Why Purpose, Mission, Vision and Values Really Do Matter

Guest post from Chris Griffiths:
Being able to define your purpose, mission, vision and values allows you to plan for your company’s future success. The Purpose/Mission/Vision/Values concept can apply to just about anybody in any business. Whether you’re an established company, an enthusiastic start-up or a remote worker, use this strategy to help define who you are and where you want to be. Although this way of thinking and working aids companies and their growth, it is highly underestimated. However, when these concepts are expressed clearly and concisely and relayed to the company, your business will be more focused on its future goals.
With the aid of the ‘Why We Exist’ Canvas, you’ll be able to assess business problems standing in the way of achieving your goals and map out the steps in order to reach them.

1.    Purpose: What is your reason for being?
If you were to ask your colleagues what the purpose of the company was, how many would answer correctly? If the answer is only a few, then they wouldn’t be alone. Did you know that people are more likely to thrive when their work has a clear purpose and meaning? Define the purpose of the company and share it with your team. With a purpose clearly defined, workers will be uplifted, resulting in an increase in their output. Once your purpose is defined, be sure to put it into action. Make it believable and ensure each individual in the company is committed to it. Give it a go and see how the process boosts productivity, loyalty and performance throughout the company.
Action: Use your Canvas to note down why you choose to exist as a company, beyond the financial gain. What are your strengths as a team/company? What is your thing that attracts the attention of others?
2.  Mission: What’s your core mission statement?
Although a business strategy is likely to change over time, the company’s mission will not. If you’re unfamiliar with mission statements, they define the business and its primary objectives. For example, a company mission may be to boost productivity for individuals and teams worldwide. Be bold and courageous with your goals and mission statement. After all, if your goal doesn’t scare you then it’s not big enough. Defining a clear mission statement allows you to be transparent with the team. Your team will know what to expect from you and what you expect from them. Champion a grand mission, rather than bland statements. Once defined, check your mission statement by asking yourself these essential four questions:
     What do we do?
     How do we do it?
     Whom do we do it for?
     What value are we bringing to others?
Action: Write an ambitious yet achievable position in your market or in your customers’ lives that recognizes your Purpose. Ensure your statement is concise and never underestimate the importance of your company’s mission.
3. Vision: Where is the future taking you?
We all have a vision for our goals. ‘Where do we want to be in three, five or ten years’ time?’, is the key question to ask yourself when thinking about the company vision. Your vision is also a powerful influencing factor for employee retention and engagement. When considering your vision and how it could impact your team, think about how you can make it sustainable and scalable. Analyze areas such as how to carry your business in the future and establish timeframes for when you’d like to reach certain milestones. An important point to remember is not to define a statement purely for the sake of it. Define your vision in order to live it.
Action: What’s the difference you’re aiming to make in your customers’ lives or society at large? Define it on your Canvas.
4. Values: What do you stand for?
Company values are closely linked with its mission. They represent choices connected with your mission and are the core DNA of your business. Think of values as your identity and what you stand for. Strong values lead to action and become a guiding force as your company grows. Your company values have the ability to influence others and welcome potential customers. Take some time to understand the real priorities of your business; you’ll then be able to determine the best direction for the company. Identifying and understanding your values is challenging, yet vital. By pinpointing your company values, you’ll be more aware of these factors when making future decisions.
Action: Now use your Canvas to define the principles and values that will accelerate your progress and success.
Inspire the people around you with your purpose, mission, vision and values to help cement business goals and take the company to the next level.
Chris Griffiths, author of The Creative Thinking Handbook:  Your Step-By-Step Guide To Problem Solving In Business, is founder and CEO of OpenGenius. Griffiths has helped thousands of people worldwide drive business growth using highly practical innovation processes, including teams and individuals from Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, the United Nations, governments, the European Commission and Nobel Laureates. He is a pioneer in combining creative thinking strategies with technology to enhance productivity and is behind the iMindMap and DropTask apps, now utilized by over two million people worldwide.

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