A quick guide to these powerful alignment tools
Creating your mission, vision, and values can be confusing.
Don’t worry—here are some useful guidelines for crafting statements that are clear, compelling, and inspiring to everyone your organization touches.
Your mission statement describes your overall purpose and objective as an organization.
Key questions to consider:
- What is our 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.”
“To make our customers the best-run organizations on earth.”
“We work hard every day to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.”
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?
- 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.”
“A world full of great jobs and great companies.”
“People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.”
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.