On this rock I will build my church:
Mission Vision Values
Before you can tell everyone what you do, why you do it, and whom you do it for, you must first be able to answer those questions for yourself. At the foundation of all marketing efforts is the company’s purpose and how it communicates that purpose to its employees, and its target audiences.
One of the most watched videos on the subject is by well-known organizational behaviorist, Simon Sinek, and his Ted Talk based off his best selling novel “Find your Why.” By defining what you do, how you do it, and why you do it, you can motivate and build trust with your customers and employees.
Now more than ever consumers are connecting to companies on a personal level, which results in the expectation that all companies communicate their values and live those values through consistent action. In order for any organization to expect its employees to live its values, and make decisions that align with those core beliefs, the organization must have a clearly established mission and vision for the organization and use its core values to guide the organization in its daily operations. Every function of brand communication rests on the mission, vision, and values of the organization, and should be constantly guided by that foundation throughout all communications with core audiences.
Why your mission matters
One of the first things on all of my communications assessments of a company review the mission, vision, and values of an organization, and how it is communicated across the organization. In one research project I conducted for a company of 200 employees, out of 100 respondents, 25% said they knew what the organization’s mission statement was; this number is actually high, many organizations are much less. It is said that a president of a fortune 500 company would go around the company and offer 5$ to employees who could articulate the company’s mission. Does the success of the company hinge on 100% of the employees knowing the mission of the organization; no, but it does play a crucial role in aligning the efforts of the employees and the daily decisions of executive leaders.
Where are you going; why should we care?
The vision of the company plays a crucial role in the daily decisions of the leadership team and the efforts of the floor level employees and managers. One client had an issue with the lower level contracted employees making small decisions that hindered the movement towards the future of the company; with a simple question, we solved the problem, “Do your employees know where the company is headed?” If there is no articulated vision for the company, and that vision is not clearly defined and communicated across the organization, then the small daily decisions made at all levels of the organization may not be to the benefit of the greater future of the company. Herb Keller, president of Southwest Airlines, is famous for his detailed focus on making Southwest Airlines the lowest cost airfare provider. Every decision made at Southwest Airlines was focused on cost control, which is what gave Southwest its competitive advantage. Every employee should know where the company is headed so they can make an impact through their small daily decisions.
Let your values be your guide
Our values act as a compass that guides our daily decisions (Notice a theme about small daily decisions). Human beings, in general, make decisions based off of our values and what we deem to be appropriate, or unethical. Values makes decisions very easy, so why don’t more companies base their decisions off a core set of standards and what standards they want their company to uphold. From what I have experienced, small entrepreneurs are much better at understanding company values, because their company values are an extension of their core values as a person. The larger the company gets, the more those values are diminished by adding employees with different personal values. By effectively communicating organizational values throughout the company, you can expect that decisions at all levels will be in alignment with the core values of the company.
There’s more where that came from
If you read this and could not clearly say what your Mission, Vision and Values are, then you may want to look into the Strategies Simplified Brand University. The Brand University is intended to help establish clear communications for nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. If you or your organization wants to build your brand communications from the bottom up, contact Dave for more information on the program.
Dave is a strategic communicator with a passion for building solid foundations for brands and helping clients tell their story. His drive is fueled by a passion to help others reach their full potential. This blog is a platform for the opportunity to express his thoughts on industry trends, communication best practices, and to help viewers see the world as he sees. If you have any ideas on topics or thoughts for Dave to improve his communications, please feel free to connect via an email, or connect with Dave on LinkedIn at the icon below.