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Mission Statement or Core Values?

An interesting question don’t you think? It’s considered good practice to create a company mission statement and for what it’s worth, I agree.

On the mission issue I have to admit that I struggled to write them (even though I’ve set up and run more than one company and used to be a bit “anti”) that is until it dawned on me that you have to think about what you’re really good at, what to begin with and what you aspire to. For example you wouldn’t wax lyrical about being a great computer technician if your company fitted tyres! So thinking about what you want to be “the greatest IT support company in Britain” for example, “kind of” clarifies where you’re going and gives you the impetus to create the mission – Fred Bloggs and co will be the greatest IT support company in Britain, we will respond to our clients within 15 minutes and so forth.

Good stuff! But is there a risk that the mission statement can be seen as directorial imposition ? “this is what the Board expect” for wanting of a better example. Well another thought is “Core Values” and core values that have had input from the whole company. This way they mean something to everyone and can be much more significant and important. Never mind what we want to be, this is what we stand for, this is us!

It’s all about value based business, businesses who want to move forward being renowned for their care or quality, which after all will be pretty sustaining. For our own business we spoke about this very issue. The Mission Statement gives a focus we thought, but Core Values tells everyone what we stand for, what makes us tick.

To create your company core values, you could write to everyone explaining what you are doing, and why, then make a few suggestions asking them to come back to you with their ideas – you’ll be surprised that  just by asking and involving your employees will be a boost to morale.

As to process, or how you create your core values, this is a suggestion you could follow:

Establish your own core values (mine are integrity, honesty and fun), then get those of key personnel, pull them all together and pass this to your staff for comment – “as a value based company we’ve been working on our core values, what do you think?”.

Next you need to pull together all the suggestions and wheedle out the chaff. It will take a while, but with everyone’s involvement it will have more punch – now publish on a great big board in the office and everywhere!

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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