn’t otherwise get, devoid of prejudice, so that readers can make better, more informed decisions and, in turn, provide better business solutions that serve their own clients. At the same time, Construction News sets out to be the heartbeat of the industry that binds people together, and to provide value to the readers.


The five-year Vision of Construction News and Report is, by 2012, to be functionally operational[1] in at least 12 locations across North America with annual sales above $6 million. A longer-term vision is, by 2020, to be functionally operational2 in at least 30 locations around the world3.


The Values of Construction News and Report, to which we will adhere as we execute our Purpose in quest of our Vision, are:

· To report with objectivity, avoiding undue influence in editorial content
· To have integrity in all that we do, including reporting and operations

Appended to the Mission Statement is this note:

Note that this full Mission Statement is for internal use. For clients and others outside of Construction News, a condensed version of the Mission Statement would be presented. For example, a tag line might be: Construction News - The heartbeat of the industry that binds people together, and provides value to readers.

Now, I'm somewhat troubled that something as important as the company's mission statement so much slipped my mind that I set out to create a new one from scratch! But that is the nature of this sort of thing -- while mission statements are important and reflect the core values of a business, and therefore can guide us when we are making our strategic and operational planning decisions, they also have a tendency to be somewhat abstract and distant from the hard-rock, nuts and bolts of day-to-day business. Or it could be that the mission statement is so obvious that we simply know it by heart, and therefore don't think about it too much.

Whatever, I'm humbled by my experience but think it right to set out the Mission Statement here for everyone to see.

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