Why Vision, Mission & Value Statements Matter

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Defining Your Vision, Mission & Values


I was so pleased to be invited to speak at the Calgary Exchange Group (CEG) on June 12th, 2013. CEG is a fantastic organization in Calgary organized around small to mid-size energy HR professionals sharing best practices around talent.

The new CEG Executive is starting off on the right foot – engaging participants in shaping the CEG story & purpose. The group has amazing potential but needs some direction. I ran the 50+ members through a vision, mission and value workshop.

Why Does a Vision, Mission & Value Statement Matter?

If you can’t articulate WHERE you are going or HOW you will get there, how aligned are your members? How likely are you to achieve your goals?

The development of a well-written vision, mission & value statements signals intent and direction. The key to this process is allowing group members to contribute their ideas. This ensures they are aligned to the purpose and take ownership to help the group meet its goals.

I developed and ran the below workshop to educate members on definitions and use around vision, mission & values. This helped generate idea starters for the new CEG Executive to finalize the statements & then socialize them back with the group.

Take this activity into your own team through my 3 workshops. I recommend scheduling 1-4 hours to really knock this out of the park.

Workshop: Vision, Mission, Values

I like starting this workshop backwards with values, then mission & then building into a culminating vision. Starting with the more tangible activity of values helps the group gain comfort in discussing how the group currently and should work.

Defining the Terms:

Values: Represent the core priorities in the organization’s culture, including what drives member’s priorities and how they act within the organization

Mission: Current purpose & way of being

Vision: Defining an ideal state; group/organization’s potential

Workshop 1: Values

Defining Your Group’s Values:

1. Each table member individually thinks of a positive team experience

2. Individually write 2 – 4 words on sticky notes (one word per note) that are the best describers of positive aspects of that team experience.

  • Example: Collaborative or FUN
  • 3. Each team member has a turn telling a story that shares why those words fit for them (2-5 minutes/person)

    4. Then choose the group values:

  • Put all of the sticky notes in the center of the table
  • Keep those you all agree upon
  • Leave the rest out
  • 5. Group the agreed upon values into themes. Give each theme a main value/heading.

  • Example: Team work = collaborative, contributing, engaged
  • 6. As a leadership team, you would then define behaviors on how that value is demonstrated or exemplified in your organization.

    Workshop 2: Mission

    1. With a partner, work on answering these 4 questions that will support developing a mission for your group:

  • Who are you as a group/organization?
  • Why do you exist?
  • What do you do/provide to others/members?
  • Who do you serve?
  • 2. Discuss your answers as a larger group

    3. Use these answers to write a draft mission statement. I find the below fill in the blank statement useful for this step.

    Draft Mission Statement Template:

    XXX Team is a _______________ (who you are) organization devoted to ____________ (why you exist). Our mission is to help ___________________ (what you do) and support (who you serve).

    The above fill in the blanks will help to get your mission statement started. Be patient with yourself as it will take time to really polish into a concise statement.

    Workshop 3: Vision

    Vision provides rationale for both the mission & the goals the organization should pursue. It reflects the uniqueness of the organization & ideal future state.

    As a group, discuss & record the answer(s) to: What ideal goal should you set as an organization/group, for its members, and for our industry?

    Keeping these Statements Meaningful

    Once you have written up your vision, mission & value statements, I recommend letting them sit for a few days before editing them. Having them posted amongst your team and doing quarterly check-ins/revisions helps keep it meaningful.

    Workshop Reflection

    How have you seen vision, mission & value statements work? How have they not worked?

    How can you, as a leader, keep them fresh and revise regularly with your team?

    **©Talent Formula 2013. If using this workshop in your organization, please let me know by providing feedback on how it went. Remember sharing & feedback is a way of caring! **

    Chelsea Newton
    Chelsea is known as a dynamic and engaging talent consultant and professional speaker. As a Certified Executive Coach, she is extremely passionate about helping people realize both their goals and full potential. Chelsea has worked in 12 countries around the world helping Fortune 500 companies recruit, train, develop, and motivate top talent using cutting edge communication techniques and social media. She is currently developing top talent in the oil sands and speaking across Canada as the founder of Talent Formula.

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    • Mariah

      As a member of the CEG executive, I had the pleasure of working with Chelsea through the mission, vision and values process. She joined our group meeting and led about 50 of us through her workshop. She has great energy, ideas and kept the group engaged throughout the process. She then worked with our executive to polish the ideas generated by the membership. Her professionalism, focus and leadership enabled us to work towards a great finished product that we will use to guide the direction of our group going forward. This workshop was well worth the time invested.

      • chelsea

        Thank you so much for the kudos Mariah. I’m excited to see the final presentation to the CEG membership of the vision, values & mission!

    • Heather Screaton

      I wasn’t able to attend the member workshop but was delighted to see the output. As an executive the “bottom up” approach really helped us create mission, vision and values that we knew were aligned with our membership. Chelsea is a brilliant facilitator and her process is one of the best I’ve experienced. We now need to LIVE the results of the work we’ve done. This shouldn’t be a stretch – in fact the process we used should help us make it all part of our work instead of in addition to it!

      Thanks Chelsea

      • chelsea

        Heather, thanks for the comment! I can’t wait to see how these values, mission and vision become further embedded into CEG!

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