To Increase your bottom-line, you must align your team with the right goals

Have you ever been part of a successful team? Maybe your project work just clicked. Possibly you won awards or received special recognition. What was it about that team experience that produced such positive results?

In “High-Impact Performance Management: Using Goals to Focus the 21st Century,” Bersin by Deloitte reports that the secret of successful teamwork is goal alignment. Strategic planning and teamwork suffer with inconsistent goal messaging. Goal clarity has the opposite positive effect. When clear goals are communicated to all team members, along with expectations for how and when to achieve them, all members of the team have the understanding they need to reach shared goals. The foundation of goal clarity is unified messaging with mission, vision, and values statements.

Key Business Success Factors

Companies are made up of different people with different strengths, talents, and passions. The challenge of anyone leading and developing companies is to focus everyone’s diverse knowledge, skills, and abilities in the same direction: on goals. The place to start is mission, vision, and values. Ravi Gopaldas Kathuria understands this, and discusses these three key business success factors in “How Cohesive is Your Company? A Leadership Parable.” He explains that aligning mission, vision, and values with goals and strategies is required for cohesion, or ability to work together toward common goals.

Kathuria knows that lack of clarity about what is important in the business creates major challenges. Unless everyone has the same understanding of strategy, and the same expectations and vision, things like politics and ego-conflicts get in the way of business success. He defines successful companies as those that have clarity and coherence, and says that while it’s hard to achieve, it’s necessary to get everyone to understand the overall business and working on the same strategy. If you don’t have a mission statement, company vision, and defined values, you need to make it a priority to develop them.

Mission, Vision, Values

A mission statement is a formal summary of the purpose of a company. Levi Straus & Company’s mission statement is “People love our clothes and trust our company. We will market the most appealing and widely worn casual clothing in the world.” Burlington Northern Santa Fe Company’s mission is “…to realize the tremendous potential of The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway by providing transportation services that consistently meet our customers’ expectations.”

A vision statement is a declaration of an organization's objectives, ideally based on economic foresight, intended to guide its internal decision-making. Microsoft’s vision statement is “To be led by a globally diverse workforce that consistently delivers outstanding business results, understands the various cultural demands of a global marketplace, is passionate about technology and the promise it holds to tap human potential, and thrives in a corporate culture where inclusive behaviors are valued.”

Values define what the business stands for and how you want the people who work there to interact with others. Some of Ben & Jerry’s company values include minimizing the company’s negative impact on the environment, deep respect for human beings, and supporting non-violent ways to achieve peace and justice.

Strategic Planning

You can’t develop an effective strategic plan without first understanding the business through mission, vision, and values statements. Once those are in place and communicated well, you can develop a strategic plan that will ensure everyone can focus on goals and work together on achieving them. Consulting and information products firm GrowThink founder Dave Lavinsky describes a strategic plan as a “roadmap to grow your business.” It should be a written plan that includes an elevator pitch describing your business, the company mission statement, a SWOT analysis of the company strengths and weaknesses and analysis of the competition, and the company’s key performance indicators.

Whether you are an entrepreneur working with a few contractors or a small business owner with a growing company, you will find it easier to move forward and get to the next level when everyone on your team is working toward the same goals. With unified messaging and a strategic plan, you can focus everyone in the same direction to achieve the goals you have for business success.

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