Values, Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategy

By on April 19, 2021

MIKE CAMERON, Executive, Business & Leadership Coach for Strategically Yours a short guide to understanding Values, Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategy (Associate Member of the CMPA since 2008).

It is critical to really understand what these terms actually mean and their importance in shaping your business and its long-term success in an ever more complex and competitive environment. Many new business owners and ‘emerging leaders’ spend countless hours on drafting business plans that refer to their vision, in the same context as a mission statement and/or their values, without truly appreciating their difference … they can stand independently … or they talk about their strategies as though they are goals or actions that will achieve their raison d’être (the purpose of the company’s existence).

Ideally, your personal values should closely align with the company’s values (if they are listed on the company’s website) since they are the fundamentals that determine who you are, and what your company stands for. Sometimes, people join a company, because they like the image it presents through the media, only to find that there is an underlying culture that conflicts with their personal values – requiring them to move on or compromise their own integrity. Although many small businesses consider culture to be a corporate phenomenon, every business has a culture of some kind … knowingly or not.
If a business publicly defines its values, it is stating what it stands for, not what it does. It is a clear statement about the business and how it would like both its people and customers to interact with each other. Value statements frequently use words such as integrity, trust, loyalty, accountability, accuracy, innovation and teamwork.

Your company’s Vision should be a statement that resonates with your clients and your people. It should evoke a feeling of shared belief or emotion while also aligning with both your and their Values. It should set the standard by which you are prepared to be judged.
As an example, here is the Vision that I set for my consultancy practice many years ago:
To be the consultancy of choice in creating value for our clients whilst delivering cost effective, innovative, timely and professional support in business coaching, technical appraisal, marketing and strategic planning.

The easiest way to think about the term mission is to think about four to six key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will need to define and implement in order to ensure you achieve your vision (they should also be important to your client, as well as aligning with your personal values … or those quoted by the larger, corporate organisations).

For reference only, it may be worthwhile to review the vision of my coaching and consulting practice, using the values that I currently espouse, and share through my website, and the six mission statements that I drafted twenty years ago. Are there any real conflicts between them and my values? I think not … since they have always been an integral part of my being … however, as I was consulting to the extractive industry, workplace safety was of real importance to both my clients and myself … so trust is implied within the other KPIs!

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that enabled the drafting of my mission statements:

My Personal ValuesThe Mission Statements (KPIs) that guided my practice for the past twenty years.
Delivering value
To demonstrate that we create value for our customers and respond to their needs through clear understanding and precise communication
Understanding our clients’ needs
To ensure that we listen attentively, communicate precisely, actively synergise and regularly seek feedback on our clients’ overall satisfaction with our performance
Mutual RespectUtilising outstanding communicative and interpersonal skills
To create an innovative working environment where trust, respect, open communication, synergy and personal growth are the normal expectation, and reality, for all involved
Compatibility Ensuring technical competence and professional excellence
To demonstrate that we maintain the highest level of technical expertise and professional standards, relative to our particular client base, through the conduct of our business
IntegrityExhibiting a high degree of integrity
To be acknowledged as displaying and maintaining the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour, where illegal, unethical and immoral acts are unthinkable and totally unacceptable
TrustWorking safely and caring for others
To adopt as an attitude, and promote, the concept of ‘No injuries to anyone, ever’ through understanding the risks, attention to work practices and constant vigilance of one’s own and other’s actions

The role of the business owner, the management team and the many leaders who may be involved in the future success and/or viability of the business, is to regularly highlight the vision, key performance indicators and critical success factors, monitor understanding, clarify misunderstandings and support or coach those team members who may have misgivings or apprehension. They do not have to agree with it … just understand it.

The things we need to plan to manage and achieve our KPIs … for our success!!

Delivering value

Standards Performance Measurement Continuous Improvement

Understanding our clients’ needs

Synergise Relationships Account Plans Surveys

Utilising outstanding communicative and interpersonal skills

MentoringFacilitationParticipationOpen Communication

Ensuring technical competence and professional excellence

Image Motivation Personal growth Continuous Training

Exhibiting a high degree of integrity

Standards Commitment Measurement Client Loyalty

Working safely and caring for others

Understanding Vigilance Measurement Training

It is really important to appreciate that goals are NOT strategy.

To simplify the diagram on the next page a little further. Creating an effective Strategy is all about ensuring enduring competitive advantage that provides above average returns.

  1. Strategic Situation: This is the first step in creating a viable and sustainable strategy for your business. You need to understand both the current constraints and potential opportunities that exist within the overall business environment associated with the ‘big picture dream’ you have for your business in the future … and truly knowing where you stand right now! Many start-up businesses fail in a relatively short time-frame because they are passionate about their dream, they believe in their product or service, they have insufficient funds to support their plans, they lack the management skills, and many more … ; however, the failures all arise from the fact that they have not done their homework.
  2. Strategic Direction: We have detailed earlier, and within this section of the chapter, the process of determining where you are going through establishing your Values, Vision, Mission and Goals. Your values, vision and mission should not change over time … however, circumstances my dictate otherwise … a debatable topic no doubt … but both your strategy and the new goals that you will need to create to support your revised strategy will constantly be under review, and change, as circumstances impact upon your business environment.
  3. Strategic Operation: This third step, as detailed above, is the ‘how to’ of getting there … and viably remaining there as your business environment changes … without compromising your values and mission statements that underpin your vision. Strategy, in itself, is not a goal, it identifies the steps, processes and procedures that need to be followed to realise each of the revised or new goals that will be required in order to achieve the new business strategy. Now you can start working on the how to get there!

There will need to be a clear plan to develop the strategy and set up the steps prior to moving forward. A viable and effective strategy will probably see many changes, as all the influencing factors are brought to light … time restrictions, budget, resources, company policy and culture etc … including how to side-step and move around likely and unhelpful negative situations and influences.

Be brave, think outside the square, set a strategy that will ultimately achieve your vision and leave your distinctive mark.

I have been a member of the CMPA for 12 years and been involved with the Australian extractive industry for over 45 years. My business, Strategically Yours promotes me as a ‘professional coach with practical experience’ who is able to mentor and guide Owners and Quarry Managers when making operational decisions about the future direction of their quarrying business. Ongoing membership of the CMPA has ensured I stay abreast of important topics and the challenges facing the industry today and into the future.

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