Well, is a mission statement important? Should your company have one? Probably not.

You should only consider a mission statement if it can pass two important tests.

1. Does it make sense to your consumer? No, not your people, your people should know their job. That’s your job. The mission statement is a promise to your customer. If they don’t understand it, why bother? In other words, delivering solutions with ever improving quality tells me nothing. Skip it.

2. Will you actually live up to it? Most companies do not live up to their mission statements. In fact, few even come close. When you babble about continuous improvement and quality and love for humanity on the signature line of every email in response to every customer problem you just look foolish. Skip it.

If you’re going to adopt a mission statement, and I still am not sold that you should waste your time doing so, it needs to meet the tests above or it will do more harm than just a little harm.

Quick! If your company has a mission statement, can you say it without looking at it? Ha! See?!

Chris Reich thinks you’d better clean up the office and focus on service before conducting endless meetings to agree on the wording of a mission statement.