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Mission, Vision, Values…Rubbish Or Reality?

Nov 22 2018

Mission, Vision, Values… many organisations have a document defining those big words, often after much effort. In many cases it is filed or hung on a wall … and promptly forgotten.


Words are cheap! In our present political climate we see much effort going into the words that politicians use to ‘spin’ their way into parliament. We all know however that actions speak louder than words. And sometimes those actions lead to a very public destruction, instead of the construction of the “Vision”.


Are You Living & Breathing Your Organisation’s Mission, Vision?


Currently I am working with a client in education where the mantra is “We are passionate about our students”, “We want the best education for our students and school”. These are encouraging, positive words and mission, however what they practice as school citizens to each other as peers is a very different story.


The students are watching their teachers’ behaviour not just in the classroom; they also observe how they deal with other teachers in their school “team”.


A message a teacher wishes to convey may be “it is important to work together – in particular with people who are different to you”. However their actions with other teachers, with whom they are in conflict, show the opposite. There is bullying, egos and conflict between people that gets in the way of showing the best example of their mission (and passion) to students.

Many workplaces are no different.


My Challenge To You


Let’s just say someone spends a couple of days working in your business and observing workplace actions, attitudes and behaviours. At the end of their stay, they are to answer the following 3 questions:


  1. What are the values that this organisation holds deeply – the good, the bad, the ugly?
  2. What would they write about your business? Would they feel the team lives the organisation’s mission and vision
  3. What confirming behaviours do you think they articulate?

Many organisations have values around “Teamwork” “Collaboration” “Working Together achieves more”. Sadly for many this mantra is built on sand and quickly washes away through conflict, poor communication or a lack of open, honest conversation.


Is It OK To Have A Difficult Conversation?


Consider these 2 points honestly:


  • What process do you have in your organisation to encourage difficult or open conversations?
  • Do your leaders practice such important habits?

These critical habits are symptomatic of highly productive teams.


Yes, we have different views of the world, but because we choose to understand the others point of view rather than get ‘offended’ – a whole new world can open up. This is why high performing teams decide not to get offended by opposing views but to see to understand.


Handled the right way, conflicting views can be seeds to new opportunities, new gateways. Welcome them and ask yourself:


  1. Do you want to encourage more open, honest conversations?
  2. Are you taking full advantage of diversity in your workplace?
  3. Would you love to see a high level of respect and trust running in your business veins?

Start with “Why?”


I love Simon Sinek’s You Tube ’Start with Why?’. Until we can connect to our deeper questions of why we do what we do, we are only dancing around the edges.

Just like this education team with whom I am working, we may talk about being passionate about students’ welfare, but our actions say that “protecting self” is a greater priority.


It Is Time To Act


At Bridgeworks, we are passionate about helping leaders and teams understand the true impact they are having on their clients and each other. Nothing in team dynamics is stable for ever. Even previously effective teams can stop generating inspired outcomes. So it may be time to review what is really happening.


Should any of the above hit a nerve for you, let’s discuss your challenge and consider some of the many solutions we have delivered for the past 20 years. I would love to take your organisation on the exciting journey towards positively engaged and effective teams.

Give me a call on 0402 30099.