Ask most C-suite executives if their company’s vision, mission, values, strategy and story impact business performance and they are sure to say … “Well, of course.”
However, when you look at how these critical dimensions are managed you would question just how important executives think they are to business success.
To start with, in most cases these initiatives are developed and managed in silos.
- Human Resources most often maintains the vision, mission and value system across the company.
- C-suite and business executives define and drive the company’s strategy and core business initiatives.
- Marketing or corporate communications typically owns the corporate story (message).
In addition to being managed separately, they also operate on different timetables.
- Vision, mission and value systems are often put aside and only updated when major changes in the business take place.
- The corporate strategy may have a two- to three-year shelf life, and most companies launch new strategic initiatives on an annual basis.
- The corporate story is refreshed sporadically as new agency partners are brought on board, market conditions change, competitive threats arise, etc.
Combined, distributed ownership and inconsistent timing of when these initiatives are refreshed can negatively impact business performance. Why? Because they quickly get out of alignment. As a result, they no longer drive clarity and connectivity across the business … they create confusion and doubt. For instance:
- The company’s go-to-market strategy no longer aligns with the vision and mission.
- The corporate story being shared externally and internally no longer supports the go-to-market strategy.
- The leadership team’s actions and decisions no longer align with the corporate values.
When these cornerstones of a company’s culture and customer experience get out of alignment – employees, partners and customers question their validity and importance. Worse yet, it makes the executive team look misaligned and their message less than authentic.
Don’t let this happen in your company. Form a cross-functional team that is responsible for establishing and maintaining alignment between these critical dimensions of organizational performance. Commit to an intentional process where this team audits, refines and realigns these critical dimensions of organizational performance on an annual basis.
Companies that maintain alignment between their vision, mission, values, strategy and story – win. They win … because they establish clarity in the minds of employees, partners and customers. They win … because they create a unified culture. They win … because they deliver a superior customer experience.