New Year Resolutions, either personal or for business, are just goals. Goals are good by providing clarity on what you would like to achieve in the short term. However, if goals are not aligned with what is truly important and purposeful then achieving them will be impossible. First, people need purpose before they need goals. Purpose goes to the core of who you are. Your purpose is your Mission. The same can be said for a business. A business without a purpose is like a butterfly without wings.
But don’t be fooled. Just saying your mission is to sell business services, be the best performing company or make X profit is not sufficient. These are only outputs. Last week’s Friday’s Insight provides some examples. Instead wonder what are your outputs good for? What do they do? How do they impact on clients, the community or society? What motivates you to produce them? For example my beauty salon has found its motivation and purpose. They want to rejuvenate clients. And they do this through hair and beauty treatments.
It is this mission that differentiates your organisation from the competition. A mission helps stakeholders identify and align with an organisation. For instance for employees
- this alignment creates an emotional attachment, which
- creates a bigger connection with and commitment to the organisation than money, which
- reduces absenteeism and increases a willingness to put more effort into work.
Developing an organisational Mission and Vision
Richard Barrett suggests creating an internal and external organisational mission. The internal mission shows how your organisation wants to grow and the external mission shows what you want to achieve.
Barrett suggests the 4 Whys format to develop mission and vision together. They are an interlinked package of purpose and aspirational direction for your employees, your clients and society. As with the mission, the vision has both internal and external aspirations; the former focuses on the organisation, the latter on society. Cultural Inspirations Mission and Vision were developed using the 4 Whys process. The 4 Whys process is done in five steps:
- Identify why your business exists...undertake a purpose search and engage your employees in this process for future change.
- Why do you want to do this purpose/fulfil this mission? This is your organisations internal mission.
- Why is this important for your organisation in serving its clients (external mission).
- For each, the internal and external mission, ask why this is important. This should lead to creating an internal (organisation focused) and external (society focused) vision.
- Then reverse the process. From the External Vision ask How you are going to achieve the internal vision and both mission statements.