What do you really mean?

by Mike Brown

What do you really mean?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 BrownMike Brown is an award-winning marketer and strategist with extensive experience in research, strategy, branding, and sponsorship marketing. He’s a frequent keynote presenter on innovation and authors Brainzooming!

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