Many try to craft their mission/vision/values statements so perfectly, so all-inclusively, that they never get written. It is not a contest to see who gets an A+ from the teacher for writing a great haiku. If you have the skills to create a truly elegant vision and corporate values statement, fantastic, I applaud you. But if you just put a few simple words down on a piece of paper, and they are powerful and create strong meaning and motivation for you and your people, that’s fine too.
The point is that the clarity of the mission/vision/values statement drives clarity of meaning and direction throughout the organization. These statements are ambiguous, uninspiring, and literally without purpose in far too many companies. The ultimate test of any statement of vision, mission, values, guiding principles, core beliefs, organizational credo–whatever you want to call it–is its effectiveness in mobilizing people to an inspiring purpose and shared direction.
This brief audit will help you determine how well your organization is doing on the critical items outlined. It is essential that you be sincere in scoring the questions. To clarify, this is not an exercise to get the highest score; it is a diagnostic tool to discover areas that need focus and improvement.
Score the following statements on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being strongly disagree and 10 being strongly agree.
- We have a clear, vivid, and compelling vision that is extremely well communicated throughout our entire organization. _______
- Our organization has a deeply held set of guiding principles and core values that drives every aspect of how we do business. _______
- We do not allow anyone to consistently violate the values and remain employed in this organization. _______
- There is a strong and focused shared sense of direction throughout the entire organization. _______
- Everyone in this company understands exactly why this organization exists and what we are trying to accomplish. _______
- People throughout the organization are inspired by our mission and vision. _______
Effectiveness Audit Scoring Key
- A score of 9 or 10 indicates strength in your organization.
- 7 or 8 is a good score but has room for improvement.
- A score of 5 or 6 is an area of concern. This score needs to rise because if it heads in the other direction, it could lead to serious issues.
- A score of 3 or 4 is in the danger zone and requires attention and resources to get it moving up the scale quickly.
- A score of 1 or 2 is an emergency and has to be rectified immediately.
Things To Think About and Discuss
It is important to take time and give the following questions some serious thought. Be honest with yourself and think your answers through in detail. You might also find it valuable to gather several people from your organization to discuss these questions as a group, exploring how each of you might answer the same questions differently. These opposing points of view and alternative ideas are critical to developing quality answers.
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