Suffering with Blurred Vision

21 September 2018 / by admin

If you missed it…

Bartleby, The Economist’s column on management and work, had a feature last month about how corporate Visions and Values can often “descend into verbiage.” Hear hear Bartleby!!

They’re not half wrong and we thought it would be useful and interesting to paraphrase some of their commentary.

They begin by saying that “Mission statements are not compulsory but they appeal to executives seeking to emphasise that their business is about more than making money.” A cynical notion perhaps, but it would appear that many of these executives may still be treating it as a tick box exercise given that so many visions / statements / missions / ‘insert rallying cry here’ are often be generic, bland and unoriginal mumbo jumbo.

Bartleby go on to say that “The best statements are short and describe the business in a way that customers and employees can understand and appreciate…..Visa says its vision is “to be the best way to be pay and be paid, for everyone everywhere.”

And they’re right. I’ve only read that vision once, but I was able to rewrite it in this blog, word for word, without taking a second glance. And that’s nothing to do with me having a good memory, but more about Visa being economical with their use of words.

But of course these things aren’t about recital (although that helps), but should be about performance. Done in the right way, a clear, compelling and differentiating vision provides Leadership with a shared ambition and direction for the business, which in turn helps them to foster the right culture that therefore drives better performance within their teams.

Getting it right

We’ve found that the businesses that get it right take the time and effort (and investment) in truly immersing and involving their people in the process – from the creation of what it is through to establishing how it helps you do a better job.

It’s often mentioned that it’s 1% about the words, and 99% about the engagement process. Meaning, you can have the snappiest vision statement in the business park, but if you’re only going to print it on a few posters then you’ve wasted your time and probably a ton of post it notes.

Take a look at a piece of work that we delivered for Ladbrokes; an award winning Vision and Values programme that delivered extraordinary results, both in terms of employee and customer satisfaction. Their simple, human and fresh set of values not only helped them to re-engage their people, but enabled them to differentiate themselves them in a challenging marketplace.

Get in touch

If you’d like more information about INVOLVE and the work we do around vision, purpose, mission and values, feel free to contact us here.