Building your Vision and Values, It’s Power in Leveraging Performance.
Why have a Vision?
There are a number of reasons why it is vital to have a corporate Vision:
- It establishes the reason why your business exists and defines its aspiration
- It defines the future aspirational ‘state’ for the business ’what or who we want to become’
- It attracts great people to join the company for the journey
- It differentiates you as a business
- It shapes your company’s compelling proposition
- Your ‘why’
- It works for Countries,Communities, Corporations,Teams and Individuals
- It defines the direction of your strategy
- It shapes decision making
- It creates dynamism and energy
- It carries the emotional motivators and creates the pathway for achieving significant success
- Vision becomes even more important in tough times than when things are going well…..
In the words of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) :
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake to find it was vanity.
But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, that they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible”
The importance of having a company vision and a simple set of defined values is that they are key factors for shaping strategic direction. Without both of these components in place, a company cannot explain its ‘raison d’etre” or its purpose either to its employees or its customers.
Joel Barker Futurist states:
“Action without vision passes the time
Vision without action is merely a dream
Vision with action can change the world”
However, creating a Vision for your company is not without its challenges.
- 70% of employees don’t understand their company’s Vision Statement. (Forbes)
- Over 50% of Executives agree that corporate culture can influence productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates. (Forbes)
- A powerfully stated Vision and a well crafted set of simple values can transform performance! (MPI Learning)
How to create a Vision Statement?
Know what you want to achieve – Be absolutely clear about what future success looks and feels like – “start with the end in mind” (Steven Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
A simple company vision is the key – Creating your vision in a simple form means your colleagues, clients and employees easily understand it – and remember it!
Building a mission statement for a company vision – Your mission statement is the start of your overall vision. You need to understand your company’s mission statement, put it next to your vision and ensure you can see how they correlate.
Work hard on the clarity of language – If your vision statement is too ambiguous then it will be hard for you and your employees to understand and then achieve. People have different views of the world and thus interpret things differently. You should write your goal, share it with your team, get some feedback and then come back to it a week later and you may have a different perspective on it.
Your company’s values – Define your values by how you want your company to be run. Your values don’t have to be overly detailed, they could be one-word phrases to motivate you and your team every day, e.g. “Honesty”, “Passionate”, “Reliability”.
Be a futurist and engage the team in the process – When creating your vision statement, gather the people around you who will be engaged in its delivery. Ask them future-focussed questions to establish exciting ideas for the statement and the keywords that could be included. Have them consider ‘what are we trying to achieve? How will our discipline look within the next 5/10 years? What innovations will become part of our world? Will we have to adapt our strategy? Will we be able to do that? How will we outperform our competitors?
‘Craft a draft’ – with them and keep iterating it until it begins to be inspirational. It must move emotions – ‘emotion is motion!’ Engagement in the statement is the telling measure….
By following the 7 steps above you will be able to design your company vision and then a mission statement tailored to drive your business. With the application of the famous ‘SMART’ objectives framework to help you shape and then achieve every goal big or small. Setting the right goal is important. Make sure your goals are specific and follow the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based).
Set Timeframes – Set milestones for your vision and mission statements, ensuring you have the right amount of time to complete everything to the highest standard. Setting small goals will help achieve your end goal, as the smaller goals are broken down of your big end goal which you wish to achieve.
Why have Values?
Different behaviours are acceptable or not acceptable in different cultures locally and internationally. We go on holidays and experience it, it can be why we love to travel? It’s fascinating to observe and experience the traits of different countries and regions of the world. Behaviours are driven by beliefs and not necessarily reality…
In companies, the structures can define the culture and the people define the culture in the way they understand and interpret the values. The way they ‘live’ the values and translate them into action. You can not, not have values? In other words, a group of people existing in a business will create a culture in time. In different parts of the world, the way that evolves will be different.
So Values are very important in corporate strategy. They speak to everyone about who you are and how you behave vs what is important to you.
The Mafia had values, The Krays had values. The Nuns have values. Political parties have values and policies…. Do you agree or align with these examples of values and how these groups apply them in their daily lives? Probably not!
- Values and beliefs drive behaviour
- Behaviour breeds behaviour
- Values shape how we treat each other
- Values shape how we treat customers
- Values shape our decisions
- Values define our culture
- Values when written and articulated in company strategy reflects how we look to outsiders looking in as to what sort of company are we to do business with?
- So they could affect business performance too
Make your vision and values more memorable, first keep it simple!
Remind colleagues! It can often help to create an acronym or a graphic, place them around the office and insert the graphics and words into the company’s internal website to act as a reminder and motivate employees. Good also to have the origin of the words there to help new joiners and people looking at the business as potential customers.
Read about Tesco’s Vision Statement here
Building your vision and values, written by Jerry Brown