I read an interesting interview with Sir Keir Starmer in The Sunday Times last weekend in which he said that he wouldn’t shy away from the fact that The Labour Party’s 2019 manifesto had far too much in it.
He also made clear his vision that Britain should be the “best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in”.
In my view, he has highlighted two things that are crucial if you are going to get people to ‘buy in’ to what you do, or what you can offer.
1. You need to have a vision
2. You need to simply explain how you are going to achieve it
If your business has a clear vision, or mission, statement, you have an advantage over those competitors that don’t. Simply put, your vision is where you are going, your mission is what you are going to do every day to get you there.
Visions vary from business-to-business however, your vision should be clear and easy to understand. Above all it should motivate everyone your organisation interacts with. Amazon’s vision for example 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.”
This undoubtedly motivates customers – we all, after all, want to feel we are at the centre of our supplier’s world. It also motivates staff, both existing, encouraging them the stay with the business, and those you would like to recruit.
A clear vison provides a great focus for everyone in your business to know where they are headed, however the crucial thing here is to tell each member of your team the role they will play to get you there.
Your mission statement on the other hand, communicates what you are going to do every day to ensure you will achieve your vision.
Some mission statements, in my view, don’t communicate what it is that you do every day to achieve your vision. They can be too wordy and too full of unnecessary detail which means that they are too easy to forget.
Would you remember something like this for instance and would it make clear what it is you do every day?
“The Company’s primary objective is to maximize long-term stockholder value, while adhering to the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates and at all times observing the highest ethical standards.”
Most mission statements are aimed at the shareholders (as above) or the staff, whereas I believe it should clearly tell any stakeholder what you do and what it can achieve (or avoid) for your clients or customers.
The mission of e business coaching for example is “We know business owners work long hours, often not achieving the success they deserve. We provide our clients with tools and frameworks to start moving towards their dream business rather than continuing the nightmare of feeling tired and frustrated.”
This puts the client at the centre of what we do every day … and I would commend it to The House!