Just as alignment is key to your automobile running efficiently and not wearing down the tires, alignment of your management team is also key.
Unfortunately, it is also rare. Such misalignment results in silos, miscommunication, misunderstanding and unempowered employees.
So how do you ensure your management team is in alignment? Ask them each independently what are the vision, mission, values and strategic positioning of the firm.
Just so we're all in alignment on for these four critical foundations of the business are, here are my definitions:
- Vision -- What do we want to be? Where do we want to go? The desired end state at some future time that everyone on the team can embrace. A sense of the possible, aspirational and attainable. Visualization of the destination. Unique.
- Mission -- The purpose of the organization outside the company – beyond profits or market position. If executed properly, pursuit of the mission will lead to the realization of the vision.
- Values -- The unwavering principles that guide how we conduct business. Innate elements of the company, brand, product or service which differentiate and help the communications truly reflect the company.
- Strategic positioning -- The long-term positive differentiation of the company, brand or service. Must be true. Long-lasting. Differentiating. Not a tagline, though the tagline may be the creative expression of the positioning.