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different functions that make decisions If so, do they remember it daily?

Do they
daily. What synchronizes all of these apply it daily, especially when they make
functions so the body knows what to do decisions that affect the bottom line? The
and when to do it? The DNA. It contains most common answer: No.
all the necessary information to operate
and sustain the body through day-to-day Why is this so? Individuals within a
changes, generation after generation. business who make decisions impacting
performance and well-being all have
Your business is no different. Whether a different agendas and philosophies. It’s no
small enterprise or a multinational wonder we have departments competing
organization, it contains many elements: against one another: silos of people and
people, resources, systems, processes, cultures playing turf wars, with huge
decisions, policies, relationships, divides occurring between management
technology, cash flow and capital. Each and labor and more importantly, the
department, like the body’s systems, company and its customers. This discord
serves different, vital functions. doesn’t create value. It debilitates a
business from the inside out. Ultimately
tephen Covey’s Seven Habits of

S
What is the DNA in a business that everyone loses out: employees,
Highly Effective People states: informs its employees and leadership to executives, shareholders and customers.
“People can’t live with change if keep its operations efficient, effective and
there’s not a changeless core inside productive on a daily basis? Traditionally, Unfortunately, most mission statements
them. The key to the ability to change is businesses have relied on “mission” and don't work, notes mission expert Dr.
a changeless sense of who you are, what “vision” statements for both inspiration Christopher Bart, Professor of Business
you are about, and what you value.” A and direction. Ironically, these statements Administration at the Michael G.
successful organization in today's fast- have become mere sermons preaching Degroote School of Business, McMaster
changing marketplace is one that harmony and synchronicity in branding, University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
possesses a changeless core--the DNA leadership, operations and corporate He claims some even become “grief”
that tightly synchronizes its marketing, culture. statements.
operations, culture and leadership.
Have mission or vision statements really In working with numerous clients on
Putting business aside for just a moment, worked in practice? One way to know is to marketing and branding their products
let’s look at systems. The human body is ask whether your employees or suppliers and services, it has become apparent that
an intricate array of systems with know your mission or vision statement. missions are inadequate for guiding
a business effectively, as they are difficult sustainable way. Furthermore, mission Index (A.D. Little Survey, Sustainable
to apply in day-to-day and long-term statements seem to go out of fashion at Value Report, BMW Group, 2001/2002).
planning. Most often, they are long- every turn of leadership or change in What are the core differences, then,
winded, carbon copied, under-marketed season. As such, how can they build between a mission statement and a
and minimally utilized as an operational customer or employee loyalty, not to UPh™?
mantra. Despite the creation of a “feel- mention brand equity and sustainable
good” notion, a business with a mission shareholder value? A mission statement:
and/or vision statement can still be • is engraved on a plaque in the corporate
devoid of a single driving purpose that can There is a solution, however, to the boardroom or foyer; this is where usage
be sustained and delivered by the impracticalities of mission and vision typically stops
business, from employee through to statements. It is the “Unifying • is announced, and often changed with the
customer. Philosophy” statement (UPh™). Like introduction of every new CEO
DNA, a UPh™ is precise, pervasive and • does not have a limit to how long it should
Let’s look closely at the following mission unchanging. A UPh™ is an explicit be
statement taken from a major computer statement of a company’s raison d’être, • is typically regarded as rhetoric by
retailer’s website: expressed in six words or less. It has many employees
advantages over mission and vision • does not explicitly or implicitly sort its
Our mission is to be the most successful com- statements, rendering them redundant customer profile or type; hence, the 20/80
puter company in the world at delivering the and even obsolete. rule in where 20% of customers account for
best customer experience in markets we 80% of the business. How much does it cost
serve. In doing so, we will meet customer Al Ries and Jack Trout examined the a business to serve the 80% of the customers
expectations of: need for owning a philosophy in the that only yield 20% of the business?
classic, The 22 Immutable Laws of • is seldom developed by the company, its
* Highest quality Marketing. This concept is reinforced in people or its stakeholders
* Leading technology the creation of a UPh™, in which the • uses customers instead of the company as
* Competitive pricing voice of a business and its stakeholders is the focal point; the company then is pressured
* Individual and company accountability paramount to that of a marketing agency, to make unrealistic claims and ultimately fails
* Best-in-class service and support external focus group and even the to meet them
* Flexible customization capability customer. A UPh™ is not built by the • is a standard to which the company aspires
* Superior corporate citizenship customers but rather for them. The yet doesn’t deliver
* Financial stability accountability, ownership and buy-in • is accepted as the formula for building a
ensured by a UPh™ unifies an entire busi- great company, yet has no consistent
Can we identify the specific company by ness across all levels, thereby making a definition or proven system of development
this mission statement? Could we not company’s philosophy operational. • focuses on profitability criteria which in
attribute this statement to any computer most cases compromises corporate well-being
company? How would a customer know Has anyone successfully embodied the • is often created by an external agency
that this company takes pride in these idea of a UPh™? Does “The Ultimate which may or may not reflect the core spirit of
standards or even delivers on them? Lets Driving Experience™” sound familiar? the company
face it, what computer company would For over 35 years, BMW Group has
not want to claim this mission statement? consistently demonstrated excellence in In contrast, a UPh™ statement:
Would an employee reading this applying their philosophy throughout • is branded on every communication device
statement really know what is expected of every dimension of the company, its including ads, business cards, brochures etc.,
him or her? Hence we have a typical myriad internal systems and products. Its allowing customer and employee alike to
mission statement that becomes hard to philosophy is indeed vibrant in the recall and act on it
implement and one that clearly doesn’t makeup of each employee, director, share- • is implemented to whatever level the
differentiate this business from its holder, supplier and customer. business decides is required to back up its
competitors. claim
BMW’s philosophy is its driving force and • reinforces accountability, since it is explic-
A key problem with mission and vision it is no surprise that the company it in all communications
statements is that businesses are continues to sustain superlative corporate • includes one explicit benefit, an implicit
commonly not disciplined enough to performance and well-being. BMW is the definition of the market niche, and in most
commit to them, especially because they highest ranked car manufacturer as rated cases, a higher purpose of why the company
are difficult to execute in a practical or in the Dow Jones Sustainability Group exists
• explicitly identifies target customer(s), allowed our employees to focus on their on Time™’. As basic as it sounds, it is
especially the most prosperous one(s) mission: to provide superior fan products and profound because our competitors couldn’t
• is developed and implemented by the stake- service. By creating a powerful image that is and still can’t match our company’s freshness.
