Visions & Missions

bopsblog, 4/8/18

We all know we need to develop mission, vision, and purpose (or goals) (VMP) statements in business. While that can sometimes be a dreary business, it provides guideposts as we go through the daily business of running a business - it provides a focus for why we are killing ourselves for so damn little money.


I have had the opportunity to help craft some VMP statements over the years, and I've certainly set in the audience and listened to a CEO or COO or other highly paid executive, whom I assume drew the short straw and had to present the company's VMP to the troops, drone on.


I can't tell you how many times I have set in the audience and tried to understand what the hell the VMP really said or meant. If you put it through the fog-factor of grammar, it would probably tell you that you needed about twenty-seven years of education to understand the meaning.


I'm having a lot of fun bashing the people who craft these things knowing full well that if you give me either a soapbox or a keyboard, I'm one of the wordiest people you are likely to meet; I have a terrible time keeping it short and succinct.


All I will say here is that the VMP should be as short as possible and to the point. It should be written so a sixth-grader can understand what it says.


I have already stated on the landing page of this blog that these guiding statements shouldn't have anything in there about profits. Profit is a metric used to assess if you are doing everything else correctly; it is not a vision, mission, or a purpose - it is a development resulting from doing things right.


In the interest of full disclosure, the following VMP comes from our (my wife, Gale and my) insurance company, Mutual of Enumclaw.


You've probably never heard of them. They are a regional Northwest company and have only been in business for 120 years. Here, from their annual report, is their VMP statements.


Mission: Thoughtful people protecting members financial security.


Vision: To build a thriving organization, trusted by its members, that stands the test of time.


Purpose: To deliver an insurance experience so rare and valuable that it can't be found elsewhere.


That's it. Short and succinct. And I can tell you from almost forty years of experience with them that they do exactly what they have stated.


There is more to business planning than just a VMP, but it's where you should start. There are quality standards, strategic planning where you set goals and objectives and develop the strategy for accomplishing all those, and then implementation plans, but that will be another blog post, or maybe two.


Have a great day, and be good to each other.