Many (okay, let’s be real, nearly all) corporate visions, missions, values, BHAGs (you name it), sound alike. They either extol bland concepts (i.e., “our associates will be the best”) or meaningless ideas (i.e., “our human intellectual capital will leverage world-class synergies”).

If you have boring or confusing strategic statements in your business, here’s an approach to correct it: ask the questions below to help simplify and enrich the language in your strategic statements:

  • How would customers describe what we’re talking about in ways very meaningful to them?
  • If we were telling somebody who knows nothing about our business about why this idea is important to the company’s success, what would we say?
  • How would we communicate this in a way that really inspires our employees to greatness? How about potential employees?
  • What are more emotional words to describe this statement?
  • How will we talk about it when we’ve accomplished this goal?
  • How would one of our mothers proudly tell a relative about what we’re trying to do?
  • If we had to explain this to children, what would we say so they could understand it and be able to act?

Give these questions a try with your management team or on your own. Take the words and phrases you imagine and start turning strategic corporate speak into language that moves the hearts, minds, and actions of everyone in your company! – Mike Brown


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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4 Responses to “What Are We Trying to Say?”

  1. Mike Brown says:


    TODD SCHNICK said…
    Very helpful. Thanks!
    November 2, 2009 5:35 AM

    Mike Brown said…
    Glad this was helpful for you Todd.
    Here’s an interesting link in the other direction: create a cumbersome academic sentence! Just picked this up off Twitter via @trachandler and @c4lpt. http://bit.ly/2dm7AA
    November 7, 2009 7:32 AM


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