A Mission Statement to Love

Like you, I’ve seen a lot of mission statements. Many of them almost seemed like they could have been copied out of a greeting card – vanilla words with upbeat business sentiments, and little real substance.

Where I do much of my work, in the life sciences world, many of the healthcare/pharmaceutical mission statements are essentially interchangeable. “We exist to create products that enhance healthcare and advance patient outcomes…blah, blah, blah.”

(actually, I yearn for the day when some company will have to cojones to publish this mission statement: “We’re here to make money. You know it. I know it. Got a problem with that??” But, I digress…)

Last week, however, while making some visits in the Boston area, I was stopped dead in my tracks by this one:

Genzyme Mission Statement

The last sentence is the kicker: “…providing hope where there was none before.” Boom – right to the heart! What a mission! As an employee, doctor, researcher, patient…or just a consultant making a visit to Genzyme’s HQ (where this kiosk was), I could get full-bore behind that, not just intellectually, but emotionally. What an aspirational exclamation point on an explanatory sentence!

Those 7 words moved Genzyme’s mission right into the realm of transcendence. And, in fact, it describes what Genzyme does. Find therapies for previously hopeless niches. That’s powerful.

I realize that not every business can aspire to such a lofty goal, but surely we can articulate something more creatively impactful than the usual pablum that doesn’t differentiate our company from anyone else. Is your mission statement both moving and memorable? I need to revisit mine, for sure.

And, by the way – if you’re ever near the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, head up to this kiosk by the visitor’s desk and invest 8 minutes watching how a company can present itself, its patients, and its stories in a compelling visual (and human) fashion. Best company-promo kiosk I’ve ever seen. Worth a field trip if you’re in corporate communications.


  1. Good one Steve! Thanks for the reminder to share our substance and not hide it under a notebook.

  2. steve – what you’ve discovered is the real power of genuine words that offer the emotional tinge fo what really matters. as brene brown has shown, showing vulnerability is a good thing for people and for business. jr

  3. Charlie Kirk says

    II agree Steve. Mission statements today are so “run of the mill” that many insiders and outsiders alike barely notice them or are even aware of them. I love seeing “memorable” statements like the one above and am even more impressed when company’s actually live them.

  4. LOVE it. Thank you for sharing!

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