Mission, Vision & Values – Part 2

Mission, Vision & Values – Part 2

October 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Do they create a CAUSE for your business?

In our last article (Mission, Vision & Values Part 1) we touched on how Mission, Vision and Values should create a TRUE NORTH for your business that allows you to make sure all your inputs (plans and actions) are focused on realising your Vision while being guided by your Mission and Values. So let’s look a little more closely at Mission, Vision and Values.

There are many varied definitions around Mission, Vision and Values around. Firm Foundations Australia uses the following broad definitions when referring to Mission, Vision and Values that contribute to our base layer (or Cause Layer) of our Balanced FoundationsTM Methodology. Refer to our website for more detail on this methodology.

Mission: Mission is the very starting point of your business and is at its simplest is: “Why your business exists”. It is the raw purpose of your business. It’s what you stand for and why you exist. As an example Firm Foundations Australia’s vision is “creating foundations for your business success”. It’s why we exist; if the actions we are carrying out don’t gel or align with the purpose then we need to question why we are doing them.

Creating a clear and succinct Mission for your business is not always easy and often requires asking some tough questions to really define what it is that your business is really about. Once a Mission is clear and signed off on, by its very nature it will not really change. Ever. You might reword it every decade or so to make sure it’s still relevant, but the intent should never change. The only time a Mission would change is if the business was totally re-inventing itself into something else entirely.

Vision: Vision is an aspiration of what you are trying to achieve as a business. Where your Mission gives you and your staff purpose, your vision is what inspires them to reach, to stretch. A Vision should inspire a passion in your staff to want to be part of taking your organisation to achieve. Vision at the very least looks 5 years in the future and is always focused internally to your staff as it's them who will allow your organisation to achieve its Vision.

Visions are not always shared externally as they may be so big or out there it might come across to your customers as cocky or arrogant, but internally Vision is critical for engagement, inspiration and contribution.

Visions will have seasons. When you are approaching the achievement of a vision its time to celebrate but it’s also time to look for a new vision that will take you to the next level and continue to inspire your staff to reach and stretch.

Values: Values announce how your business will conduct itself. If you like it’s the character or DNA of your business. When your values are viewed, it announces what it would be like to work within the firm or to receive services from.

Developing values is closely linked with your Mission as they both go to explaining the true core of your business. When developing Values it is a mistake to add a value that is something you aspire to become because when your staff hear you say “X” is one of our values it won’t ring true. So when developing values make sure they are intrinsically describing the character that already exists in the firm. If you aspire to add a value, set it as a goal and work towards it. When you feel it’s implicit, there is no reason not to then add it to your existing values. Values need to ring true if you want your staff to connect to them.

The Cause Layer: Firm Foundations Australia has a methodology of helping businesses develop the right foundations in their business that we call Balanced FoundationsTM. Mission, Vision and Values are the base layer or the Cause Layer. Developing this cause is  the first thing businesses should make sure they have in place.

People respond to causes that they believe will make a difference. Your cause needs to inspire your staff 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. Creating a cause for your staff is critical to their engagement and contribution. Connecting staff to your cause is a significant challenge but when done right increases not only contribution, but means a more loyal workforce increasing stability and reducing costly staff turnover.

Creating a meaningful and inspiring cause is a challenge in itself. Connecting your staff to your cause is a separate challenge but will worth the investment. Firm Foundations Australia can help you with both.

Tags: Management Leadership Mission Vision Values
Category: Leadership

Harle McGeachie

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