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The company I work at (a US branch of a Japanese firm) has a thing we have to say every morning. We stand up and each take turns reading a line from the poster on the wall. It goes like this:

  1. We meet challenges with courage and creativity to realize our dreams.
  2. Once a decision is made we move quickly to carry out the plan with passion.
  3. As a good corporate citizen we do what is right and contribute to society.
  4. We seek to do our best, act professionally, and take responsibility for our actions.

... and so on (8 lines total).

What is this thing we read called? "Every morning at work, we read a/an/the _____."

  • 12
    This kind of ritual is a deeply and (largely) uniquely Japanese phenomenon. You might have better luck asking on the Japanese language stack exchange - there's probably a single-word term for this whole activity in Japan. It's absurdly common - almost every workplace has something like this type of communal, ritualistic motto or mantra recitation. – J... Dec 13 '18 at 19:18
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    @MindS1 I asked the question for you, if you're interested. – J... Dec 14 '18 at 14:25
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    This sounds very similar to "the TB Way" as described in the Toyota-Bokoshu corporate philosophy – barbecue Dec 15 '18 at 4:41
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    I would call that brainwashing ,) – eckes Dec 17 '18 at 3:57
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    I would call that 1984. – kiltek Dec 18 '18 at 8:05

22 Answers 22

134

The Company Credo. Merriam Webster says about credo:

Credo comes straight from the Latin word meaning "I believe", and is the first word of many religious credos, or creeds, such as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. But the word can be applied to any guiding principle or set of principles. Of course, you may choose a different credo when you're 52 than when you're 19. But here is the credo of the writer H. L. Mencken, written after he had lived quite a few years: "I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant".

Many thanks to @ThunderGuppy for suggesting a definition from Collins English Dictionary that fits the question better and acknowledges that a credo does not have to start with I believe.

A credo is a set of beliefs, principles, or opinions that strongly influence the way a person lives or works.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Dec 15 '18 at 1:54
  • a credo is for beliefs, these arent – Manu de Hanoi Dec 17 '18 at 7:15
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    I agree with this answer, but I think it could be improved by a more succinctly relevant definition. Ex: collinsdictionary.com's definition of credo as "a set of beliefs, principles, or opinions that strongly influence the way a person lives or works." – ThunderGuppy Dec 17 '18 at 18:27
123

This can be considered a mantra.

a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone's basic beliefs

[MW]

Typically a mantra is smaller, but the word evokes the kind of thoughtless droning mantra implies. I imagine this is the case in your office.

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    While ab2 is also correct, the repetition and active participation makes this a mantra. – Binary Worrier Dec 10 '18 at 15:30
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    Not really, because a mantra can be just a meaningless pattern of sound, or words in a language you don't understand, like the classic "Om mani padme om". – jamesqf Dec 10 '18 at 17:05
  • It is very likely chanted (or at least droned). If mandatory it could be called a Dicta. – mckenzm Dec 10 '18 at 23:17
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    @jamesqf - Some might contend that this fits that description quite well. – Jeremy Dec 11 '18 at 13:28
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    @jamesqf True, it can be. But the dictionary definition also includes "a ...phrase ... that expresses someone's basic beliefs". That's not likely to be nonsense words. – jimm101 Dec 11 '18 at 18:21
72

This can be called pledge.

From Merriam-Webster:

PLEDGE (noun):

a binding promise or agreement to do or forbear.

a token, sign, or earnest of something else

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    I like this because it is reminiscent of the requirement across the USA for students to stand and recite a statement about their loyalty to the USA every single morning. Then again, the Pledge literally is a pledge, it starts "I pledge allegiance to the flag..." Which, by the way, is as equally weird to me as standing and saying a company value statement every morning... how painfully awkward. – Caleb Jay Dec 12 '18 at 18:44
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    Pledge is nice because it can be long. Some of the other words offered are typically one-liners. – JPhi1618 Dec 12 '18 at 20:16
  • But is it binding? How many people repeat the company mantra while thinking what a load of nonsense? – PJTraill Dec 15 '18 at 19:28
68

I would call this a company values statement.  (Or possibly a vision statement.)

I wouldn't call it a mission statement or manifesto, because it doesn't define what the company does; only how it does it.

Nor would I call it a credo or mantra, because it doesn't list things that employees believe, only things that they do.

It could be a company pledge, vow, oath, or similar (as per other answers) — but if so, I'd expect everyone to be saying every line, all together.

(And you wouldn't get UK employees to spout this rubbish every morning without a lot of sarcasm…!)

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    This is the right answer. Mission statement, vision statement, values and principles are all "trendy" parts of managing corporate culture in the United States. See this Harvard Business Review article. – John Wu Dec 11 '18 at 2:57
  • How is "As a good corporate citizen we do what is right and contribute to society." rubbish? – Walf Dec 14 '18 at 1:52
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    @Walf The act of saying it every morning is rubbish, not the statement itself - though it could be argued that the "As a good corporate citizen" part makes even the statement itself rubbish. – Morfildur Dec 14 '18 at 13:11
  • Sounds more like Company Principles – eckes Dec 17 '18 at 3:59
46

Every morning at work, we recite the company manifesto.

manifesto

​ a written statement of the beliefs, aims, and policies of an organization, especially a political party:

In the West, we use this mainly in political contexts, but from your description it sounds like this is not so removed from a political or religious situation.

