Veteran author Mike Figliuolo walks you through a simple process for crafting effective vision and mission statements that motivate your high-performing team.
- Now crafting a vision and mission sounds like it might be really difficult, but it can be quite easy with some very simple techniques. So get the relevant stakeholders in a room. Find some time where they're going to be able to open up and not feel the pressures of the daily operations, and then find some whiteboards and some flip charts and tee up some questions, and your task as a facilitator is to simply capture all those thoughts and prompt them on things that are going to contribute to the articulation of that vision and that mission. So for example, you can ask people what value do our customers get from interacting with us? What differentiates us from our competitors? What do we aspire to be three to five years from now, and then the important thing is let them talk, and do your best to capture everything that's said up on that whiteboard or that flip chart. Right now, you're just in input mode. Once you've gotten through some of these questions and you feel the energy is out of the room and people have contributed all their thoughts, put them on a break, and then take a look at that whiteboard and look for terms and concepts that are repeated multiple times. Those common threads are the ones where the heart of your vision and mission are. Take those common terms and write them on a blank sheet of paper, and let everyone take a look at them and figure out how can we turn those terms into a clear and simple statement, and write that draft vision statement out or that draft mission. Turn it into something that people can react to. So once you're done doing so and you have your vision, take a step back and ask people, for this vision, is this something we can achieve in five years? Do we reasonably believe that if we turn our teams lose that we would be excited to achieve this vision, and if we got there, would the team feel like we've accomplished something great? When you look at the mission, ask does this mission truly describe why we exist and what we're passionate about? Does it explain how we as a team create value for our customers, both internal and external customers, and last, can people make decisions and take action if they understand why we exist? So if they don't have guidance and the only thing they have is here's your mission, can they choose accurately between alternatives and fulfill the team's greater purpose? So articulating that vision and mission isn't difficult. You just have to bring the right players to the room, prompt them with the right set of questions, document all their thoughts and ideas, find the common threads, and then craft it into something that's clear, simple to understand, and compelling because this is ultimately how you're going to set the direction for your team.
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