Setting the Vision Mission Values for your enterprise
“Someone can sit in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
When I work with social enterprises, not for profits and businesses I start the conversation by trying to understand what the motivations are for existing! In technical business-speak that means your Vision Mission and Values (VMV)
Having a clearly articulated and well-known VMV makes it easy for all your stakeholders – staff, customers, funders, clients, etc. to understand who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. Your Vision, Mission and Values will also provide key guideposts for helping you evaluate the potential of your ideas.
A clearly defined Vision, Mission, and Values can become a driving force for your organisation. VMV’s are considered to be the foundation of most effective organisations – in any sector. They can help guide your strategic direction and shape any boundaries to help you evaluate potential ideas and projects.
Vision: The world we want to create
Mission: Why our organisation exists
Values: The way we want our organisation to act
Your Vision Statement
“A Vision is a compelling, inspiring, picture of the preferred future.”
A Vision should describe the world you want to see, it should be aspirational, it should be used to attract like-minded people, to develop strategies, to inspire commitment. It should be easy to understand and according to business strategy guru Peter F Drucker a good Vision “should fit on a t-shirt”.
Your Mission Statement
A Mission is… “why we do what we do”, our reason for being, our purpose. Some organisations may not have a clearly defined Vision, but have a good understanding of their Mission.
A good Mission statement should define in clear, concrete terms what you do to contribute to the achievement of the hopes outlined in your Vision statement. It should define your role in solving the problem (or realising the opportunity) for your clients/ stakeholders. As such, it can help you define the kinds of social enterprise activities you might consider.
Your Values are the principles that guide the way you want to work, what you value or believe in as an organisation. It helps define the relationships you have with others (internally and externally) and should provide an insight into how you will live your Vision and Mission.
Values, like the Vision and Mission, can provide another litmus test on appropriate activities to pursue. These are the non-negotiable ways you act
Together your Vision Mission and Values create a decision-making framework for you moving forward and to help you stay focused on what you want to achieve. To ensure your Vision, Mission and Values remain relevant to your organisation and stakeholders, it is also important to revisit your VMV every 3- 5 years. The process of generating a VMV can also be a powerful way of energizing your organisation and reminding people why they turn up for work each day.