March 2018


Driving the Mission for the Organization

The heart of any company begins with its mission statement. The mission statement is the very definition of what the company stands for and the potential future outlook of the business. Much like a company’s value, it shapes the organizational culture where employees learn and grow. If one member of the team doesn’t believe in the same vision the entire team can begin to crumble.

Executives should be the ultimate advocates of driving the mission statement home. They need to constantly focus on how to better the organization and what steps to take to get closer to the ultimate goal. If they do not believe in the vision of the company, this can create a major disturbance in pushing the entire company forward.

Is it worth the time and energy to dedicate time and resources in coaching the executive to invest themselves more? Or should you turn your attention to someone that can prove to be a driving force towards the future?

Many times, the executive cannot offer 100% buy-in to the company’s mission. While the executive may offer great departmental support to the overall vision, if they are not focused on the same goal this can be a deterrent to the desired success in the long run.

Focusing attention on someone who wants to see organizational growth fall within the mission of the company is important. The executives and employees that support the direction a company is headed are more willing to dedicate the time needed to see the goals come to fruition. Try not spin your wheels on a stalled executive, and instead, cruise into the future with a group of supporters backing you.

The Details of Strategic Planning

Strategic planning identifies the abilities of a company and focuses on its strengths. It is used to set priorities, concentrate resources and energy, utilize operations and establish a clear end-goal.

To begin the process, an organizational team should be assembled, which embodies an appropriate representation of the culture and identity of the company. This team should be made of key implementers, outside facilitators, internal representatives and top-level executives.

The basic system of strategic planning begins with goal-setting through identifying the accomplishments that hoped to be accomplished in a set amount of time.

Goal-setting is followed by an assessment of the organization. The question “Where is the company currently?” must be asked and answered. This may be the hardest and most crucial step as there is a distinct differential between where the company currently is and where people want the company to be. The assessment should include internal and external “temperature” audits.

Strategy formulation or defining the future steps for the organization that focuses on the vision and mission is often the next course of action. Formulation is followed by implementation. Taking the steps that were selected in the third stage of the planning process and putting them to work can be the most time-consuming phase.

Evaluation is the final stage of the planning process. Recalling the goals that were set out in stage one and determining if the goal was reached successfully through the steps that were taken is important to ensuring continued progress.

Progress can be tracked and monitored through the use of the Balanced Scorecard, which targets the growth and improvement from the financial, customer/stakeholder, internal process and organizational capacity viewpoints. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure the extent of effectiveness and operational efficiency that is demonstrated during the implementation stage.

While evaluation is the final step, strategic planning should be cyclical. Whether it be refining the steps to achieve the initial goal or establishing a new goal, the strategic planning process should be a day-to-day focus for overall organizational achievement.

What constitutes a transformational leader?

There is an overwhelming sense of responsibility taken on by any leader. Strong leadership evokes a belief in the shared vision and the charisma to guide others has the ability to propel the strengths of the team. The way employees define their manager’s leadership style, has a large impact on the continuation of a successful leadership cycle.

There are nine identified frameworks of leadership styles – transformational, transactional, laissez-faire, servant, autocratic, democratic, bureaucratic, charismatic and situational. With these nine styles, also comes nine different ways a team can define their leader’s approach. Believing in a one-size-fits-all methodology may cause more adversity than prosperity. Leaders must have the ability to adapt their leadership strategy to fit the situation and their employees.

The responsibility taken on by any leader is more than just a guide towards the right direction. A leader must be willing to make the hard decisions, earn the trust and respect of his/her employees, believe and articulate a shared goal, and inspire people to do their best. Having the foresight to know what may lie ahead and recognize that a shared vision will distinguish a transformational leader from the rest.