There are many interpretations as to the purpose of setting the vision, mission and values for your business, but I thought I would share my thoughts as I believe they are a key component to business improvement.
Most business owners have a vision. They know where they would ideally like to see their business end up. However once that vision has been decided it can often be lost in the day to day of sales targets, trying to grow your revenue or worrying about external forces that you can’t actually control.
To have a successful business it must have a purpose, and everything you do must be driving your business towards that. As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
But how do you know if the vision you have in place is the right one, how will you get there and what will drive it. Getting this right sets the tone that your stakeholders will get on board with.
Your vision is your purpose, it is your why. It should be motivational and aspirational. It should also be relevant. You could get key stakeholders involved or trusted friends and family. They may give you ideas you hadn’t thought of but more importantly it generates buy in. Ensure you review it at least annually in line with your business planning schedule. A lot can change in a year and it is important that the vision still reflects why you do what you do and where you want to be.
Once your vision is set you need to decidehow you will achieve it – this is your mission. It is a little bit more straight forward than you values. Your missions is the steps you will take to move from where you are now to where you want to be in the next 1, 3 or 5 years. It is more tangible and it’s a good idea to make it measurable so you can easily identify if you are succeeding. I would recommend making your mission ambitious. As the famous Les brown quote says “Aim for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.”
So, you have your visions and you now know your mission so where do your values fit in? Both your vision and mission must be aligned to your Values.
Your values are the standards you live by. They define you in any given moment and as you grow, both in age and knowledge, they will evolve. They may also change if your circumstances take a turn. How many of you have re-evaluated or just re-aligned what is important to you over the last 12 months?
It is important to understand what your values are because it is the driving force behind your decision making and it helps understand why sometimes things don’t feel quite right.
If you are not sure what your values are try thinking about when you were happiest or most proud and why that was. This can be in any aspect of life so if you are setting values for your business don’t forget to think about what fulfils you in your personal life too. They are intrinsically linked.
If your vision and mission are not aligned to your true values, then you will struggle to achieve them. If they are mismatched, you won’t believe in them. You can see this a lot in organisations where the vision statement has been written by committee and the workforce has not been involved.
So those are my thoughts on Visions, Mission and values and I hope it gives you some thoughts when setting yours.