How to Make Your Mission, Vision, and Core Values More Than Words
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Every CEO knows they must develop three core elements to business management: a mission statement that explains the fundamental purpose of their company, a vision statement that plots a destination for their business, and core values that represent the fundamental beliefs and principles defining the company and its culture. Executive teams will commonly invest significant time developing these elements, even hiring consultants or advisors to help them. Yet, once satisfied with the results, these essential business tools frequently end up stored in a file that is rarely opened or are published in a hidden section of the company’s website. And that’s not how it should be.
Use Mission, Vision, and Core Values, as Your Guiding Compass
All too often, we encounter executives who can’t cite their mission, vision, or core values. How can you manage and model your business along these principles if you don’t remember what they are?
- Use these tools to guide decisions large and small. “Will this initiative help us fulfill our mission and vision or will it distract us from them?” “Is it a good use of our time given what we are trying to achieve?” “Is this in line with our core values?”
- Raise them in company meetings and performance analyses. “To support our mission, we are launching an initiative to take us to the next step.” “Our mission is to delight customers. We just had several complaints on projects delivered to clients this week.” “We want to celebrate a success story that exemplifies one of our core values.“
- Conduct a reality check on alignment across your organization. “Are we doing the right thing?” “Are we measuring the right metrics?” “Are we working with the right partners?” “Do we have the right staff?” “Is our messaging aligned?”
Integrate Core Values, Mission, and Vision with Staff Management
Using these business tools isn’t just tied to executives making decisions. Every employee must know them inside and out and work to fulfill the mission and vision while abiding by the company values.
- Make these elements a core part of onboarding and continuous training. “Everything we do focuses on helping us fulfill our mission and taking us a step closer to reaching our vision. And we use our set of core values to guide us.” “We expect every team member to remember our mission and vision and understand how they contribute to advancing them.”
- Discuss the concepts in performance reviews to validate internalization and collect ideas. “What do you think we need to do to further fulfill our vision? What are we missing?” “You expressed an interest in progressing to a new role in the organization. What do you intend to do in that new role to help us advance our approach to meeting our mission and vision?”
- Tie company and individual goals to these statements and values. “As part of our goal to achieve x, we intend to…” “To further our efforts with our core values, we will…”
The Bottom Line
The core defining elements of your business values need to be more than just words on a webpage. They should guide your daily operations and decision-making. If you find yourself or your team straying from these guiding principles, it's a sign the statements and values may need to be revisited and reinforced.
Make mission, vision, and core values a visible part of your company culture, whether that's through physical displays in the office or digital reminders on your intranet. Include them in strategic conversations and problem-solving sessions. At CSA Research, we've found that a strong foundation in these elements is crucial for achieving long-term success and repeatable results.
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