My boss handed me a laminated card with the mission statement and told me to memorize it.

Worse yet, the CEO would call you into his office, like a kid in trouble with the principal, and ask you to recite it.

If you couldn’t, you were in a world of hurt.

That was his approach to creating alignment around a shared message for the organization.

And it failed miserably.

First, he confused mission with message. The mission statement describes your purpose. Messages get people excited about it and draw people into your purpose.

Second, we all sounded like robots. We weren’t excited by it; we didn’t own it and it showed in our delivery lacking in authenticity.

If you want to create powerful shared messages, then create a flexible messaging platform that expresses your key values and your value.

Provide some suggested language but give people the ability to make the messaging their own while still communicating with a consistent organizational voice.

Involve your team in the process to develop the messaging platform. If they are invested in it, they’ll use it.

When you do this, you create brand ambassadors who can spread your message widely so that you build your presence, win more customers or supporters, and grow your enterprise.

If you are struggling with how to create a flexible messaging platform that will be embraced by both employees and customers, send me a message and I’ll send you some more specific tips.