Imagine an organization which has no purpose, no directions, no goals to achieve, no targets to be met. The top management delegates work to their subordinates and subordinates work accordingly. Everyone works in their own fashion. Each person has different ideas, different goals. They don’t know why they are working? What is the purpose the destination they want to reach?What roadmap to follow?
Imagine how haphazard would a business be when everyone in the organization is having different goals. Each one working towards their individual goals. It would be like running on a railway station to catch different trains.
Will such an organization be able to scale up?
Will such an organization survive in this competitive market?
Will their team have a personal growth and development?
Will that organization earn reasonable profits?
Thus is it very important to understand the importance of having a vision, mission and values for any organization
Why it is important to have a Vision statement or Mission statement or Values?
It gives you the answer to the Golden Circle
Vision answer the question Why?
Mission answer the question What?
Values answer the question How?
Let us understand Vision Mission Values in detail. How to design Vision Mission Values and what are the Benefits and output from doing so.
The only thing worse then being blind is having sight but no vision. – Helen Keller
Vision gives us the purpose of our existence. Why do we exist?
Vision tells us “Where are we going?”
- What will our organization look like 5–10 years from now?
- What does success look like?
- What are we aspiring to achieve?
- What mountain are you climbing and why?
A Vision Statement defines your desired future state and provides direction for where we are going as an organization. It infuses the organization with a sense of purposeful action.
- Outcome: A picture of the future.
An effective vision statement consists of the following elements
- Future casting
Provides a picture of what your business will look like in the future.
Worded to give your staff a larger sense of purpose–so they see themselves as “building a cathedral” rather than “laying stones.”
Clarifies the direction in which your organization needs to move and keeps everyone pushing forward to reach it.
Represents a dream that is beyond what you think is possible. It represents the mountaintop your organization is striving to reach. Visioning takes you out beyond your present reality.
Worded in engaging language that inspires and engages people. It creates a vivid image in people’s heads that provokes emotion and excitement. It creates enthusiasm and poses a challenge that inspires and engages people in the organization.
- Capitalizes on Core Competencies
Builds on your organization’s core competencies. It builds on what you have already established – history, customer/constituent base, strengths, and unique capabilities, resources and assets.
- Reflective of a company’s culture and core values
- Defines a company’s reason for existence and where it is heading towards
There can be Three types of Vision statements
- Quantitative – Which has numbers and statistics Eg: “To generate a T/O of 100 Million….”
- Competitive – which shows that they are best within their industry. Eg: “To become the provider of first choice for our community by being a leader in rural healthcare and offering innovative technologically advanced services” - Pershing General Hospital
- Superlatives – Starting with “The Best….”, “No. 1 company ….” Eg: To be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile. McDonald’s
Amazon: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Heinz: To be the world’s premier food company, offering nutritious, superior tasting foods to people everywhere.
Microsoft: computer on every desk, and in every home
A Mission statement becomes the DNA for every other decision we make.
Mission tells us What do you do?
- How are you going to achieve our vision?
- What does your organization intend to accomplish?
- Why do you work here? Why is it special to work here?
- What would happen if we were not here?
Your mission statement should serve as a guide for day-to-day operations and as the foundation for futuredecision making
Outcome: A short, concise, concrete statement that clearly defines the scope of the organization
There is always a confusion between Vision and Mission. So let us understand with the help of example as below
Where you are now being point A and where you want to reach in point B.
So Point B is your Vision Statement and The Box around is your Mission. i.e. How you are going to reach from A to B is your Mission.
An effective Mission statement consists of the following elements
- Focuses on satisfying Client needs
A mission statement should focus the organization on satisfying customer/constituent needs rather than on a program or service. It tells “who” your customer/constituents are, “what” needs your organization wishes to satisfy and “how” these needs are satisfied.
- Based on your core competencies:
should base its mission on a competitively superior internal strength, unique capability or resource that the organization performs well in comparison to similar organizations.
- Motivates and inspires stakeholder’scommitment
Your mission statement should be motivating. Your stakeholders need to feel that their work is significant and that it contributes to people’s lives.
Your mission statement should be realistic. You should avoid making the mission too narrow or too broad.
- Specific, short, sharply focused and memorable
It should be a precise statement of purpose that describes the essence of the organization in words your constituents and stakeholders can remember you by. It should “fit on a T-shirt.” “To serve the most vulnerable.” (International Red Cross)
- Clear and easily understood:
Develop and write your mission statement on a “party level” (i.e. simple and clearly) so that you can quickly and briefly tell people you meet at a party or on airplanes why your organization exists. At the same time, it needs to give your team a profoundly simple focus for everything it does as an organization.
- Market focused
who are we serving, what value we are providing
- What you want to be remembered for
Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Walmart: We save people money so they can live better.
Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.
How to form a vision and statement?
Vision and mission statements cannot be formed by one person in the organization. It needs buy in of each team member associated to the organization. Complete alignment to it is needed get the most benefits out of it. Thus three important points to be followed while forming Vision and mission statements.
Involve your staff, management team. Take their inputs and ideas. Each different mind will have different ideas and creativity. Explore those ideas and make a list of it. Ask them to just put down their thoughts on a piece of paper. You can actually arrange an event where in you gather at one place with your entire, with clean mind and dedicate a day to formulate vision and mission statements. You can form different groups/ teams and create competition in them to get better ideas and thoughts.
