Vision, Mission and Values - what are they good for? Absolutely everything!

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Like a successful person who has a clear life purpose, having a clear purpose for your company can mean the difference between stagnating and achieving. You may have even heard of "purpose driven" companies such as those that the global impact accelerator Spring incubates. But how does purpose, vision, mission and values all fit together? And how can you make them work for you? One could say, the purpose of this article is to answer inquiries just like those.

Vision

Vision is the why - why does your company exist in the longer-term. It is that future that your company will be a part of creating so think grander than making enough money to meet payroll or acquiring the next five hundred customers. This is a key reason for you as the entrepreneur or leader of the business to keep driving forward and the guide you'll use when making decisions. Unsure if a new line of business or partnership is right? Even if there is a forecasted positive ROI (Return On Investment) or DCF (Depreciated Cash Flow), if it doesn't move you towards your vision then it isn’t the right move for you. The vision is also a key reason for your employees, partners and customers to choose you. If it is a vision they also believe in, they are more likely to give you leeway, work extra hard and seek out ways to further your mutual preferred future.

In practical terms, it should be short and memorable. Something you can easily refer to when making decisions, talking with employees and sharing with customers. A few examples:

  • BrightGo Solutions envisions positive sustainable work experiences for both the employees and the internationally connected employer. We share your feeling that Canada is a great place to do business and we want to help make it a success for the long-term.

  • The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s vision is for a stronger Canada – a safe and secure country with a shared bond of citizenship and values; a country that continues to support our humanitarian tradition and draws the best from the world to help build a nation that is economically, socially and culturally prosperous.

  • Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.

Mission

Mission is the what - what is your function, what customer segments do you serve and what is your competitive advantage. It is more hands-on and current state focused compared to your Vision. When you write it, it incorporates your current goals and bridges to your Vision - your employees, customers and partners should immediately know what you do and how they can work with you based on your Mission.

Remember that Goals are those big things you want to achieve in the next 6-18 months. They are aligned to your Vision but are much more tactical including the who and the when. One commonly used format is SMART goals. SMART goals is an acronym of Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timely.

In practical terms, it typically is formatted like Company does X for Y by Z. Best practice is to include emotion in the customer part - what pain and emotion would they likely be feeling when they turn to you.

Some examples include:

  • BrightGo Solutions guides international companies, immigrant entrepreneurs and global HR leaders, with human resources and business solutions, who are overwhelmed when entering their new market of Canada. We do this through the lens of culture, compliance and context of doing business in Canada.

  • The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and its partners will build a stronger Canada by:

    • Developing and implementing policies, programs and services that:

      • facilitate the arrival of people and their integration into Canada in a way that maximizes their contribution to the country while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians;

      • maintain Canada’s humanitarian tradition by protecting refugees and people in need of protection; enhance the values and promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship; and

      • reach out to all Canadians and foster increased intercultural understanding and an integrated society with equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, ethnicity and religion.

    • Advancing global migration policies in a way that supports Canada’s immigration and humanitarian objectives.

  • Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Values

The values of the company are the how - how do you go about your business, the interactions you have and the way you do business. It provides the norms and standards of how you, employees and partners conduct themselves and provides an expectation for your customers. Similar to Vision in that they guide you during decisions, they act as the cultural boundaries for actions. What is more important, competition or cooperation, most trusted or most watched, quick service or relationship building?

There are no right answers as each collection of values is a reflection of what you want the company to be. Like Vision and Mission, they can be aspirational but do ensure leadership takes care to model the values that you want, otherwise the worst accepted behaviour becomes your practiced values and culture.

In practical terms, you'll want short one-three word phrases and three-five values total. Again, make them memorable and also personal to your organization. You may even want to take the extra step of representing them visually with simple graphics that convey the Value at a glance. Some examples include:

  • BrightGo Solutions: Take Care, Nurture Trust, Have Fun, Let’s Go!

  • The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada promotes the unique ideals all Canadians share and helps build a stronger Canada.

  • RBC:

    • Values Client First: We will always earn the right to be our clients’ first choice

    • Collaboration: We win as One RBC

    • Accountability: We take ownership for personal and collective high performance

    • Diversity & Inclusion: We embrace diversity for innovation and growth

    • Integrity: We hold ourselves to the highest standards to build trust

When BrightGo Solutions works with our clients, whether that is on their initial business plan for Canadian market entry or as they are expanding their team - we incorporate the vision, mission and values of the company in the solutions we propose and work with you on. These can vary greatly from one company to the next - both companies being successful but taking different pathways. Interested in uncovering these for your organization? And then maximizing them in your plans? We’d be happy to help - contact us to get started.