Friday, August 13, 2010

Mission Statements, Straplines and Similar Bollocks

For years I have found the idea of mission statements and straplines a waste of time, often bizarre and frequently downright corny and stupid.

Take Lancashire County Council for example. As you drive into the county you are greeted with signs proclaiming 'Lancashire-A Place Where Everybody Matters'. Oh aye. Does that include the wife beater, the rapist, the paedophile, the mugger, the murderer, the bank robber and all the other undesirables? Thought not. So you see, the welcome sign is pure bollocks.

Schools are great at this waste of time, effort and money. Signs proclaiming 'Most Improved School' merely tell me that you were crap last year, and maybe all the other schools were so good that any improvement you managed would have been more than the better schools' improvement, so you are probably still a shite school.

Take this bullshit mission statement from Easyjet:

“To provide our customers with safe, good value, point-to-point air services. To effect and to offer a consistent and reliable product and fares appealing to leisure and business markets on a range of European routes. To achieve this we will develop our people and establish lasting relationships with our suppliers.”

However much you fill your mission statement with impenetrable jargon and buzzwords it should still read: "We want to make as much money as possible". Yes even in schools and hospitals because ultimately they are all in it to pay the bills.

But one of the most unusual developments in bullshit in recent years has to be the overuse of the word 'solutions'. I'm tired of the number of businesses I see nowadays that include that word in their title. Computer solutions, logistics solutions and so on. If I contact somebody to sell me a computer it isn't a problem for which I need a 'solution', I'm just buying a computer. If I want to send a parcel to China, it's not a logistics problem needing a 'solution', it's a wish to send a parcel.

The daftest one I've seen recently was Fred Smith: 'Plumbing Solutions'. Whatever happened to Fred Smith: Fixin' 'Effin' Leaks'?

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