"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." – Japanese proverb
Developing and activating a mission and vision statement provides the opportunity to establish a common understanding of the organization and its future. In the process, different "images" should be introduced and allowed to become powerful guidelines for all involved. This calls for clarity at the top of the organization as well as a target-oriented discussion and development process for executives and other staff members.
Vision is a short, succinct, and inspiring statement of what the organization intends to become and to achieve at some point in the future, often stated in competitive terms. Vision refers to the category of intentions that are broad, all-inclusive and forward-thinking. It is the image that a business must have of its goals before it sets out to reach them. It describes aspirations for the future, without specifying the means that will be used to achieve those desired ends.
A mission statement is an organization’s vision translated into written form. It makes concrete the leader’s view of the direction and purpose of the organization. For many corporate leaders it is a vital element in any attempt to motivate employees and to give them a sense of priorities.
Elements that should be a part of any mission statement:
- Corporate Philosophy
- Performance Expectations
- Goals & Objectives
- Strategy, purpose, our plan, our mission
- Crystal clear performance expectations at all levels
- A unifying core-purpose for all employees, companywide
- Our core values- the essential and enduring tenets of our company
- Our core purpose- the fundamental reason for existence, beyond that of just making money.
- Core Ideology= Core Values + Core Purpose
Mission and Vision Statements are commonly used to:
- Guide management’s thinking on strategic issues, especially during times of significant change;
- Help define performance standards;
- Inspire employees to work more productively by providing focus and common goals;
- Guide employee decision making;
- Help establish a framework for ethical behavior.
- Enlist external support;
- Create closer linkages and better communication with customers, suppliers and alliance partners;
- Serve as a public relations tool.
This will be a two days’ workshop
- As a direct result of the workshop and the pre-work:
- CMD will have determined his Vision in ‘broad-brush’.
- Senior Managers will have had the opportunity to pre-think before participating.
- All participants will have applied the methodology, and will understand the importance of both the process and the outcome.
- Either the completed Vision, or at least a robust draft of it, will have been produced.
- Senior Managers will have had the opportunity to impact on the specifics and to decide whether they will genuinely support the Vision and to demonstrate that support.
- A plan will have been produced for communicating the Vision throughout the organization.
The Mantrana Visioning Process consists of eight steps:
1) Collect input – to be most effective, the vision should represent the ideals of the entire organization. The vision can be created most successfully by a representative group of five to seven people. Other people can be surveyed for their input by using the following types of questions:
- What would be the perfect organizational culture? What will be the core values?
- What would the perfect organization do for its members’ growth and development?
- What products or services would the perfect organization provide to customers and the community?
- What else would the perfect organization do or be?
2) Brainstorm – using the data collected, have the visioning group brainstorm ideas with the same questions used in Step one. The goal is to record ideas and words to describe the perfect organization.
3) Shrink the mess – the large number of ideas generated must be shrunk down to a smaller, more manageable number without losing content by eliminating duplication, grouping ideas into suitable categories, and eliminating ideas that aren’t appropriate or don’t fit. With the ideas grouped, choose the word or words that best represent each group.
4) Develop a rough draft – work with the words (that represent the groups of ideas) and rough out a statement for each component: culture, people, and product or service.
5) Refine the statements – use words that create pictures. Consider content and style as well. This step deserves the appropriate time and energy.
6) Test the criteria – before taking the vision to the organization, test it against the following criteria: Is your vision timeless, inspirational, and does it provide decision-making criteria for employees faced with tough situations? If it passes, continue to the next step. If it doesn’t pass, then work on improving only those parts that don’t meet the criteria.
7) Obtain organization approval or modify – present the vision to the entire organization for approval. This step is essential if everyone is to "own", and commit to, the vision. When soliciting the approval of other employees, explain the process the team went through, explain the vision, and be open to modifications. All suggestions should be considered.
8) Communicate and celebrate – sometimes a vision will stand alone. If yours does, go out and celebrate. Usually, the vision will require some explanation, clarification, and application. Every word should have a purpose. To bring the vision from the idea world into the physical world, a flexible strategic plan is needed.
Mission statement development steps:
Typically, senior managers will write the company’s overall Mission and Vision Statements. Other managers at different levels may write statements for their particular divisions or business units. The development process requires managers to:
- Clearly identify the corporate culture, values, strategy and view of the future by interviewing employees, suppliers and customers;
- Address the commitment the firm has to its key stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders and communities;
- Ensure that the objectives are measurable, the approach is actionable, and the vision is achievable;
- Communicate the message in clear, simple and precise language;
- Develop buy-in and support throughout the organization.
Kick off Meeting, Icebreaker
Articulation of vision, collection and collation of data from all concerned and finalization of vision draft
Articulation and finalization of mission draft and core values.
Discussion of mission, vision and core values drafts with other managers and opinion leaders and collection of inputs.
Finalization of statements and publication. Communication by CMD to all the employees and other stakeholders