holders of the business constantly reinforced at tradeshows and Half of our company growth ($1.5 million) is
• integrates a company’s desire to through advertising, the new logo and UPh™ due to our UPh™. We are clearly more
continuously improve, be globally have also created an easily recognizable focal expensive than any of our competitors yet we
responsible, even spiritual point for our customers. There is no question still attribute 70% of our new customers to
• has its emphasis on prosperity not as to their expectations from us.” the fact they buy freshness.
profitability
• offers built-in sustainability Another compelling example of the “Despite taking one year to operationalize the
• directs a company’s public relations, success of a unifying philosophy is UPh™ across our company, we can now
marketing and advertising initiatives BREADSOURCE, formerly B&A Bakery attest with real proof that our return on
in Toronto. When work started with investment is nothing short of outstanding.
Having struggled in the past with a B&A Bakery on its corporate strategy and We still don’t advertise and yet our philosophy
mission statement, AEROFLO Inc. branding in 1997, it was a $4 million has spread widely, gaining market share
immediately recognized the merits of a dollar business with plans to double rapidly. We are not reactive to price
UPh™. After 13 years of leadership in earnings in the next five years and to anymore; we are now secure in the future of
the Canadian fan industry, the become an $8 million dollar company by our company.”
management of AEROFLO was 2003. The company wanted to replace the
reinforcing its presence in Canada and B&A name since it lacked any signifi- With four years behind their UPh™,
developing new business in the U.S. cance (it had been named after original BREADSOURCE prevails as a
through sister company, CFM owners named Bob and Alex) and to sustainable leader in its industry.
Continental Fan. Although the company receive a new brand identity, as well as Regardless of management change, its
operations, leadership and culture were expand its product line and territory. UPh™ will be the mainstay of its
shared, this was not visible or prevalent in strategic orientation. This kind of unity
marketing or communications. Through systematic conversations with and accountability is good news for
management to uncover their core Boards of Directors that experience
AEROFLO was a legacy in the industry strengths and philosophy, we realized that frequent changes in leadership. No shift,
and it was determined to secure and they were successful primarily because no matter how severe, can derail a
enhance this position. In 1999, it set out they consistently delivered baked product company from its UPh™. Financial,
to develop a new brand. After a series of on time. After much investigation, it strategic and operational stability, along
strategy meetings, a new logo and UPh™ became apparent that their original with company-wide esprit de corps, are
emerged: “Better Airflow by Design.™” request to replace their name and brand now a reality.
The company’s relaxed corporate would have been a surefire recipe for
environment and belief in under- disaster. Our team advised that they Market forces are increasingly ruthless.
promising but over-delivering lent itself retain their reputation and goodwill by Mission statements fail to synchronize a
remarkably well to adopting the word keeping the original B&A name and that business. This demands an invincible
“better”. Without making bold promises they reposition it into a retail operation solution. The potency of a UPh™, your
and flashy pitches, AEROFLO was and create a new “corporate” brand. With business DNA, is undeniable. Disclaimer:
innovative every step of the way yet clear the UPh™ “Freshness on Time™”, a UPh™ is an all-or-nothing proposition,
in its vision and had confidence in its BREADSOURCE was born. solely reserved for those companies
engineering excellence and ingenuity. serious about achieving superlative
The philosophy of AEROFLO, which Derived from a second UPh™ for their corporate performance and well-being.
embodies a deliberate sensibility to do retail operations, B&A was transformed _________________________________
things better consistently, is now shared into “Big Value and Appetizing Harish Chauhan, CEO of strategic branding
by each employee and is pervasive from Taste™.” In terms of sheer corporate agency XRARE Corp., has developed and
the plant floor to the reception area. performance, BREADSOURCE netted implemented over 30 corporate brands during
$6 million (dollars) in 2001, and the past decade including 15 UPh™ successes.
“Better Airflow by Design.™” became a projections for 2002 are $7 million. This His upcoming book is designed to assist
mantra and is now a daily reality. This means they’re right on target. companies in creating prosperity. For more
UPh™ has become the foundation for the BREADSOURCE CFO Arif Sunderji information download your free Executive
future success of the AEROFLO brand. confidently states: “The #1 reason why Guide at www.businessbyphilosophy.com or
Partner Vic Afanasiev confirms: “Our customers switched to BREADSOURCE contact Mr. Chauhan at harish@xrare.com.
new logo and business philosophy have was because of our philosophy ‘Freshness