Imagine driving into work each day, full of purpose and conviction. You know where your business is going (vision), you have a plan to get there (mission) and the standards (values) on how to operate your business.
What a great place to be!
Unfortunately, not every business owner has this satisfaction.
When I have an initial Coaching & Mentoring meeting with a business owner, I ask “imagine we are having this conversation in +3 years, tell me what you have built and how you achieved it”? Most business owners can answer this with some semblance of vision, but when I go onto ask “have you clearly and eloquently established this in formal vision & mission statements” they say “no”. Some business owners have most of this in their business plan, if they have one, some not.
The understanding of how important a clear vision, mission & values is in a business is grossly underestimated.
Business owners, plus their stakeholders, can be genuinely inspired if their business has a compelling vision and a clear, worthwhile mission. These statements can be highly motivating when they are expressed clearly and with intent. Especially when you communicate them effectively to everyone in the business. They also express the businesses purpose to customers, suppliers and the media, on whom it can have the same effect as well. These statements are the words leaders use to explain an organization’s purpose and direction. When expressed clearly and concisely, they can motivate your team. or the business as a whole. With an inspiring vision of the future.
What do they mean?
They define the business purpose and primary objectives. These statements are in the present tense, and they explain why you exist as a business, both to members of the business and to people outside it. Mission statements tend to be short, clear and powerful.
They define your business purpose, it focuses on its goals and future aspirations, and should be uplifting and inspiring. They’re also timeless: even if the business changes its strategy, the vision will often stay the same.
They underpin the vision and mission, and are the “core beliefs or DNA” of the business. The “standards” of how the business owner wants to operate the business. Whether it is how to treat customers and other employees, or what they strive for and how employees want to feel when they work there. The importance of business values is seen in a number of different ways. They help guide decision making They inform customers about what the business stands for, and what they can expect as a customer. And as a business they are valuable for recruiting and retention. Everyone in the business needs to understand your values. Don’t become preoccupied with trying to sound like the next Shakespeare and create values from the heart. Use strong concrete language to make it clear what your values mean and how they represent your business.
Therefore the importance of vision, mission and values so vital in your business. They become the very “foundations” upon which an owner will build a solid, sustainable and growing business.
- Use them to get the most from your employees, they will be as enthused as you if you have direction and a route. This is Alignment – everybody pulling in the same direction.
- Communicate them to your stakeholders
- Use the vision to become the lens to determine decisions, operations, and customer experiences. When your people see first-hand how purpose and vision translate to decisions, actions, and customer experience, they become true believers.
- Review the mission regularly as to whether you are on track or not then take actions to get back on course if needed. Implement measure to track progress.
- Be a leader and excel at your values, this will give you the right behaviours and sets the culture and standards of your business.