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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I have a better idea - only for people in the real world, with notes from Peter Drucker, and an announcement

This cartoon by the excellent and funny Tom Fishburne speaks for itself, but reminds me of a discovery I made recently.

I was talking to my PA the tenacious Chloe, who gazes each day with renewed dismay at my antics.

She has a degree in something I probably don't understand, but seems to know what she's doing.

The subject of mission statements came up and she told me they actually had a course at her university on how to write them.

I suspect this is pretty close to having a course in time-wasting.

A harsh and simplistic view you may think. But I cannot conceive for a second that any genuinely successful person ever wrote a mission statement. Steve Jobs? Branson? Gates? I somehow doubt it.

I suspect most had an objective - maybe even quite vague - and just got on with it as fast as possible.

The first aim in business - said Peter Drucker - is to avoid making a loss.

I think you are likely to manage this best by recalling another of his remarks: "There is only one profit center in business. It is your customer".

In October Howie Jacobson will be joining me in London, in an attempt to help anyone who is interested in that capricious source of revenue.

Howie will be helping you to get inside the head of your customers.

The better you can do that the better you'll succeed.

Why? Because the more you know about your customer the more you know about their wants, needs, hopes, desires and fears.

I'll then help you turn what you've learnt into copy that will persuade better.

Alternatively you could spend a few weeks writing - and having lots of long meetings about - a mission statement for the benefit of your colleagues, but nobody else.

Chloe can probably point you in the wrong direction.

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