Gather all the information and ideas at one place. Take references of others vision statements, also take your current vision/Mission statement if any. A little research work would help you get better information. Use of key words that motivates the team can be gathered. Words that you connect with your organization’s goals can be jotted down.
- Sit down in a room with all the ideas and inputs from team. synthesize it. Pick and choose what you think fits the best for your organization.
- ask those above questions why? and what? where are we going? deliberate whether your Vision/Mission answers those questions.
- Draft a couple of statements and articulate them
- Use sticky notes, charts to display statements in front of you.
- Come back with the same set of people who gave ideas and then select the one that fits best to your organization. Or use a combination of the statements and formulate a good one.
Its not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.
Values tell us“What you Believe in?”
- What are the key non-negotiables that are critical to the success of the company?
- What are the guiding principles that are core to how we operate in this organization?
- What behaviors do you expect to see?
- If the circumstances changed and penalized us for holding this core value, would we still keep it?
Your values statement clarifies what your organization stands for, believes in and the behaviors you expect to see as a result.
- How will we behave?
- Outcome: Short list of 5-7 core values.
For Example: If bus is an organization then Values will be how we treat each other when we are hanging out on that Bus.Basically values decide what is allowed what is disallowed.
Here are some guidelines in developing core values
- Keep the list of values to between 5 & 7
They need to be memorable to your staff
- Create phrases, but not paragraphs
One word is not enough to convey real meaning of a value.
- Make these values specific, not generic
It takes more than one word to define specificity.
- Values need to be shared
While you don’t need consensus from everyone in your organization, you do need agreement from senior leadership.
- If it’s already stated in your mission, do not repeat it.
Some values-driven language may be part of your mission statement. That’s fine, but consider not repeating what you have covered elsewhere.
Wal-Mart: Excellence, customer service, respect to employees.
McDonald’s: Quality, consistency, cleanliness, value.
People who demonstrate integrity, respect, and teaming.
People with energy, enthusiasm, and the courage to lead.
People who build relationships based on doing the right thing.
How to form values
Involve your staff, management team and each and everyoneassociated to the organization. Take inputs from them just as you took for vision and mission statements.
Values are something which is very much personal or individual. So instead of getting in a room and deciding on it, need to do a survey which has very specific questions. The question can be: what are the guiding principles that dictate how we treat each other and our customers?
Based on the answers you can form your values using above guidelines.
How to ensure successful implementation of Vision Mission Values?
Once you have formulated your Vision Mission and Value statements, the most critical part is to actually implement or execute the same. Your vision mission values should match with those of your entire team. Only then it will be a success.
Vision without execution is delusion.
The Weakest person of your team is your strongest person. Thus each and every person in the organization must be sincerely aligned to vision mission values. Some tips for successful implementation of your vision mission values:
- Remember the vision mission values
Each and every person shall memorize the vision mission value statements. Only then they will be able to bring those into practice in day to day life. This can be done through playing games during meeting which ensures that each member has memorized the statements.
- Training, induction& brain storming
New employees shall be given a detailed understanding of the company’s vision mission values while joining itself. What is the importance shall be inducted to the team. For existing employees also, a brain storming session can be arranged periodically to refresh the importance of vision mission values.
- Display of vision mission values
Vision mission values shall be displayed in all your offices, Websites, brochures etc. It can be kept as a standard screen saver for all the systems in your office. It can be printed on the diary given to staff. Also can be used as a signage on mails. This will display the vision mission values again and again to the team and thus remains very fresh.
- Rewards and recognition
Organization shall have a policy wherein the team member who are most aligned with the vision mission values can be given certain rewards or recognition. Example. You can announce a value achiever every month. Publish their story of achievement in your monthly journals or groups. Give certificates or gifts.
- Include in the appraisal process
One way to achieve alignment and buy in of the team on vision mission values is to include the implementation rate as criteria for the employee appraisal. Appraisal leads to monitory benefits and thus helps increase alignment
- Include in day to day activity
Ensure that your teams monthly plans include activities which is leading the organization towards the vision mission values. It should be brought principally in practice in day to day activities.
Benefits from Vision Mission Values
- Team comes closure to each other and communication gaps will be reduced in future.
- Creates a sense of security among the team.
- Team is an active part in designing vision, mission and values and thus they will strive to work towards it.
- Increased focusin business will reap visible results and increase in turnover
- Manpower attrition will reduce
- Prospective customers will be inspired by us and would want to work with us
- Existing Customers will gain more confidence in us and recommend their contacts.
- Gives a road map to everyone, management as well as team.
- Keeps everyone motivated and inspired.
- Decision making become faster and easier.
- Helps organization to scale up.
- Increases brand value of the company in the market.
It is an important fact to note that all the organizations which has their vision mission and values clearly defined have achieved tremendous growth and profitability in a very short span of time. Their team is very much aligned to their vision mission and values and thus they have never looked back.Eg: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc. So what are you waiting for? Just get started, be pumped up, design your company’s Vision Mission and Value Statements, Implement the same and always stay motivated & Aligned with your vision mission and values to achieve all that you desire.