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I’ve been advocating that companies figure out how to condense their mission statements and vision statements down to a single tweet, down to 140 characters or less, for quite some time. If you can’t fit it in a tweet, then it’s not memorable enough to share. If it’s loaded down with corporate boilerplate like being a flexible, scalable, industry-standard turnkey solution leveraging synergy for well-positioned growth and future-proof, then you’re going to have a heck of a time squeezing into a tweet.

There’s an even more vital reason than brevity to get your organization’s mission down to a tweet: properly done, it’s an instant decision-maker for the future of your company. It’s a ruler for saying no: if you’re considering a new product or service, having a concise mission statement will let you judge whether the new product or service will fit in with your brand and focus your offerings, or distract you.

For example, one mission statement I inherited in the past started out as “change the game with innovative technology and service”, which was incredibly generic. It fails the white label scrape test. With a vision that undefined, it’s easy to get distracted by lots of new ideas that ultimately sap energy and focus away from what you’re supposed to be doing. It ended up changing and becoming “find and grow your email marketing ROI”, which is a lot more defined. If a product or service didn’t help someone to find their ROI or improve it (by reducing expenses or growing income), then it wasn’t a good fit.

Get your mission statement down to 140 characters and make it pass the white label test. If you do it well, you’ll have an instant-read measure that will help keep your organization focused on the things that matter most.

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