The Onion and the Threshold of Belief 


Introduction:  What do you want to do today?

The Onion - a Framework to build effective organizations

Is Truth knowable? 

The Threshold of belief - defined, ppt format

Communication barriers

Cite this









What do you want to do today?

Remember the Microsoft Windows slogan “What do you want to do today?” 

What about the “I want to…” website, with a long list of things to do on the we mostly associated with blogging and work starting with the statement “I want to _________”, where the can be filled with a variety of things like online calendars, sharing documents, sharing photos, etc. 

Or what about Alice in Wonderland asking the Cat: 

"Cheshire-Puss, would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" – Then the Cat throws Alice a curve responding: "That depends a great deal on where you want to get to

"I don't much care where -," said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

Or even Niccolo Machiavelli’s warning: 

“It must be remembered that there is nothing
more difficult to plan, more doubtful of 
success, more dangerous to manage, than the
creation of a new system. For the initiator has
the enmity of all who would profit by the 
preservation of the old institutions and merely
lukewarm defenders in those who would gain 
by the new ones.
— Niccolo Machiavelli

Not too long ago, I visited a MBA capstone class where students were actively debating the merits of each team’s expansion plans for an injection molding organization. Some thought Europe was a better choice, whereas other teams thought perhaps taking advantage of NAFTA was much better. When asked what the organization’s objectives were, all I got was a blank stare. Just like Cheshire-Puss, then answer to the expansion question could be: “given that there is no clear organizational objective, then expansion does not particularly matter”.

To respond to all of the above questions, we suggest the use of the Onion Framework, coupled with the Threshold of Belief.







The Onion

The core of the onion is comprised of an organization and or individual's core values:  Mission, Vision and Goals.  In some cases, these are described in a mission statement, a  vision statement and a goals statement, and in other cases, all are embodied in a single mission statement.  Such mission statement succinctly defines  an organization's reason for existence. An entity that attempts to operate without a mission statement runs the risk of wandering through the world without having the ability to verify that it is on its intended course, reminiscent of the old adage: "If we do not stand for something, we fall for anything"

The Onion - a Framework to build effective organizations

Examples of Mission Statements

Aflac - a supplemental insurance company in the US. Its main business is into health and life insurance policies that cover special conditions, particularly cancer. Aflac insurance policies help customers with expenses not covered by the medical plan. And unlike other health insurance companies that pay out the money to the doctor or the hospital, Aflac can reimburse the customer so that he is able to control the cash settlement instead.

Mission statement: To combine aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers.

R.J.B. Industries - an engineering and manufacturing company based in Utah. 

Mission statement: To exceed our customers expectations in quality, delivery, and cost through continuous improvement and customer interaction.

Personal Mission Statement - a template

Personal Positioning Statement Formula:


1.      The first sentence tell people who you are and how others can benefit

2.      The second sentence tells people why you different from others.

Example: John Doe is a real estate agent who helps medium-sized businesses find commercial space at premium prices. Unlike other real estate agents, Doe specializes in that medium-sized business.

More mission statement examples - click here 









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Last modified: September 10, 2010