Latest Articles

Mission, Vision & Values - Not Just Wallpaper

leadership transition Apr 13, 2021

-By Sophie Pinkoski

As a new leader, it’s critical to understand the fundamentals of your organization. Although you studied them during the recruitment process, do you know their history and current context? 

"Once you arrive in the organization, take the time to discover the background before you recommend changes."  

Explore these three crucial fundamentals before applying your own expectations and priorities to your organization:  

Mission / Purpose – Why are we here? The mission or purpose should be a broad statement that details what your organization does, how, why, and for whom over the long term.  

Vision – Where are we going? The vision should narrow down your mission statement into a clear direction. This should outline what the organization intends to accomplish in three to five years. 

Values – How should we behave? Values should reflect your organization’s core principles that drive its team culture and reputation 

The mission and vision work together to offer the solid foundation upon which your organization’s strategic plan is built.  

You will need to know what each of these aspects mean to the people in your organization. Do they know the mission and vision statements off the top of their heads? Do team members live the values in all that they do each day? Do they have a shared understanding of what they mean? Don’t be surprised if the answer is no. If it is, you will either need to determine how to increase the shared understanding of these fundamentals, or determine if they should be reviewed and refreshed before ensuring they are well-known by all team members. 

So, how can you talk to your team about these fundamentals productively? 

Conduct surveys with team members – Are the answers consistent? Are they accurate and align with what the organization is trying to achieve? 

Talk to individual team members – When were the mission, vision, and values updated last? What did the process look like? Does the board or team believe it should be reviewed or refreshed? 

Identify how the mission has been put into action lately – What scenes and stories from individual experiences working in the organization demonstrate its mission, vision, and values? 

While your joining the organization as its new leader doesn’t need to affect the mission, vision, and values your arrival creates an opportunity to check in to see what should be updated.

"At minimum, discuss the history and current context of these fundamentals with your board and direct reports."

Then, you will be in a more informed position to decide the best course of action moving forward.  

Just remember - the mission, vision, and values may hang on the office wall but they are not wallpaper!



Have a question?

Click the link for instant answers to your leadership transition and governance transition questions.

Ask Jane!

Let's Stay In Touch

Hear about the latest leadership and governance transition trends, tools and courses, and what we are up to next!

We won't send spam. Unsubscribe at any time.