Osborne, Larry. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 7, “Why Mission Statements Matter: How Clarity Accelerates Innovation” (Loc. 596-727)
Osborne identifies the mission statement as “one of innovation’s most potent accelerators” Loc. 599). To be an effective mission statement, he says “it must be ruthlessly honest, widely known, and broadly accepted” (Loc. 605). He looks at each of these categories in turn. Under the category of being ruthlessly honest, he rejects slogans which make statements that cannot be measured. The mission statement is intended to keep people in the organization focused on priorities. It is not primarily a marketing move (Loc. 628). Osborne goes on to discuss making sure the mission statement is widely known (Loc. 653). Repetition is very important even for brief and punchy mission statements (Loc. 665). Finally, the mission which is not widely accepted within the organization will fail. Osborne considers it easy to have vision acceptance at first. To avoid mission drift and conflicting agendas, he says vision recalibration and realignment is important (Loc. 684). If people are not on board with the mission they need to leave (Loc. 696). Osborne also points to a mission statement as an accelerator for innovation (Loc. 700). The clarity of vision tells innovative people what purposes to pursue. Osborne closes his chapter with some questions to ask in clarifying a mission statement.