Published on: August 13, 2012by Kevin Coupe
Fast Company has an interesting story about the importance of a company "mantra," which is defined as "a Sanskrit term, meaning 'sacred utterance' or 'sacred thought,' depending on the dictionary. Traditionally concentration aids given by Hindu gurus to devotees, mantras are words or phrases repeated to facilitate transformation. In business, a mantra is akin to a motto, albeit more fundamental to a company's internal purpose than simply a marketing slogan. It's concise, repeatable, and core to a company's existence ... Unlike mission statements, mantras are pivot-proof. They transcend current target markets and quarterly quotas."
Or, to put it another way: "Make it short, sweet, and swallowable," says author Guy Kawasaki.
Examples cited in the story, which can be read here:
"Think different." (Apple)
"Don't be evil." (Google)
"Make something you love." (Huge, a digital agency)
"Style to the people." (Stylecaster, a fashion website)
A mantra, the story suggests, is necessary because it is "the guiding star, not the operating manual." And every company needs a guiding star.
This has me thinking. While MNB always has been built around the phrase, "news in context, analysis with attitude," it sounds like the folks at Fast Company would define that as a mission statement. Not a mantra.
Which makes me think it is time for a contest...
Come up with an original mantra for MNB, and if you create the winner, you get an MNB goodie box, which includes a t-shirt with that mantra printed on it, an autographed copy of "The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies," and an MNB canvas shopping bag and an MNB canvas wine bag.
Let the games begin...
- KC's View: