Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) develops therapies that treat nearly 70 conditions, including some of the world’s most challenging chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease. They have revenues in excess of $30B, operate in more than 160 countries, and have over 86,000 employees.
They keep everything aligned with their “One Company. One Mission.” framework.
This amazing success story started in a garage in 1949 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (And you thought that only happened in Silicon Valley!)
Normally, we advise companies that their mission statement should be just One Sentence. Otherwise, no one will remember what it is.
Medtronic’s mission statement, in contrast, has six sentences, multiple clauses, and is over 170 words long. While this violates our penchant for brevity, I must give them credit for longevity.
Their mission statement was written by their late founder, Earl Bakken, in 1960. They spent a few years locking it down and they have used it verbatim ever since.
THE MEDTRONIC MISSION
- To contribute to human welfare by application of biomedical engineering in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of instruments or appliances that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life.
- To direct our growth in the areas of biomedical engineering where we display maximum strength and ability; to gather people and facilities that tend to augment these areas; to continuously build on these areas through education and knowledge assimilation; to avoid participation in areas where we cannot make unique and worthy contributions.
- To strive without reserve for the greatest possible reliability and quality in our products; to be the unsurpassed standard of comparison and to be recognized as a company of dedication, honesty, integrity, and service.
- To make a fair profit on current operations to meet our obligations, sustain our growth, and reach our goals.
- To recognize the personal worth of employees by providing an employment framework that allows personal satisfaction in work accomplished, security, advancement opportunity, and means to share in the company's success.
- To maintain good citizenship as a company.
When you stay with One Mission for six decades, it is easy for everyone to align with it, “Nothing I can say about Medtronic today makes me happier or more optimistic about the future than the fact that the Mission is deeply embedded as a permanent part of the culture,” explained Earl Bakken.
Will your company have the discipline to stay with One Mission for six decades?