Mulhall’s Manifesto

Bill Calkins

Manifesto: Public declaration of policy. After entering the leadership realm of his third-generation family business, it became clear to the president of Mulhall’s that the organization is an interconnected ecosystem. The key components of the ecosystem he identified and named are Purpose, People, Strategy, Process, Data and Dialogue. And once clearly articulating these six parts, Mick Mulhall created a company manifesto. This word, carefully chosen (and defined above), is much more than a mission statement, company handbook or organizational rules of the road. It is, as Mick says, codification of “why what we do is meaningful.” So, what’s that mean?

“For decades we worked really hard and really cared but weren’t horribly organized,” Mick says. “I wanted to learn why the team continues showing up every day, for decades.” He knew, for the most part, why he personally loves the company and his job—because he likes it. But what exactly is the “it”? Once identifying the reason or reasons why the team so passionate, Mick felt he would be able to more effectively find additional people who deeply care about what he and the other team members care about. And this led to the public manifesto.

Please take some time to read through the document linked HERE and sit with the content a bit before you keep reading.

Now that you have seen Mulhall’s Manifesto, this should all make more sense. Now that the statements contained are clearly articulated, Mick feels the company can better determine alignment and build. He explains, too, now that the words have been written and defined, “sorting” is easier. By this he means using the framework built in the manifesto, it is much easier to see the purpose and vision of Mulhall’s and determine what makes the organization different. This helps potential team members determine if they are a good fit or if they think, as Mick says, “these people are weird—I’m out of here.”

Mick cites three important pieces to the puzzle of integrating the new company manifesto:

Definition. Be clear about the company purpose.

Understanding. Work with the entire team to make sure the values and ideas in the manifesto are understood.

Belief. Once the content of the manifesto is defined, it’s easier to ask the question: Do you believe?

When asked how other green industry businesses can benefit from the process he used and format Mulhall’s has shared, Mick says, “Anyone who is setting the vision for a company (can benefit). It is our responsibility to take a stand and be clear.”

He knows whoever reads through the manifesto will have a reaction—good or bad. And he welcomes any dialogue and wanted to make it clear that anyone in the green industry is more than welcome to reach out to better understand some of the many sources he used to develop the manifesto and to help craft their own organizational statement. You can find Mick Mulhall on LinkedIn. GP