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When companies are trying to set the tone for both team culture and their brand positioning, there is often a lot of time spent wordsmithing mission and vision statements.Ruth Lund, President of the LEGAY Center, andKen Meyers, President of Panorama Foods, discuss how Ken’s early experience pitching the Smartfood brand relates to crafting a mission statement that really matters.

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Robert Glazer

Meghan Lynch

Ruth Lund

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Ken told the story of when he and his partner were in the throes of developing the business plan for Smartfood popcorn. The business plan said that they were going to generate a million dollars in revenues in the first year. Then Ken would go out and talk to people and try to get them to buy into our vision and support it and write checks. Investors would ask, “How do you know you’re going to do a million dollars?” His response would be “because it says so right here in the business plan!”

Ken’s point with this story is that there are altogether too many people who think the same way when they develop a mission statement or create documentation around what their culture is or is going to be. They spend a lot of time wordsmithing it, and then put it in a binder or on a website, and they think that their job is done. But the reality is that all of that thinking is really only as good as the actions taken behind it.

As Ken said, “You can write anything down, you can think anything up, but if it is not followed through on, if it is not really injected into the blood of the organization, such that it becomes a living, breathing mission, a living, breathing set of mile markers and guard rails, that everyone has absorbed internalized and cleaved to then it’s up no real value.”