Here's our quick guide, with examples and a worksheet.
Ask yourself these three questions—and be honest:
- Does your company have its mission, vision, and values written down?
- Are you 100 percent happy with them?
- Would you bet on most employees knowing what they are?
If you answered no to any of these questions, this post is for you. Because one "no" means that, almost certainly, your workforce doesn't understand the heart of your business. And that they probably aren't using these all-important guides to make daily decisions that align with your intentions.
There's no need to overcomplicate the process. You could spend a lot of time and consulting dollars on crafting the "perfect" mission, vision, and values, but we find that with a little focused reflection, most CEOs can get something down that's much better than what they had before—which is usually nothing at all, or a jargon-jumble that hadn't seen the light of day in years.
Here's a fast approach to understanding the difference between the mission statement, vision statement, and core values, and asking yourself the best questions to develop ones that will unite and inspire your employees.
The Mission Statement
Your mission statement describes your overall purpose and objective as an organization.
Key questions to consider:
- What is our company's overarching intent?
- What makes us different from everyone else?
- What is the essence of what we’re trying to achieve?
"To help people save money so they can live better."
"We work hard every day to make American Express
the world's most respected service brand."
"To make our customers the best-run companies on earth."
THE vision STATEMENT
Your vision statement describes how the world will look if you achieve your mission. Think aspirationally here, and describe the ideal end state.
Key questions to consider:
- What role in the world do we want this organization to play?
- What is the idealized future state we want to create?
- How will people live differently if our organization is successful?
As the examples show, starting with “A world…” is a classic way to approach a vision statement.
"A world where everyone has a decent place to live."
"People working together as a lean, global enterprise
to make people's lives better through automotive
and mobility leadership."
"A world full of great jobs and great companies."
THE Core values
Your organization’s core values are the principles that guide decisions and actions at every level of the workforce. A good set of values promotes autonomy while also building a sense of relatedness.
Ensure that the values you choose meet two key criteria:
1. Values should represent the unique views of the CEO, helping employees understand how he or she views the world of the company. Ask yourself: What values would I stand by, no matter what? What values do I demonstrate in my own leadership?
2. Values should be behaviorally applicable, meaning they are specific enough to guide real-world decision making. (“Respect,” for example, is a nice concept but not an effective organizational value.) Ask yourself: Will a frontline employee be able to use these values to navigate through daily decisions?
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
3. Fast is better than slow.
4. Democracy on the web works.
5. You don’t need to be at your desk to
need an answer.
6. You can make money without doing evil.
7. There’s always more information out there.
8. The need for information crosses all borders.
9. You can be serious without a suit.
10. Great just isn’t good enough.
1. Be courageously transparent.
2. Bring your “A game.”
3. Put Khorus first.
4. Ask why
Good luck! Want our feedback on your mission, vision, and values? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you.
If you'd like a simple solution for communicating your mission, vision, and values to your entire workforce—and ensuring that they drive strategy and execution—schedule your demo of Khorus.