In our last post, we talked about the high failure rate of strategic planning projects, and discussed how strategy management software firms could improve the success rate. To improve the strategy outcomes, companies need to understand the underlying terminology, and spend time to be clear and precise in their definitions. It all starts with a declaration around Mission, Values and Vision, and we will devote this post to looking at these important areas.
We will use Avon, Coca Cola and Google’s public declarations (in italics below) as examples.
The Mission statement describes the overall purpose of the organization, and its interactions with customers. In short, the mission statement paints a clear picture of what the company does today. Some examples:
We will build a unique portfolio of beauty and related brands, striving to surpass our competitors in quality, innovation, and value, and elevating our image to become the world’s most trusted beauty company.
• To refresh the world
•To inspire moments of optimism and happiness
•To create value and make a difference
Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Values represent the core principles that drive the day to day activities of the company.
Our values serve as a compass for our actions and describe how we behave in the world.
• Focus on the user and all else will follow
•It’s best to do one thing really, really well
•Democracy on the web works
•You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer
•Great just isn’t good enough
Once a company has a clear sense of why it is in business (Mission), and the core principles that drive the company’s day to day activities (Values), it can begin to make some forward looking statements.
The Vision statement can further describe how the organization operates today, but should also project a clear vision of the future.
To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally
Our vision serves as the framework for our Roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth. Here is a subset of the framework:
To develop a perfect search engine
Some Company Vision statements are more explicit than others – but each of these companies has a clear vision of what their future state should be.
The Vision statement begins to paint a picture of the future direction for the Corporation. As we will see in our next post, the Vision statement must be translated into a number of goals. Goals that are precise and quantifiable can then lead to strategy formulation and initiatives – how we achieve our goals
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