Mission, Vision and Values etc.

So this month we looked at change management.  This is something that is second nature to HR teams but not necessarily a formal process in many organisations. 

My organisation has no formal strategy and therefore no vision / mission statements or values.  That’s not to say we don’t all understand that the overall goal is to produce a safe quality product to the market whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our teams.

Maybe I should start by explaining what a mission, vision and value is …

The vision, mission, and values statements guide the behaviours of people in the organisation, but when the statements are not supported, people have no guidance.

vision statement is a statement of an organisation’s overarching aspirations of what it hopes to achieve or to become. Here are some examples of vision statements:

  • Disney: To make people happy
  • IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people
  • Microsoft: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more

The vision statement does not provide specific targets, it is a broad description of the value an organisation provides. It is a visual image of what the organisation is trying to produce or become. It should inspire people and motivate them to want to be part of and contribute to the organisation. Vision statements should be clear and concise, usually not longer than a short paragraph.

The mission statement, often confuse with the vision statement, describes what the organisation needs to do now to achieve the vision. The vision and mission statements must support each other, but the mission statement is more specific. It defines how the organisation will be different from other organisations in its industry. Here are examples of mission statements from successful businesses:

  • Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis
  • Honest Tea: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages
  • Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy

Because it is more specific, the mission statement is more actionable than the vision statement. The mission statement leads to strategic goals. Strategic goals are the broad goals the organisation will try to achieve. By describing why the organisation exists, and where and how it will compete, the mission statement allows leaders to define a coherent set of goals that fit together to support the mission.

The values statement, also called the code of ethics, differs from both the vision and mission statements, it defines what the organisation believes in and how people in the organisation are expected to behave—with each other, with customers and suppliers, and with other stakeholders. It provides a moral direction for the organisation that guides decision making and establishes a standard for assessing actions. It also provides a standard for employees to judge violations.

As I said, my organisation has never really set out formal corporate missions, visions and values as larger organisations normally would, but within our corporate literature we use wording such as:

  • We pride ourselves on our outstanding quality and attention to detail – could be perceived as a mission statement
  • The quality of our finished product needs to be of the highest possible standard – could be perceived as a mission statement
  • Being a sustainable business is very important to us and our customers  could be perceived as a value

As a contract packer servicing the on (pubs and restaurants) and off (supermarkets and off-licences) trade industries within wines and spirits.  The term “contract packer” means we liaise with the customer to have their wine delivered to our site, alongside their chosen bottle, label and case, packaging it as per their instructions then prepare for their storage or distribution instructions.  With this product being consumed by the public, there is a lot of protocols to ensure the safety of the product and legalities around labelling and trading standards.

Our customers expect the product to be handled with care, fit for consumption and diligently processed.  A product recall would not only damage our brand and reputation, but that of our customers.

 A PESTLE Analysis is a business analytical toll to help organisations to audit external influences on an organisation: 

  • Political – tax policy, environmental regulations, trade restrictions and reforms, tariffs and political stability
  • Economic – economic growth / decline, interest rates, exchange rates, inflations and wage rates, minimum wage, working hours, unemployment (local and national), credit availability, cost of living
  • Sociological – cultural norms and expectations, health consciousness, population growth rats, age distribution, career attitudes, health and safety
  • Technological – new technologies are continually emerging, the rate of change is increasing.  How will this affect the organisation’s products or services?
  • Legal – changes to legislation impacting employment, access to materials, quotas, resources, imports / exports, and taxation
  • Environmental – global warming and the increased need to switch to sustainable resources, ethical sourcing (both locally and nationally), including supply chain intelligence. Pandemics and other emergencies.

By analysing those factors, organisations can gain insight into the external influences which may impact their strategy and business decisions.  It allows HR and senior managers to assess any risks specific to their industry and organisation, and use that knowledge to inform their decisions.

We work in a market that has many legal requirements to understand, most of which are updated regularly. 

The pandemic saw opportunities and challenges that no-one could foresee.  The government outlined that manufacturing could continue to operate during national lockdowns – provided they supply essential services such as supermarkets.  As the on trade restaurants and public houses closed this impacted significantly on the wider group.  However the general public turned to supermarkets so the sales of wine, beers and spirits increased.  This contributed to the increased demand on our teams and its success is achieving its targets. 

Within the wider market these are the opportunities, challenges and issues the wine and food sector has had to work through:

OpportunitiesChallengesIssues
Increased supermarket demand in last 12 months

Increased recruitment needs in last 12 months

Less European wines

Acquisition

One stop shop solution for customers now in place
Covid-19

Brexit

Staff mental and physical wellbeing
Ongoing projects

Staff skills

Remote working

Furlough

Access to PPE

Re-thinking how tasks are completed

Sedex / BRC

Late issue of government guidance
Reduced activity with entertainment industry

Infection rates v customer demand

HMRC changes

Office / Meeting Space

Production / Storage space

on boarding

VAT on wines

Price

Space on site for increased activity

Moving to digital solutions

Lockdowns / Tiers

Part of the developing your company’s strategic aims us understanding your organisation culture.  Culture illustrates the accepted norms and values and traditional behaviour of a group. One definition of culture by Deal and Kennedy is “the way a we do things around here”. However, culture also evolves over time so can be defined as an evolving set of collective beliefs, values and attitudes. Business culture is related to behaviour, ethics, etiquette and more. A business culture will encompass as organisation’s values, visions, working style, beliefs and habits. 

Johnson’s Cultural Web is a theoretically distinct framework that takes into account different cultural elements as key factors in shaping organisational culture (Johnson and Scholes, 1988). In this model, six cultural elements (e.g. power structures, organisational structures, control systems, stories, rituals and routines and symbols) are defined and serve as key determinants of the organisational culture and employees’ behaviour, reflecting the collective experience of organisations (Cooper et al., 2018). The main benefit of the model is in its simplicity on providing a clear picture of the cultural elements.

At the same time, the framework also attempted to include organisational entities (namely structure and control systems) into its interpretation of culture (Porkka, 2016). It remains to be seen whether these elements fit with the remaining components of the model (Porkka, 2016).

In contrast to Johnson and Scholes (1988), Deal and Kennedy (1982) measured organisations based on the level of feedback and the respective level of risk. The scholars identified four types of culture, namely Tough Guy Macho, Work Hard/Play Hard, Process and Bet-Your-Company culture (Cacciattolo, 2014).

In the CIPD Organisational culture and cultural change report of October 2018, they suggest that given that there’s no universal definition of organisational culture, there’s also no unified set of measures for it either. However, there are some key theoretical frameworks developed to understand an organisation’s culture and tools used by consultants to support organisations in assessing or changing their culture.  The Denison index includes a mix of organisational and psychological constructs, which are measured through a diagnostic survey. It’s a common methodology used for measuring culture.

Denison defines four different traits of organisational culture which can be measured:

  1. Mission. Has the organisation a clearly articulated strategic direction and goal, as well as measures of success/key performance indicators.
  2. Employee involvement. Does the organisation rely on employees to make decisions by empowering them and developing them, as well as enabling team working?
  3. Internal consistency. Has the organisation got a set of values that are consistent and to which they visibly adhere.
  4. Adaptability. Does the organisation focus on learning from competitors and customers, and how open is it to change.

Food for thought for 2021 as we progress to a new era of working with the many challenges I’m sure we’ll face.

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