Mission (Who and What) is the company's long term purpose. Here is a very clear and concise definition from “Strategic Analysis and Action” (notice the word ACTION): “A firm's mission communicates its basic identity and purpose.” Sounds basic enough and really it should be, however, drafting a clear and concise mission statement is probably one of the most challenging tasks to get right. In order to get where you are going you have to have a solid understanding of who you are and what you do. More on this in a future post.
Vision (Where) is your long term goals and objectives. Here is the definition of vision: “An effective vision describes a possible dream – a dream that will hopefully marshal the energy, confidence, and efforts of all the people in the organization.” Vision is essentially where you want to be in 3 or 5 or 10 years. More on this in a future post.
Values (How) are how you conduct business along your way to achieving the dream, essentially the company norms. “A corporate vision statement presents the basic beliefs that govern individual and group behaviour in an organization. Vision is where you want to get to.
Principles (When) are the corporate compass. They are steadfast and remain constant over the life of the organization. When in doubt refer to the compass for decision making guidance. Principles remain constant throughout the life of an organization, unlike mission and vision which may adapt to circumstance and changes in direction. More on this in a future post.
This will be a series of 6 posts with today’s overview of the cornerstones of culture as the first post.
- Ian Graham