What is the first and foremost thing a company need to do before they embark on Continuous Improvement journey? Yes…It is the vision, mission and values of the organization. This article is not about what vision, mission and core value is?There are many sites that can give you an explanation on this.
The focus of this article is more on what the organizations do with the Vision, Mission and Values once it is developed. Developing the Vision and Mission is the easy bit, but keeping it alive in the organization is another story.
Many organizations have their Vision, Mission and Values and are very proud of it.
But how many organizations do actually align their actions to the vision and values set? How many company actually communicate the vision effectively to their key stakeholders? Organizations do generally communicate their vision, mission and values to key stakeholders, especially to the employees But most often then not, many employees are not able to grasp a good understanding of the concept.This is made worse by the actions of the organizations which could be contrary to the values stated.
Organizations spend many hours of the leadership time to develop the vision, mission and values. Hence, it is important for the organization to provide a powerful meaning to the Vision, Mission and Values.
The following 5 Prerequisites are mandatory in order to give life to the organizations visions, missions and values:-
A. Strategic Planning Process
Successful organization will have an annual Strategic Planning Process (SPP). This is normally done off-site and attended by the senior management team. The senior management team normally meets for at least two days to discuss among others customer satisfaction results, external environmental factors such as market trends, economic data and other relevant data The intent here is to review, analyse and align the input data to the vision, mission , values and core competencies.SWOT analysis is a common tool used during the strategic planning process. Gaps identified during the SPP will be used to develop short and long term action plan. For effectiveness, it will be good for each senior manager to become a champion of the action plans. They can then form cross-functional teams to implement the plans.
B. Deployment of Vision, Mission and Values to the Employees.
This is a very critical part in ensuring the success of the Vision of the organization. Most companies do not do well in this area. For effective deployment, it is suggested, that the organization develop a standard communication process for the whole organization. The process should include among others identify audience, communication channel ( training, meeting, bulletin board posting , e-mail and etc.) and the person who will do the communication. The communication shall be logged in for record purpose, including attendance.
C. Reinforce through annual Performance Management Process To reinforce the understanding of the vision, mission and values, it should form part of annual individual performance review and development process. Each individual will have Key Performance Indicators that is directly or indirectly linked to the vision.
Another method of reinforcing the vision and values are through making it a mandatory requirement to discuss at least one core values during any meeting. The discussion can be short where examples can be shared on how the value was displayed in the organization.
D. Senior Leaders Personal Actions
To further reinforce the organization values and visions, senior managers should spend at least 10% of their time at the floor level, interacting and getting to know the employees, becoming a role model and listening to the employees point of view.Employees can also give their views on the values and visions and how it can be better deployed.
E. New Employee Orientation
All new employees must go through an induction program. Among the induction they have to go through, is the session with one of the senior managers on the company vision, values and missions.
The above mentioned 5 actions, if done well by the organization will set the entire organization along a common goal and objectives.