eLaunchers Blog

7 Business Strategy Mistakes on "Values" and "Mission"

Posted by Stephen E. Roulac, Phd on Dec 23, 2019 12:35:54 PM

Stephen E. Roulac, Phd



1- Values Lacking in Commitment
Some companies develop a statement of values because the management textbooks say that companies should have a values statement.

But a values statement that is prepared for appearance rather than substance is not especially valuable. Values that reflect articulation of a commitment to higher purposes are much more impactful than those that reflect a going-through-the-motions approach. Empty values are not nearly as valuable as values that are anchored in commitments.

A values statement for appearance’s sake rather than to reflect commitments is a mistake.

2- Decisions Independent of Values
If decisions are made independently of values, those decisions are less likely to be the right ones for a company than if the company’s values are specifically considered in the decision process.

Values can provide guidance to company employees by enabling them to make decisions that are consistent with what the company stands for and what the company aspires to be.
While many people can readily make decisions when confronted with a familiar situation, relying on what has been done before, an unfamiliar situation can be more challenging.
Values can provide the means for employees to make decisions in an unfamiliar situation and in circumstances that they have not encountered before. Referencing company values to guide unfamiliar decisions, especially when there is no logical precedent, can meaningfully increase the likelihood that decisions made are the right ones for the company.

Making decisions without considering company values is a mistake.

3- Responding to Decisions Without a Value Anchor
The decision style employed can have an important influence on the ability of a manager to achieve desired strategic outcomes.

Some executives make decisions without a uniform, consistent theme between one decision and another. Other managers make decisions from a core of specified values that provide a reference point to determine what is the best decision, not merely for short-term benefit, but over the long haul.

To make decisions without a firmly articulated set of values can be a mistake.


1- No Mission Statement
Too many companies operate without a mission statement.

A mission statement provides guidance to those who are taking the company’s message to the market. The mission statement reflects a company’s purposes, what it is about, and what it is seeking to do. To comprehend the consequences of no mission statement, think about what might happen if missionaries were sent out into the field to spread the word, but they did not know what word they were to spread.

The absence of a mission statement is a mistake.

2- Mission Confusion
An organization’s mission should reflect clarity rather than confusion.

A mission statement that reflects confused thinking can compromise the organization’s realization of its objectives. If you send people on a mission, you want them to be absolutely clear about what their mission is. You do not want some people pursuing one thing and some pursuing another thing.

Confusion concerning the company’s mission statement is a mistake.

3- Unrecognized Shifting Mission
A company’s mission may, over time, evolve into something new.

Unless a company consciously makes a decision to change its mission, the company’s mission is expected to represent stability, consistency and continuity. But if the mission creeps from one thing to another thing, perhaps without the organization being aware of what is really happening, the organization may find that its mission has evolved to be something other than what was anticipated—or even desired. The shift in mission may result in a mission that is less relevant or less useful than was originally intended. While it might be perfectly all right and sometimes good for a mission to evolve, the company should recognize such an evolution of its mission, and should re-write and re-clarify its
mission statement.

Allowing a mission to unconsciously shift over time can be a mistake.

4- Can’t Answer “What Business are You In?” Question
If a company does not have a good answer to the question, “What business are you in?” then that company does not really have its act together.

If all the people in the company cannot effectively tell someone what business the company is in, then how will they know how to make effective decisions? How will those employees be able to recognize opportunities? How will those employees be able to respond to customer inquiries?

Inability to answer the “What business are you in?” question is a mistake.

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As always, Stay Tuned!! we will talk about 6 Business Strategy Mistakes on "Vision".

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In this blog, we share what we learned from our reading and our experience. We publish two articles a week. Our blog editor Stacey Riska reads, researches and interview industry experts to write these articles. We also get articles contributed by others that Stacey publishes periodically to this blog. If you have a blog idea or blog article, kindly send it to sriska@elaunchers.com for review.

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