Mission, Vision & Values - Part 1

Mission, Vision & Values - Part 1

October 08, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Are they just words on the wall or are they a TRUE NORTH for your business?

Nearly all businesses go through the process of developing Mission, Vision and Values because that’s what businesses do. Isn’t it? Others may think “We are better off just doing what we do, we don’t need any fluffy words for our staff or our clients, and we just need to get on with it!”

Heres the thing: If your Mission, Vision or Values are just fluffy statements, or words on the wall that no one really pays attention to, then they really don’t add value and may as well not be there! I often find in businesses that while there may be a small handful of people who know the firms Mission, Vision or Values, but there are fewer yet who have any real passion for them.

So what’s the purpose of the Mission, Vision and Values statements and how do they add ongoing value to your organisation?

Simplified, effective Mission, Vision and Values are a combination of why the business exists (Mission), what you are aspiring to become (Vision), and how you will conduct yourself (Values). Getting this right gives your staff a cause to attach to, something to give their loyalty to, something to contribute to.

An effective cause becomes your firms TRUE NORTH, a constant guide to ensure that all your actions, from the significant strategic decisions right through to the repetitive daily tasks, whether these actions stack up against where you should be heading.

Not having a TRUE NORTH means that you have no way of sanity checking whether the big decisions or the daily routine is actually contributing to where you want to be. Not having Mission, Vision or Values, or perhaps even worse, having vague motherhood type statements, means that your staff are doing what they are doing because they have always done it, rather than questioning whether they should be doing it.

An effective TRUE NORTH gives your staff a cause to connect to. People want to be part of something. Staff should come to work wanting to feel that the work they do has a purpose, that it makes a valuable contribution and that they make a difference in peoples lives. A cause that is developed through your Mission, Vision and Values helps them feel this. It should create loyalty and desire to be part of that cause. If your staff don’t have a cause and are just punching the time clock, they are effectively serving their own individual visions and values, which by default means that they are not serving your business’. If your staff are not on board, as a leader it can be likened to trying to herd cats.

If your organisations Mission, Vision and Values don’t create a real sense of purpose, perhaps its time to have another look at these key foundations to your businesses success. They should be crystal clear and aspirational that give your staff both a sense of direction, and the substance or DNA of your business. That’s how you engage your staff in your cause. Firm Foundations Australia helps businesses develop their TRUE NORTH and connect their staff to that cause.

In our next article in Part 2, we will look a little more at what goes into Mission, Vision and Values and more about creating a cause.

Tags: Leadership Mission Vision Values
Category: Leadership

Harle McGeachie

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