¿Do you own a business and don’t have your mission, vision and values well defined?
The mission, vision and values are the pillars on which a business is founded, a declaration of intent and a letter of introduction that reminds both our customers and our team what situation do we want to improve? (mission), how would things be if this situation improved? (vision) and what moves us to do it? (values).
These elements are key in the strategic dimension of any Business Plan and must be considered in the decision-making process to ensure integrity and coherence.
Mission defines strategy and strategy defines structure.
— Peter F. Drucker
Despite its remarkable importance, there are many companies, especially SMEs, that do not have these sections defined. It is for this reason that we have prepared the following post where we detail the concepts, explain how to develop them and provide you with some resources, as well as examples to make their development easier.
What is the mission, vision and values of a company?
What is the mission of a company?
To correctly define the company´s mission we have to answer the following question: What situation do we want to improve? Mission is the answer to this question and can take the form of:
Solve a specific problem or improve people's quality of life through a new product or service
Improve, simplify or reduce the cost in which certain products or services were offered.
Extending an existing product or service to a segment of the population that did not have access to it.
The mission explicitly contains the Value Proposition, the differential factor that justifies why a potential client should buy our offering, be it a product or service, or that of your competition. One cannot talk about value proposition without at least mentioning the concept of Competitive Advantage and Market Positioning wonderfully explained by Michael Porter in the following quote:
Competitive advantage is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of Value.
— Michael Porter
What is the business vision?
The vision helps us project into the future by describing what the situation would look like: What would the world be like if the situation, object of our mission, were to improve? There is no better example of vision than the speech by Martin Luther King where on August 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, he explains how he would see the world in the event that one day, the mission he is fighting for is achieved.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Company Mission is the set of goals that will guide you from your current situation (Statu Quo) to your ideal future situation (vision). This goals should be aspirational but achievable. To clarify this, it is best to define Objectives, Goals and Milestones:
Goals: a result or achievement lacking specificity and concreteness.
Objectives: a result or achievement concrete and measurable that should follow the SMART philosophy: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based.
Milestones: a set of objectives that share a deadline.
If you are interested in methodology for defining objectives, we recommend that you read the methodology of Andy Grove, The Father of OKRs, which is masterfully explained in John Doerr's book Measure What Matters. This methodology was born in Intel and contributed to make them the giant they are today. It details a simple, but at the same time robust way of building objectives and incorporate them into the business.
What are the values of a company?
The values of a company are the ethical principles on which the culture is based and that answers the question: What moves us to fight to achieve our vision? They also define the way in which we relate to the environment: customers, suppliers, competitors.
The values in an organization tend to be projections of the values of the founders and as the company scales, a two-way phenomenon occurs in which the values penetrate through the business hierarchy but also inversely, behaving like a reflection, they scale from the base to the vertex.
Ultimately, the perception of a firm's values is the sum of the values of each of the employees that make up the organization. At this point Leadership could be defined as the ability of management to align its values with those of its team together achieve the same goal (vision).
Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them
— Stephen Covey
Why is it important to have a well-defined mission, vision and values?
As you have been able to verify, these concepts are decisive in any strategic decision. Communicating our strategic position and acting in accordance with it guarantees integrity in action and respect from customers, employees, suppliers and competitors. Below, we have selected few examples that illustrate these pillars in detail:
Google Mission: organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Apple Mission: design the best personal computers in the world, lead the digital music revolution and define the future of mobile media.
Adidas Mission: leading the sporting goods industry with brands based on passion for sports and sports lifestyle.
Microsoft Mission: to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Digital Branding Ltd Mission: our mission is to help companies achieve their maximum digital potential.
Google Vision: a world where everyone has access to information in one click
Apple Vision: challenge the status quo.
Adidas Vision: being leaders in innovation and design that help athletes of all skill levels achieve maximum performance with every product we bring to market.
Microsoft Vision: to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.
Digital Branding Ltd Vision: a world in which new technologies are a tool that contributes to improving productivity and reaching new horizons.
Google Values: learning, success and inclusion.
Apple Values: excellence, focus, development and innovation.
Adidas Values: security, collaboration and creativity.
Microsoft Values: Innovation, diversity and trust
Digital Branding Ltd Values: price value ratio, results orientation, honesty, loyalty, flexibility.
In this article we have reviewed the concepts of mission, vision and values, as well as other related concepts such as Porter's Competitive Advantage, the difference between milestones, goals and objectives and their practical application using the Andy Grove´s OKRs technique. Likewise, five practical examples of these pillars have been compiled to facilitate their understanding.
At Digital Branding Ltd we can help you define all these concepts for your brand and build your business plan. Contact our Digital Marketing team at [email protected] or on the phones you can find in our contact section.
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