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    Note that to many (at least in the US), manifesto can have a bit of a negative connotation due to its frequent association with despots, radicals, and/or terrorists (e.g. the Unabomber manifesto). It seems like we're more likely to call something a manifesto when we don't agree with its contents... – A C Dec 10 '18 at 16:43
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    @AC: That makes this a good answer (+1). See the edit - more of the same rhetoric. That carries a similar negative emotion, – MSalters Dec 10 '18 at 16:47
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    No, a manifesto would be much longer. Think of the complete list of policies a political party brings to an election, or the Communist Manifesto. – Concrete Gannet Dec 10 '18 at 23:51
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    It's not necessarily long, the Agile Manifesto comes to mind: agilemanifesto.org – molnarm Dec 11 '18 at 6:10
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Affirmations - statements that we tell ourselves in order to spark self-change (Steele, 1988)

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 2
    Please note, the system has flagged your answer for deletion as "low-quality because of its length and content." An answer on this site is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. I suggest you edit your answer - for example, adding a dictionary definition (linked to the source), comparing that with Steele's definition and relating this to the company context. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the Tour :-) – Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '18 at 8:00
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    Welcome new user - thanks for the fantastic answer. It's hilarious that it is far better than the top voted answer! – Fattie Dec 11 '18 at 12:20
15

I would call this 'the company mission'. According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary: MISSION (noun) - a specific task with which a person or a group is charged. For example, 'Their mission was to help victims of the disaster.'

14

I work for Panasonic where we have a similar activity*, and their English web site calls our 7 things seven principles - see about halfway down the page. Perhaps your company has a similar English page that has an official name for them?

* At least we only have to repeat them once a week!

Additionally, I decided to look up the Japanese definition. First, the OP's thing is the TB Way, and the Japanese version also calls it the TB Way - see the English heading about halfway down.

As for Panasonic, they are called 七精神, nana (7) seishin, and seishin can be translated as spirit.

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Real things that are hidden behind, are your company core values (definition from yourdictionary.com)

The 'material' ('touchable') thing you can see is implementation/manifestation/embodiment of your company core values.

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    At one place I worked some of the teams had a "core value moment" at the beginning of some meetings, where someone was supposed to give an example of how we were living out one of the company's core values. – xdhmoore Dec 14 '18 at 4:41
10

This sort of company or organizational statement can have several different definitions, depending on how it is used. It could certainly be a mission statement or pledge, and comes out of your companies core values, as suggested in other answers. The ritual manner used to recite this statement is similar to a mantra, as suggested in another. These words all have different nuances. In your particular case, though, this is specifically the TB Way (TB, as in the Toyota Boshoku Company). It is part of their corporate philosophy. (See below for the complete version from the above link).

Way in this context refers to the manner in which the company does things. Many Japanese companies have one, and they are typically translated as "the [company name] way". So...

Every morning at work we stand up and recite the company way.

See definition 1.

Oxford:

way:

1. A method, style, or manner of doing something; an optional or alternative form of action.

From the Toyota Boshoku website:

TB Way:

  • We contribute to society by developing leading-edge technologies and manufacturing high-quality products.
  • We meet challenges with courage and creativity, to realize our dreams.
  • We carry out kaizen continuously, aiming to achieve higher goals.
  • We practice Genchi-Genbutsu by going to the source to analyze problems and find their root causes.
  • Once a decision is made, we move quickly to carry out the plan, with passion and a sense of mission.
  • We seek to do our best, act professionally and take responsibility for our actions.
  • We respect the values of other cultures and accept differences, with an open mind and a global perspective.
  • As a good corporate citizen, we do what is right and contribute to society.
  • We respect the individual and use teamwork to produce the best result.
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    Wow you got it spot on. While this is definitely the most literally accurate answer, I decided to select a different response since this is a fairly uncommon usage of the word "way". – MindS1 Dec 11 '18 at 17:04
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    @MindS1 That's the way I like to answer questions. Thanks! FYI, I really wouldn't call the usage uncommon. I expect you use the word that way fairly often. But, you're the OP, so you should do it your way. – De Novo Dec 11 '18 at 18:48
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I would say that this could be considered tenets of the company/team. Definition of tenet (from Oxford Living Dictionaries: English)

A principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.

'the tenets of classical liberalism'

Synonyms: principle, belief, doctrine, precept, creed, credo, article of faith, dogma, canon, rule

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

7

This sounds like a company motto.

2: a short expression of a guiding principle

Posters like that in the workplace have also been called “motivators,” and parodies of them with cute pictures and sarcastic, nihilistic messages are “demotivators.”

