Mission, vision and values are components of an organization's organizational identity. They represent the essence, the dreams, and the principles upon which it is governed, and are generally defined in the process of strategic planning results.
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What is and how to do strategic planning?
We will see in this article:
- What are mission, vision and values?
- How to define organizational identity
- Scheduling Mission, Vision and Values
In strategic management theory, which they are part of, everything seems very beautiful and very important, already in practice not so much. The use of mission and values is often nothing more than beautiful roles printed with politically correct words framed on corporate walls. With zero applicability in day to day management. Vision is often confused with goals.
Some managers have already told me that this strategic planning of a company "It's a big company thing" or "it's too much theory, it's not a priority." I can assure you that if you think so, it is because you are doing something wrong in terms of strategy. In addition, it is precisely because they have been concerned with organizational culture when small firms become large.
The only certainty about a small company that only cares about closing the box every day is that it will never be a big or memorable company. Did you identify yourself? Just keep your cool. There's still time to change. Read this post to the end and decide for yourself whether it's worth taking the time to seriously think about mission, vision and values.
First, let's get some definitions.
Despite the name, the mission has nothing to do with a company goal. It has more to do with essence, purpose, reason to exist. It is more linked to an incessant quest that will never cease to make sense of it rather than a mission that can be won and the hero can return home and "retire."
The ideal mission should be a simple and small text, easy to decorate, just a phrase that will explain in an inspirational way the reason for the company to exist. Answer the following questions:
- Why does the company exist?
- Who does she want to help?
- How does she intend to do that?
LIGHT: We want to develop business management through the best tools.
IKEA: Create a better day-to-day life for people.
American Express: We work hard every day to make American Express the most respected service brand in the world.
Facebook: Give people the power to share and make the world a more open and connected place.
Microsoft: Enabling people and businesses around the world to realize their full potential
Vision is the dream. It is too grandiose to be considered a goal. Imagine that point where, if you get a day with your company, it will all be worth it. This is your vision. Unlike the mission, vision can be renewed over the years. But it is advisable to think well in the long run when thinking about vision.
Do you want to be the biggest in Brazil? Of the world? The most known? What has more prizes? What is the dream that you have and can be shared with the rest of the company?
LIGHT: Being the largest digital product marketplace in Brazil
Valley: Be the number one global natural resource company in creating long-term value, with excellence, passion for people and the planet.
Arcor: To be the company number 1 of delicacies and biscuits of Latin America and to consolidate the participation in the international market.
Your vision does not have to be as ambitious as being "the global 1 brand number in the industry". But why not dream of being the best known in the neighborhood? Or the most popular among seniors? Everything will depend on the mission.
Values are the principles sought by employees and propagated by the company to develop its mission. Values mean nothing if they are not illustrated by actions. Most companies usually disclose mere qualities that do not mean anything like values.
For example, a company that seeks proactive employees, which is a term that is most fashionable. Does she really know what it's like to be proactive? If this employee has an initiative to guard against a problem without worrying about hierarchy, will this action be awarded? If not, this company does not seek proactivity.
I believe that for a company, it is better to be amazing to a small group of people and to develop this group, than to be just good to all people. A business that is good for everyone is subject to competition should a good product appear at a reasonable cost. Incredible small business groups get loyal customers who will hardly trade it.
Some companies are born around a mission. These already have a well defined group of people and tend to develop the culture automatically. There is not a big challenge. Just translate into words what you already believe and propagate.
But the vast majority is born around a product or a commercial activity. These companies can get along well in the beginning, but face problems later, precisely because it offers no differential for anyone (customers and employees). The best way to overcome this barrier is by starting a serious job of building culture.
There is a video of Simon Sinek, world leader in leadership, which shows how great leaders inspire action through purpose: Simon Sinek - TED Talks.
As much as you have started your business to make extra income or to achieve greater independence, there is some history that your product tells you that you have the horn to replicate and propagate.
You can have a restaurant and be happy to see families gathered celebrating. Or you may enjoy seeing young people getting to know each other or enjoying themselves. The two restaurants will be different from each other. You can have a beauty salon and enjoy helping older women feel more alive. Or you may like to prepare people specifically for events. It will also be two different businesses.
The only certainty I have is that it can not be incredible for everyone. Choose one of these audiences. It does not mean that you will refuse others, but all your decisions will be thought giving priority to the chosen one.
An interesting exercise to do is to talk to your customers. Try to listen to the story that your product tells. Why was it bought? What was the purpose behind consumption? Your mission should be designed through this.
From there, create a short, easy-to-understand sentence that conveys this story and begins to take it seriously as if it were a mantra. The second step is to hire only people who have the same drive as you to propagate this story.
If you have a beauty parlor, people passionate about fashion and aesthetics. For a vegan food restaurant, just vegan. There is a history of the hosting application AirBnb that when they realized that their business was not the hosting itself, but to create a large community of hosts, they went on to hire only people who liked to receive other people at home. And that was the main point of the selection process.
Na LIGHT, for example, we want to develop business management. Which means that all the tools we launch and all of our decisions are tied to that. We only hire people who are passionate about entrepreneurship and who have had some experience in this direction, even if amateur.
The exercise of developing a vision is very complicated, because the ideal is that you can find something that the whole company can dream together. Often the owner of the company complains that the team does not have much interest in the growth of the company.
If it is your case, make an internal reflection. What do your employees gain today with the growth of the company plus more responsibility? Have you been compensated for this extra responsibility? Is there a policy of "promoting" more proficient and / or more loyal employees with a share in profits? Are there internal promotions for management positions or do you always hire people from outside? Are you really worrying about the professional growth of your team?
If your answers to these points are negative, you will hardly have a functional view that motivates everyone. Think of ways to make your team see growth in a positive way. Then think about the vision.
Vision is that dream that would change your business to the next level. Not in terms of just growth, but of achievement. I have seen agencies that had vision to win top prizes in the midst of marketing. Fashion brands that dreamed of participating in São Paulo Fashion Week. I have also seen small producers who, all they wanted, was to be able to deliver to Brazil one day.
As I have already exposed before, I think the era of values as list of static qualities is over. It is very common for you to see on the wall of a company:
Okay. These supposed values do not make any company special. If it does not preach ethics, it can not exist, for example. I believe in values as actions. For example, as I mentioned here, LUZ is a company that is passionate about management and tries to spread entrepreneurship. Proactivity is indeed a feature that is part of the entrepreneurial mindset. But what does it mean in practical ways?
- For the collaborators:
- When a customer has a problem, they should try to resolve it, even if it is not their responsibility.
- Find and implement tools that make your work more productive without having to consult managers.
- Be free to take initiatives that please a client without authorization.
- For managers:
- Do not punish employees who make mistakes by trying to fix a company problem proactively.
- To value and reward actions of own initiative.
- Do not impose goals, but set the team together.
Their value proposition should be composed of desirable qualities and characteristics and a list of actions encouraged and forbidden for each of them. From the lists, you'll have a better north to set up the team that will take the company's vision.
Imagine two companies. Both produce and sell organic food. The first has in its team people who eat everything, do not care about additives. But they are good at finance, sales, etc. Already the second one also has competent people, but the interesting point in it is that the whole team loves organic products. And they already consumed and propagated these products before joining the company.
Which of the two companies do you think will produce, sell, and serve customers more zealously? When hiring, if a potential candidate has no synergy with the mission of the company, the job interview does not even have to happen.
The second important role of people management in the culture of the company is to create an environment that stimulates the values of the company. From there, create a hiring structure that seeks, tests, and validates those values.
If you can put together a cohesive team around a mission, I can guarantee that half the way will be done.