Mission Statements in the Age of Social Media

The issue of social media policies in Healthcare and Pharma often come up. There are different angles to consider – employee behavior, risk management, privacy, regulatory considerations.

Often, the approach is based on the idea of integrating social media into strategy. But I think that’s an incomplete view. For today’s technological conditions might be so disruptive that they actually may call into question the very strategies – and mission – of an organization.

So here’s a video – a kind of Business 101 if you will – which hopefully will help make clear the importance of re-visiting the *mission* before trying to just merge social media into strategy and formulating policies. It’s about 8 minutes, but I think you’ll find this to be important if you’re vested in the future of your organization in the age of social media [link]:

Please note: that by “mission statement”, I don’t just mean the formal written document in most companies’ publications. A “statement” is a state of mind (ment – mentation – mental).

Here are the two examples of corporate mission statements I mention in the video. Note the gaping differences in usefulness and meaningfulness between Google’s and Pfizer’s:

Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful. (emphasis added)

We will become the world’s most valued company to patients, customers, colleagues, investors, business partners and the communities where we work and live.

I explain why these differences matter when trying to figure out how to make sense of today’s technologies and the impacts they have on every facet of our lives and businesses. (As an aside: Pfizer’s (PFE) current share price is approximately 3% of Google’s (GOOG). Just sayin’.)

What’s your Healthcare mission? And how might technology affect it?

How might the production of molecules that go into our bodies be affected by new technologies? How might the missions of the companies that make them need to change if they are to succeed? (Think: new ways to collaborate, research, recruit, organize, manufacture.)

How might the emergence of social networks of genomic information open up new kinds of missions?

Are you considering a) how to integrate something new into existing strategies, or b) how new things might be changing the mission and its derivative strategies, tactics, policies and resource management?

Do you think it might be smart to consider the later before jumping into the first? The later requires much less work and resources than the first. The later just needs a few healthy brains to find.

Ah, there’s a mission for ya. 🙂



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