You probably wrote your company’s vision, mission and values statements a while ago. Maybe some of these have been made into plaques or posters and hang in the office or are found in company documents and marketing materials. There are a number of statements that are traditionally included in a business plan, these may include a vision statement, mission statement and/or position statement as well as recitation of the company’s core values. They are proud statements that were written with care to define and show direction for the company.
Companies writing growth oriented business plans will regularly review these statements making sure that they are still relevant to the company and convey the passion that drives the company forward. These not only embody and communicate the definition of the company and guiding principles, they are also sales tools. These statements represent key differentiators including the culture, principles, objectives, commitment and passion of the company. We pre-sell, sell and resell these not only to clients and customers but to the people who work in the company and have the privilege of a leadership position. These statements are always written clearly, concisely and with carefully chosen language – not an easy task.
While these are not always the first statements written, the business plan will be reviewed prior to finalization to make sure that the plan is true to the vision, mission, values and objectives of the company. If you are reviewing your statements or writing them for the first time, you may want to ask these five questions.
- What do we do for a living?
- When and why do we do it?
- Who do we do it for?
- Why are we in this field?
- Where do we want to go and what do we want to achieve?
Your values should be principles that are aligned with beliefs and actions that exemplify the characteristics of your company and by which your people are defined. These should not be casually adopted from another source or brand and must be frequently tested, constantly promoted and recognized.
As you build or review your company’s statements perhaps it is especially appropriate in this week where we have observed the anniversary of 9/11 to look at one of the greatest and most enduring mission statements in the world, known as the Preamble to the Constitution.
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…”
The events and impact of 9/11 ,while tragic, drove the passion of our nation and many around the world. We were reunited in spirit and purpose rallying patriotism and activism. Your company’s statements should have similar strength and vitality for your company, your clients and the business you serve.