Both people and organizations need to establish a strategic framework for significant success. This framework consists of:
- A vision for your future
- A mission that defines what you are doing
- Values that shape your actions
- Strategies that zero in on your key success approaches
- Goals and action plans that guide your daily, weekly and monthly actions
Your organization's success and your personal success depend on how well you define and live by each of these important concepts. In fact:
- Companies whose employees understand the mission and goals enjoy a 29 percent greater return than other firms (Watson Wyatt Work Study).
- U.S. workers want their work to make a difference, but 75 percent do not think their company's mission statement has become the way they do business (Workplace 2000 Employee Insight Survey).
Read more to find out how to develop a successful strategic framework for your organization and yourself.
What Is a Vision and a Vision Statement?
A vision is a statement about what your organization wants to become. It should resonate with all members of the organization and help them feel proud, excited, motivated and part of something much bigger than themselves.
A vision is a picture of your organization's desired future expressed in a way that resonates with all members of the organization. The vision is shared with employees, customers, shareholders, vendors, and candidates for employment and creates shared meaning about what your organization wants to become. Determining your vision is an early component in corporate or organizational strategic planning.
The vision of the future that your organization's employees commit to creating should stretch your organization's capabilities and expand its current image of itself. The articulated and shared vision provides a picture of the organization that you are trying to create in the future. The vision becomes the rallying cry for your desired future.
The vision is translated into actions via the development of a vision statement that expresses the overall vision. Create a shorter vision statement because employees will remember it better than a one. When employees internalize the vision statement, they take action to make the vision statement come true.
Normally, the vision ranges in length from a couple of words to several pages. A shorter vision is more memorable. When a vision stretches on for pages, and even paragraphs, it is usually because the organization is also expressing how it plans to reach or create the vision. This process is better left for later in strategic planning when the organization develops strategies, goals, and action plans.
Vision Statement Samples
"To be recognized and respected as one of the premier associations of HR Professionals." (HR Association of Greater Detroit)
Personal Vision Statement
Your personal vision for your life can be as simple as a couple of words or as lengthy as 200 or more elements you want to attain or accomplish.
Looking for help and samples to assist you to craft a mission statement that resonates and inspires? Both people and organizations need to establish a mission statement within a strategic framework to experience significant success.
Identifying and sharing your mission statement, vision, values, strategies, goals, and plans will engage your employees and fuel your future accomplishments. Here's what a mission statement entails along with sample mission statements to help you develop your own.
What Is a Mission Statement?
Your company or organization mission or purpose is expressed and shared as a mission statement. Mission or purpose is a precise description of what an organization does. The mission should describe the business the organization is in. It's a definition of why the organization currently exists.
If the mission has been assimilated and integrated into your company culture, each member of your organization should be able to verbally express this mission. Every employee's actions should demonstrate the mission statement in action.
Personal Mission Statement
Additionally, each person needs a mission for his or her life. The alignment of your life mission with your organization’s mission is one of the key factors determining whether you are happy with your work and workplace.
If your personal and organizational mission statements are congruent, you are most likely happy with your choice of work. Take the time to develop your mission statement for your own life; compare your personal mission statement with the mission statement of your organization. Do the mission statements meld?
Mission Statement Samples
These are examples of mission statements that have been developed and shared with the public.
- "FedEx Corporation will produce superior financial returns for its shareowners by providing high value-added logistics, transportation, and related business services through focused operating companies. Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx will strive to develop mutually rewarding relationships with its employees, partners, and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards." (Federal Express Mission and Goals)
- "To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people." (Wal-Mart Mission Statement)
- "Our vision is to be earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online." (Amazon.com Mission Statement)
- "In order to realize our Vision, our Mission must be to exceed the expectations of our customers, whom we define as guests, partners, and fellow employees. (mission) We will accomplish this by committing to our shared values and by achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction, with extraordinary emphasis on the creation of value. (strategy) In this way, we will ensure that our profit, quality, and growth goals are met." (Westin Hotels and Resorts Mission Statement)
- "To spread the power of optimism." (Life Is Good)
- "Each day, American Express makes it easier, safer and more rewarding for consumers and businesses to purchase the things they need and for merchants to sell their goods and services. An engine of commerce, American Express provides innovative payment, travel and expense management solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Most of all, we help our customers realize their dreams and aspirations through industry-leading benefits, access to unique experiences, business-building insights, and global customer care. We enable our customers to do more and achieve more. (American Express)
What Are Values and Value Statements?