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    It's too long to be a "motto". – 200_success Dec 12 '18 at 0:34
  • @200_success Maybe you’d call each line a motto, then. – Davislor Dec 12 '18 at 0:42
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    No. Each person or organization should have just one motto, and it should be short. – 200_success Dec 12 '18 at 0:44
  • @200_success Organizations can have more than one motto. – Davislor Dec 12 '18 at 2:15
  • @200_success For example, the Dominican Order has three. – Davislor Dec 12 '18 at 2:16
4

Another idea that comes to my mind posting as a separate answer to allow independent evaluation

All employees of your company, commit themselves to follow that rules.

Ergo, we can simply say that these are their commitments definition from www.vocabulary.com

4

The first thing I thought of was litany:

  1. A series of petitions for use in church services or processions, usually recited by the clergy and responded to in a recurring formula by the people.

  2. A tedious recital or repetitive series.

Source: Oxford

One of the things you didn't specify was how you felt about having to say all this stuff. "Litany" is a good sarcastic word to describe a tedious, pseudo-religious rectiation of empty formulae, something ridiculous that bosses make employees do just to demonstrate who's in charge.

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    To be fair, litany is used without sarcastic overtones by believers. I also think the management is not trying to show who is in charge but to encourage what they see as desirable attitudes. – PJTraill Dec 15 '18 at 19:35
  • @PJTraill YMMV. – Spencer Dec 17 '18 at 22:42
3

My suggestions:

"vow"

  1. A solemn promise to perform some act, or behave in a specified manner, especially a promise to live and act in accordance with the rules of a religious order.
  2. A declaration or assertion.

"oath"

  1. A solemn pledge or promise, [..] to attest to the truth of a statement or sincerity of one's desire to fulfill a contract or promise
  2. A statement or promise which is strengthened (affirmed) by such a pledge.

"pledge"

  1. A solemn promise to do something.

or even "promise"

  1. (countable) an oath or affirmation; a vow

wiktionary: pledge oath promise vow

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3

This is called a Mission Statement. It's a set of goals and objectives the company tries to achieve.

A mission statement is a short statement of an organization's purpose, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the "vision".

You can find out more about it here

1

Wow, some of the words given are definitely very laden with connotation.

The specific word most commonly used would be "Mission", or more commonly, "Mission Statement". "Core Values" or "Values Statement" are also common, but mission will be your best bet for a single word.

I've worked for a lot of companies, from retail to corporate, offices to stores. While I might agree that at the time I worked for Best Buy (~1994) "manifesto" probably felt more accurate, no company would call it that, or vow, or affirmation (except possibly a strongly religious company, that I could see, but have no experience with). Creed and mantra make sense from a definition perspective, but I'd be shocked to learn of a company calling it that, also.

0

Covenant

Oxford English Dictionary:

A mutual agreement between two or more persons to do or refrain from doing certain acts; a compact, contract, bargain; sometimes, the undertaking, pledge, or promise of one of the parties.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • I think this is not quite appropriate, as the ritual and statements in question are very much imposed rather than (freely) agreed. (But I have not voted you down, as I think it is still a useful contribution!) – PJTraill Dec 15 '18 at 19:38
0

If it is done in the following style:

  1. Leader reads one line out loud
  2. Everyone reads that same line out loud together
  3. Leader reads the next line out loud
  4. Everyone together ... etc

Then I have heard it termed "Chinese School".

I don't have a reference for that, and it is not widespread.

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    That could also be a "chant" – Criggie Dec 13 '18 at 19:00
0

propaganda

According to Wiktionary:

A concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people.

It is derived from Congregātiō dē Propagandā Fide, "congregation for propagating the faith".

0

A phrase you say to prove you are part of a community, rather than any meaning the phrase may have is a shibboleth

Noun
shibboleth (plural shibboleths)
A word, especially seen as a test, to distinguish someone as belonging to a particular nation, class, profession etc.

-3

The definition of mantra quoted above is that it is "repeated" or "expressed", thus an action and not the words themselves that would make it a mantra. It is not the thing you say but the action of saying or expressing them that delineates the mantra.

The words that are determined or defined to be conveyed, make up the creed (or credo) of the business (in this case).

The "thing" in my view is a creed (or credo). The act of reciting it, is performing a mantra.

I can't comment yet or I would have done that, so instead, I answer.

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    The definition in MW refers to mantra as a noun, and specifically as "a word or phrase". An act would be a verb. – jimm101 Dec 12 '18 at 0:03
  • I don't mean to imply that "mantra" is a verb. My point is that it is the act of reciting it which would make it a mantra. What is it before it is recited? If they stop reciting it each morning, is it still a mantra? – Allen Dec 12 '18 at 1:14
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    Since credo has already been provided (and is currently the accepted and most popular answer), I'm not sure what the purpose of your own answer is, other than to provide a comment. The Answer Box is not intended for comments. Being able to post comments is a site privilege you have to earn. – Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '18 at 2:19
  • @Allen That clears it up, thanks. I don't think I agree though. If you're not reciting it, it's still a mantra: "a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone's basic beliefs". Parse the 2nd "or" clause and you get "a word or phrase that is repeated often" or "a word or phrase that expresses someone's basic beliefs". So I don't see where recitation is required. – jimm101 Dec 12 '18 at 19:35

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