When you are starting a brand or business, aside from naming your business (or brand), there are few things more important than your mission statement, vision statement, and brand values.
A great deal has been written in business literature about how critical it is for a company to have a mission statement. Many companies jumped on board with this idea and created a mission statement. Some did it collectively with employees and stakeholders and some simply held an executive committee meeting and created a mission statement for the company.
Whatever the situation, I believe that most businesses were unable to sustain the excitement of having a vision of where they were going and a mission of why they are in business. In fact, I think there are very few employees who can articulate their company’s vision or mission statement.
When you have a good vision and mission statement in a company, everyone knows why the company is in business and in what direction it is going. I believe one of the best books that will guide a company through the process is Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Work and Your and Life by Ken Blanchard Jesse Stoner.
They say that “in order for organizations to be fully powered, the leaders need to know how to create a compelling vision that resonates with the hopes and dreams of those in the organization.”
The first element of a dynamic vision is to clearly articulate what the company’s purpose is. It describes why they are in business and usually translates into the good they are doing in the world.
You want your mission statement to be written from the point of view of your clients/customers/website visitors. What benefits do they get from the product or service you provide? What’s in it for them?
Once you have your mission statement, everyone in the company needs to personally figure out what they contribute to the mission. How does their job support the mission of the company? The mission should be designed so that everyone in your company becomes excited and energized at the thought of fulfilling their part.
The next step is to discuss company values. Values will help determine how the mission statement will be supported. The company must clearly articulate what values are important in living out the company’s purpose.
When values are written, employees should know exactly what it looks like when they are living the company values. Behavioral examples are important.
When an organization has taken the time to outline their values, then they can hold people accountable for behaving in line with the values and people who are interviewing for a job can make a conscious decision to accept an offer based on whether or not their values are compatible with the company’s values.
Blanchard and Stoner write, “There’s a lot of power in values. I think it’s because values tap into people’s feelings. People cherish their values and are deeply emotional about them. When they act in support of their values, they are proud of their actions… Values serve as the driving force behind your purpose. Values supply the energy and excitement that help people remain committed when the going gets tough.”
A company’s vision describes its direction for the future.
Once you have a map describing where you are going, it’s easy to know what to do next. As goals are accomplished, the next goals come into focus.
5 Elements Of A Compelling Vision Statement:
• Helps us understand what business we’re really in
• Provides guidelines that help us make daily decisions
• Provides a picture of the desired future that we can actually see
• Is enduring
• Is about being “great”
When you are writing your values, mission statement, and vision statement remember that this is going to be your focal point in everything you do with your business or brand.