I love listening to Podcasts. They are a great combination of entertainment meets learning something new and a productive use of my time when I’m driving, walking or running. For the last few months I’ve been enjoying “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” (and her sister Elizabeth Craft) and was delighted when “Happier in Hollywood” with Liz Craft and Sarah Fain showed up in my podcast feed this morning. I was hoping for a juicer or edgier version of “Happier”.

You can imagine my surprise when within the first five minutes of a lifestyle podcasts, these two business partners start discussing the value they place in creating their work mantra.

A corporate Mission Statement and Vision are important for a business in terms of establishing and working towards goals in all areas of the business. These are generally a couple of sentences that summarize the company’s goals and underlying philosophies. But let’s face it, how many times have we been in a corporate team building situation and over the course of X hours or days or weeks, we build a mission statement and corporate vision and it feels okay, but not maybe great or unique? And in your small business, how realistic is it to develop a comprehensive Mission Statement. There are benefits to keeping things simple.

More than a slogan, a mantra describes what you value and how you approach business every single day. It’s how your employees feel about themselves regardless of their role within your business. It helps your people to remain focused on your company goals. A good corporate mantra is a string of words that characterizes your company philosophy. They are concise, actionable, clear and powerful and the key to their impact is their simplicity.

Mantra is a Sanskrit term “sacred utterance” and they are typically words or utterances used to typify transformation (Repeat After Me – Fast Company). Corporate mantras are pivot-proof, market proof and quota proof. Guy Kawasaki’s post “How to Change the World: Mantra Versus Mission” is one of the most referenced articles detailing the value and practicality of having and using a corporate mantra that is repeatable, actionable and applies to every single aspect of your business.

Examples of different corporate mantras are:

UPS – We Love Logistics
Nike – Authentic Athletic Performance or Just Do It
Mary Kay – Enriching Women’s Lives
Google – Don’t be Evil
Facebook – Move Fast with Stable Infrastructure
Apple – Think Different
Caerus HR Consulting – People Business for Business People

A useful way come up with a mantra is to think of a few core words that reflect your business and what is valued. Do you solve a problem? Create new ideas? Perhaps you already have a mission statement. I’m willing to bet that your company’s mantra can be found within the text of your Mission Statement simply by reducing it to 2 – 5 simple, concise words. Within these words you will find powerful word associations that your customers and employees remember and buy into themselves.

It may sometimes feel like an uphill battle to uncover your corporate philosophy and understand and guide your corporate culture. Creating a mantra that is simple and suggests action is one way to help ensure your team is on the same page.

Caerus HR Consulting provides HR consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. For more information on creating an HR strategy through organizational culture and leadership, contact Ramona Packham, Owner & HR Business Partner, at 613-220-9005 or at Ramona@CaerusHR.com for more information. People Business for Business People.

Caerus HR Consulting Inc.
Ramona Packham