Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

Managing Corporate Culture article series

In an earlier article (Managing Corporate Culture – The one absolute truth) I mentioned that one of the initial priorities that I started with, as a CEO working improve corporate culture within our organization, was to articulate a compelling corporate vision and the related values.

In our case, the founder of the company did a good job creating the high-level vision and mission statements. However, what was lacking (and what is often missed by most corporations) were the reasons why the managers and non-management personnel should truly believe in the vision. I mention managers first because unless your managers eat, breathe and believe in any initiative and can properly communicate the reasons why it is a priority to their teams, it is almost sure to fail. I will write more about this key point in a subsequent article.

The important points to consider to articulating a compelling vision and related values are:

1.  Create simple and easy to understand vision and mission statements. Start by writing your vision for the company and why it is worthwhile in as many words as it takes to properly describe them. Don’t worry about how many words it takes and don’t be afraid to use words that express your enthusiasm for your vision. After completing this exercise, google companies known for their great culture and see the format and content of their statements in order to provide examples as to how to condense your words to their most efficient and effective form.

2. List the reasons why you passionately believe the vision is a worthwhile one and that it has a good chance for success. To do this, describe:

  •  The market(s) that the company is targeting and why the services/products are needed (if possible it is good to provide information about total market size, its potential growth and the targeted share of the market for the company).
  • Who else (if anyone) services this market and how your company differentiates itself from these competitors in order to gain market share.
  • Any other key items that you feel are pertinent.

3. List the values that you live by and ensure that they align with the vision. Again, it is sometimes useful to google successful companies and look at how they have described their values in order to help you better word your communication.

Next, you must effectively communicate the above information to the employees of your company.  How to do this (and implement an ongoing corporate communication program) will be the topic of the next article.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article, please email me (Terry Thompson) at tesh@shaw.ca.