Values are beliefs that manifest in how an employee interacts in a workplace, and they stand at the core of what your organization is and what your organization cherishes.
Values also known as core values and as governing values, represent an employee's most significant commitments to what he finds most important in life.
Value statements are developed from your values and define how people want to behave with each other in the organization day to day. They provide a measuring device against which you evaluate all of your actions and behaviors.
Value statements are declarations about how the organization will value customers, suppliers, and the internal community, describing actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the organization.
The values of each of the individuals in your workplace, along with their experiences and upbringing, meld together to form your corporate culture. The values of your senior leaders are especially important in the development of your culture.
These leaders have a lot of power in your organization to set the course and establish the quality of the environment for people. Your leaders have selected employees who they believe have congruent values and fit your workplace culture.
The Impact of Your Personal Values
If you think about your own life, your values form the cornerstones for all that you do, think, believe and accomplish. Your personal values define where you spend your time if you are truly living your values.
Each of you makes choices in life according to your most important four to ten values. Take the time to identify what is most important to you and your organization. Identify and live your values. Manifest your values through value statements.
Why Identify and Establish Values?
Effective organizations identify and develop a clear, concise and shared meaning of values/beliefs, priorities, and direction so that every employee understands and can contribute. Once defined, values impact every aspect of your organization.
You must support and nurture the impact of these value statements or identifying the values will have been a wasted exercise. Employees will feel fooled and misled unless they see the impact on your organization.
Create Impact Through Values and Value Statements
If you want the values you identify and the value statements you craft to have an impact within your organization, follow these guidelines:
- Employees must demonstrate and model these values in action in their personal work behaviors, decision making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction.
- Organizational values help each person establish priorities in their daily work life. Priorities and actions must be grounded in the organization's values and model the value statements identified for each employee's job.
- Allow values to guide every decision that is made once the organization has cooperatively created the values and the value statements.
- Structure rewards and recognition within the organization to recognize those people whose work embodies the values and the value statements that the organization identified and embraced.
- Create organizational goals grounded in the identified values. Employees must identify how their goals and actions are congruent with and demonstrate the values daily.
- Recognize the adoption of values and behaviors in regular performance feedback.
- Hire and promote individuals whose outlook and actions are congruent with the organization's values.
A truly organization-wide, value-based, shared culture will result from the active participation of all members of the organization along with the development of the systems and processes of the organization grounded in the company's values.
The following are examples of values: ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovation, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistence, optimism, dependability, flexibility.
Family, church, and professionalism are not values, although they're important aspects of your life and deserving of your attention. If you define what you value about each of these, then you are identifying the core value. For example, the core value hidden in the use of the word family might be close relationships; in church, spirituality; and in professionalism, demonstrating integrity in everything you do.
Corporate Examples of Value Statements
Companies have many ways of describing their values and value statements including corporate philosophy, words to live by, leadership principles, guiding values or principles and more.
No matter what an organization calls them, the values statements are rooted in the core values of members of the organization. They manifest the core values of their leaders especially. These value statement samples give you an idea of the depth and breadth from which organizations write their values. Search online for values and value statements, and you'll find some that stretch to several pages too.
Merck's Values: "To preserve and improve human life." (Merck)
At Merck, "corporate conduct is inseparable from the conduct of individual employees in the performance of their work. Every Merck employee is responsible for adhering to business practices that are in accordance with the letter and spirit of the applicable laws and with ethical principles that reflect the highest standards of corporate and individual behavior...
"At Merck, we are committed to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. We are responsible to our customers, to Merck employees and their families, to the environments we inhabit, and to the societies we serve worldwide. In discharging our responsibilities, we do not take professional or ethical shortcuts. Our interactions with all segments of society must reflect the high standards we profess."
