Like most of us, you’ve spent time developing your purpose/mission statement. Maybe you’ve even worked through your vision and values. And they’re really cool, well thought out, even sound very good. You might even be proud enough of the statements to have them framed and hung on your reception room wall. But like many of us, when you slow down long enough to think deep thoughts…you know that your organization doesn’t always live out what you’ve got on the wall. You’re careful to maintain a good public posture. But in your heart you know the truth. And you even wonder sometimes if you’re the only one who can see that the emperor has no clothes. But what can be done? After all…you’ve already hung the plaque!
Whether you’re talking about purpose, mission, vision, values, goals, objectives or almost ANY of the traditional concepts that people use, the only practical way to make them real is to do two (simultaneous) things:
- Stop talking about the future destination, and start thinking about the rules you would have to live by in order to get there.
- Translate the generalities of the organization’s purpose, mission, values or principles into what it would mean for individuals and confirm that the organization’s members are, in fact, prepared to be held accountable and live by those individual rules.
Ready to make vision (or mission and values) real? Then get ready to do these two things. Otherwise…it’s just a plaque.