#6 Articulating a Compelling Vision and Values

Building Corporate CultureBy Terry Thompson and Jason Kipps

In an earlier blog (#4 The One Absolute Truth), we mentioned that one of the initial priorities that we started with was to articulate a compelling corporate vision and the related values.  In our case, the founder of Terry’s company had done a good job on the high level vision and mission statements.  However, what was lacking (and is often missed by most corporations) were the reasons why the managers, followed by non-management personnel, should believe in the vision and why the chances for success were good.  We mention managers first because unless your managers eat, breathe, and believe in any initiative and can properly communicate the reasons why it is a priority and why it can succeed, the initiative will almost surely fail.    We will expand upon this key point in a subsequent blog entry. For now, let’s begin with a situation where both the vision and the supporting mission statements need to be developed.

The important points to consider in articulating a compelling vision and related values are:

  1. Create a simple and easy-to-understand vision with a clear mission statement.  One effective way to do this is to start by writing your vision for the company and why it is worthwhile in as many words as it takes to properly describe. Don’t worry about word count and don’t be afraid to use words that express your enthusiasm for your vision.  After completing this exercise, Google companies known for their great culture.  Study  the format and content of their statements in order to provide examples of how to condense your words into the most efficient and effective form.
  2. List the reasons why you passionately believe:
    1. The vision is a worthwhile one.
    2. It has a good chance for success. To do this describe:

i.     The market(s) that the company is targeting and why the services/products are needed (if possible it is good to provide information about total market size, its potential growth and the targeted share of the market for the company).

ii.     Who else (if anyone) services this market and how does your company [1]differentiate itself from these competitors in order to gain market share.

iii.     Any other key items that you feel are pertinent.

  1. List the values that you live by and ensure that they align with the vision.  Again it is sometimes useful to Google successful companies and look at how they have described their values in order to help you improve your communication.

Next you must effectively communicate the above information to the employees of your company.  How to do this (and implement an ongoing corporate communication program) will be the topic of the next article.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email us at Terry Thompson at tthompson15@verizon.net  or  Jason Kipps at Jasonkipps@gmail.com  ©