All In?


“Does it matter which order?”

  • Unattributed

In a career spanning nearly four decades, it’s easy to lose count of the number of strategic planning sessions that have come and gone. In every one, the exercise has been “Mission, Vision and Values.”

This week, the question has come up, “Does it matter in which order we address these topics?”

One could argue that the Mission is the “true north.” It’s a succinct statement about the purpose of a corporation or an organization. Purpose is important, right? (Duh, Heston!)

One could argue that the Vision is the “true north.” It’s an over-arching statement of what drives a corporation or an organization; a word picture of that thing a founder or leader sees in their mind when they think “big-picture, long-term.”

One could argue that the Values are the “true north.” They guide the behavior, the decision-making and those “ethical intersection” conversations that are going to happen at some point along the way.

The key, I’ve come to believe, and to see played out this week is really two-pronged. First is the alignment of the three. In whatever order. Most importantly is for leadership, staff, customers, constituents — stakeholders, fill in your word of choice here — to be all in on all three.

That’s where the magic happens. Mission and vision may well evolve as markets change and as the execution model of the business change. Competition might impact mission and vision. Values, though, are really hitting home with me this week as being the closest thing I imagine to “true north.”

Whether corporate, departmental or individual — and whatever our mission, vision, and values, are we “all in?” And how does that shape our approach to each day and each task at hand?

Speaking of “all in,” check out this organization, which is an amazing place for all of us to make a difference. A lasting, multiplying difference.

If you feel compelled to support with a tax-deductible gift, let me know, and I’ll put your name in the hat for a gift of appreciation, which I’ll draw on September 1. And look for more news on the Mission, Vision, and Values, (or Values, Mission and Vision) of this amazing cause.


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