PARCHMENT OR TOILET PAPER:
Looking at one of the most infamous companies in history as an example. After Enron collapsed, one of our contacts walked into their office and found a plaque with their mission statement on it. He promptly hung the plaque in his toilet, telling us, “It was the only place it should be seen”.
According to their mission statement, their vision was to “become the world’s leading energy company- creating innovative and efficient energy solutions for growing economies and a better environment worldwide”.
Thinking about a vision being a ‘where’ and ‘when’ statement, Enron’s vision only told us what they wanted to be. It was, in fact, more of goal than a vision. In simple terms, it was little more than words.
That was a running theme at the company too, because their values spoke of ‘honesty and integrity at all times’ and the need to ‘set the standard for others’.
Their ‘vision’ only really included the ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’- half of the equation for a perfect team. There was nothing inspirational and emotive about it.
The inspiration comes in the form of the ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘who’. If you tell someone you have the best thing since sliced bread next door, but do not give them a reason why it is important to them, they will not go and look at it. If, however, you tell them why it is important to them- and give them a galvanising reason to believe in it, they are very likely to go as far as walking over hot coals to look at it.
A MODERN-DAY EXAMPLE:
We do not need to look to scandals like Enron to show how most mission statements only include half the equation though.
Google’s mission statement, which is ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’, also shows a lack of real vision and purpose.
PEOPLE NEED A SENSE OF PURPOSE:
In our previous article, we looked at how to motivate team members, and identified that motivation is about attention. With a clear vision then, you are already on the way to focusing that attention and providing that motivation.
Thinking back to President Kennedy and his ‘man on the moon’ mantra, one visit to NASA epitomises the effect of a clear and concise vision.
When he saw a janitor cleaning his mop, he asked him what he was doing. The janitor is said to have replied, “Mr President, I’m putting a man on the moon”.
After onboarding our first international licensee in 2020, the vision for Perfect Teams is to be the profiling instrument of choice for the twenty-first century, with a presence in 12 cities across 12 countries by the end of 2024, which we will do by attracting at least 144 global licensees.
How does your company’s vision and mission statement stack up? What parts of the perfect team equation are you missing?
Nobody is perfect, but your team can be. It starts with you…
To find out how we could help your organisation build that perfect team, please sign up to our next complimentary workshop by clicking here.