Company visions, mission statements, values… what a load of crap right? Wrong!
Up to a few months ago I use to believe that having a vision or a mission statement was plain bullshit. But when you stop to think about it without a vision you are all over the place and not sure in which direction you should be going.
A company should be group of people with the same set of common values and beliefs. The reason for this is trust. I like to use an example by Simon Sinek. When you are abroad and meet a person from your birth place, you become immediate friends. There is immediate trust between the two of you. The reason is because you know that the people from the same country share a common set of values and beliefs. Companies should be similar.
Why do you think Melita customer service sucks? I never worked for Melita and don’t have any inside information. So I’m going to make a few guesses here. It must be really annoying to hear people complain all day long. They must feel pretty useless that they hear people complain all day long but can’t do anything about it. The reason they do this is probably because they are told to act this way. The customer service representatives have bosses who treat them like shit, because in turn they are treated like shit. It becomes immediately evident that this company is founded on bad values and immoral beliefs.
What about money?
Almost all companies are there to make money, and making money in its self is a vision. By this definition all companies have a vision: to make more money. That’s true, the problem I see with that is that it’s much harder to build a company with the right values and beliefs, if your main aim is to make money. We all like money. But money makes us greedy and short sighted.
We should think of money as a by-product or result. In your personal life in order for you to survive you need to have money. You need money to enjoy it and money helps to make you happy. But if your primary aim is to make money you’ll end up living a very boring life. If on the other hand your aim is to have fun and enjoy life you’ll probably live much better off. However in order to enjoy life you’ll need money. To this extent money is a by-product. It’s not your primary aim to make money, but you need money to live better. The same reasoning applies to companies.
Why should you care about all this?
Having a vision changes everything. Having a vision changes the way companies do things and what they do. Having a vision attracts the right customers. Having the right vision will help you come up with the right set of values and beliefs. Which in turn will make it easier for a company to shape up the right environment to attract and nurture the right employees.