Zappos Family Core Values: "As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. These are the ten core values that we live by":
- "Deliver WOW Through Service"
- "Embrace and Drive Change"
- "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness"
- "Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded"
- "Pursue Growth and Learning"
- "Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication"
- "Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit"
- "Do More With Less"
- "Be Passionate and Determined"
- "Be Humble"
The Zappos Family Values are clearly described in detail on their website and worth a visit.
Google's Core Philosophy: Google calls its values and value statements its philosophy, and they re-look at the components every few years to make sure that the values are still the same.
- "Focus on the user, and all else will follow."
- "It’s best to do one thing really, really well."
- "Fast is better than slow."
- "Great just isn’t good enough."
More Samples of Values and Value Statements
Additional values and value statements samples are available for your review.
- Microsoft's Core Values
- Amazon.com's Leadership Principles
- Marriott Core Values
In a strategic business framework for organizational planning and success, your strategies, goals, and action plans intertwine and build upon each other to create the appropriate steps to accomplish your mission and vision.
Organizations need strategies, goals, and action plans to cascade the mission through the organization and engage the talents of all employees. Here is how strategies, goals and action plans fit together to accomplish your mission and vision.
What Are Strategies?
Strategies are the broadly defined four or five key approaches the organization will use to accomplish its mission and drive toward the vision. Goals and action plans usually flow from each strategy.
One example of a strategy is creating employee empowerment and teamwork. Another is to pursue a new worldwide market in Asia. Or to streamline your current distribution system using lean management principles.
One university Human Resources Development department established several broad strategies for growth. These included becoming the training and education resource of choice for all employees by offering one-stop access to any and all existing education and training resources. Additionally, they determined key strategies for expanding their funding base and moving courses online for customer convenience.
Another Human Resources department devised strategies to develop a superior workforce. These included eliminating poor performers; hiring from several choices of excellent candidates rather than settling on a candidate; developing succession planning, and increasing training and cross-training opportunities.
"The Human Resource Association of Greater Detroit's (HRAGD) efforts to advance its mission will include: The promotion of voluntary member interchange, observance of ethical and professional standards, the conduct of meetings and workshops on relevant human resources topics and issues, communication of our purpose and activities to the broader business community, cooperation with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), as well as, other SHRM professional and student chapters and related Human Resources organizations and the community involvement of our membership.
"The Association regularly publishes newsletters throughout the year which cover items such as monthly meeting highlights, future programs, Executive Board announcements, SHRM, and legislative updates and general human resources news. Also, a Membership Directory and member skills listing are published."
FedEx developed these business strategies.
"The unique FedEx operating strategy works seamlessly - and simultaneously - on three levels.
- Compete collectively by standing as one brand worldwide and speaking with one voice.
- Operate independently by focusing on our independent networks to meet distinct customer needs.
- Manage collaboratively by working together to sustain loyal relationships with our workforce, customers, and investors."
Develop Goals and Action Plans
After you have developed the key strategies, turn your attention to developing several goals that will enable you to accomplish each of your strategies.
Goals should reach beyond the terms in the traditional SMART acronym: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.
As an example, the HRAGD group might consider setting one goal to hold a monthly chapter meeting. Another goal that supports the carrying out of their strategies involves scheduling a relevant seminar quarterly. An additional one might include holding informal dinners and cocktail hours to support voluntary member exchange.
Once you have enabled strategy accomplishment through setting goals, develop action plans to accomplish each goal. For HRAGD to offer a quarterly seminar, here's an action plan to follow:
- Establish a cross-section of professionals as a committee and meet to plan the sessions.
- Determine budget.
- Perform an assessment of HRAGD member needs.
- Select topics based on member needs assessment.
- Locate exceptional speakers.
- Pick speaker and negotiate workshop length, pay, topic and objectives.
- Determine location and schedule the seminar.
- Plan advertising strategies.
Make action plans as detailed as necessary and integrate the individual steps into your planning system. An effective planning system, whether it uses a software program, an iPad, or paper and pen, will keep your goals and action plans on track and on target.
Want to be one of the organizations whose employees understand the mission and goals and enjoys a 29 percent greater return over other firms? Involve as many people as you can in charting the roadmap we've shared for developing a strategic framework for your business.
Executed effectively, you will enjoy a greater return. With your vision, mission, values, strategies, goals and action plans, you'll win, both personally and professionally.