What to do with all those business statements.
In any organization how you communicate what your business is all about is vital. Your employees and leadership must all be heading the same direction. There must be a cohesive understand of what you do as well as why you do it.
You could say, “we build widgets” or “we build the world’s best widgets” or “we build the most essential widgets the world needs to survive.” You can readily see there is a big difference between the ways each of those short sentences communicate.
Personally, I think developing a mission, vision and values statement are important in order for the owners and leaders of the organization to get clarity about where the business is, where it wants to go and how it’s going to get there.
Here’s a short description of each:
- Missions Statement is what we do in the present that will get us to the future.
- Visison statement is what future we want to accomplish through our present action
- Values statement is how we will behave now in order to get the desired future.
Let’s look at a the Coca-cola company and how they communicate each of these:
- To refresh the world…
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
- To create value and make a difference.
- People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
- Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs.
- Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
- Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
- Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
- Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
- Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
- Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
- Integrity: Be real
- Accountability: If it is to be, it's up to me
- Passion: Committed in heart and mind
- Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
- Quality: What we do, we do well
Let me clarify something quickly. There is a difference between ‘company values,' and a ‘value statement.’ A value statement or purpose statement is what you do for your customer. It is in terms directed at the consumer. Values are a set of core traits that are the foundation to the internal culture of your business. Many companies call these ‘core values.’ For this post, we will talk about the core values. *(see the previous article to learn more about a purpose statement)
Coca-cola has a few more statements which are not necessary, but they felt they needed clarification. (If you want to see all of their statements: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/mission-vision-values/)
For most companies we can stick to the three basics. I want to walk thru how you can implement a core set of belief statements for your business.
- What do we do?
- What makes us different?
- What actions in the present get us to the future?
- Focus on ‘how’ you do your business.
- Where are we going?
- What will our business accomplish in 10 years?
- What impact will we have on our community, industry or the world?
- Focus on ‘where’ you are going in your business.
Values Statement (Core Values)
- How will we behave as a business?
- What attributes will be our moral compass?
- What character traits do we value in our employees and leadership?
- Focus on ‘culture’ within your business.
I wanted to share a bunch of examples, but I don’t want you to take someone else’s ideas and creating them for your business. It is important that you come up with a set of statement that works for your business. You should get a strong set of mission, vision and values before you research what other companies say. Then, your research should validate what you have discovered in your own business.
Remember, you are creating a cultural identity with these statement. You are communicating what is important to your company. It is best to put them into your words in your style. If your culture is fun, have fun with it. If you have a more structured business, make it structured, but don’t forget to inspire.
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