There are so many companies that don’t know how to define their organizational culture. So let me start by saying that it is NOT a 100-page binder with mountains of data and language that no one in the company understands or cares to even read.
If you can’t write down your mission statement, vision statement and core values on one sheet of paper, you are doing something wrong. In fact, in this article, I am going to simply explain to you the importance of all of these things along with their creation by using what I like to call The Journey.
How To Use "The Journey" To Define Your Organizational Culture
#1. WHY Are You In Business?
The first step in defining your organizational culture is to understand that starting or running a business is like starting a journey. So to start writing your mission statement, you first need to ask yourself, “what is your why,” or in the case of your organization “why do you exist?” Your Why has to be compelling enough that when the journey gets tough, and it will get tough, you and the organization will push through those times.
Let’s use Velani Consulting as a mission statement example here. Our why is that
We want to make the world a better place. Faisal Velani, CEO Velani Consulting
That’s it. Every kid has an audacious goal growing up. Something that is so outrageous but you believe that you will accomplish it. My audacious goal was that I wanted to change the world and make it a better place. We at Velani Consulting believe that business and entrepreneurs are what change the world and bring innovation, employment, products, ideas, and revolution to the marketplace.
So if we can help an organization on their way to becoming the next Apple, Amazon, or to whatever level they want to achieve, we believe we’ve accomplished our goal. That’s our Why in life. That is why I am on this journey. When you define your why all your decisions moving forward will now be crystal clear.
#2. WHAT Market Do You Serve?
Imagine you are on this journey and someone stops you to ask, “what are you doing?” In this example let’s assume you are climbing Mount Everest, so you can simply say, “I am on my way to climb Mount Everest.” It’s the same for your business. x
So if someone asked me what Velani Consulting does, I can simply say “we help organizations create a culture of Growth, Innovation, and Excellence.” If they asked, “why do you do that?” I can simply answer “because we want to make the world a better place.”
Our mission statement is simple, it ignites passion, and clearly articulates why we are in business, and what value we provide. It helps everyone in the company, and outside of it, know what our organizational culture is, what we stand for, and our purpose.
#3. WHERE Do Want To Go?
After you define your why and what, it’s time to define your Vision or Where you want your organization to be in 10 years from now. Here you are using the power of visualization to define your organizational culture. This is your mountain. This will provide a clear target for people to shot for.
Your vision should be ambitious but realistic. Ambitious because it will focus the organization to innovate, be aggressive towards excellence and push hard for growth. However, You need to make sure it’s realistic so they don’t look at it from day one and just give up. It should be something worth doing to win people’s commitment. You want your team excited about delivering on that goal, on getting to that destination.
Our 10-year goal is…
1,000 positive customer reviews.Faisal Velani, CEO Velani Consulting
This is audacious because it doesn’t just mean that we get 1,000 clients, but that we do such a great job that it compels our clients to take out time from their schedule to write us a quality review. Notice that it has nothing to do with our revenue. If we achieve our goal, the revenue will become a byproduct of it.
Our vision is clear, concise and the entire organization knows what they are working towards. So articulate your vision to continue defining your organizational culture and put something aggressive out there that people can be excited about.
#4. HOW Do You Want To Behave?
The last question you need to ask yourself is “How Does Your Organization Behave?” or, “What are your core values?” Now think of your core values like your compass, guiding you towards your north star. They are a small set of essential timeless guiding principles. Usually about 3-7. Remember less is more. They are what define your culture. They truly define who you are as an organization and how you operate.
You’ll find that when they are clear, you will truly attract the right people to your org. These are people who believe in your Why, understand What you are doing, See Where you want to go, and believe in how to get there. These are like-minded individuals all focused on a singular goal to create a family, not a silo workforce. You’ll also find that they remove the wrong people from your organization. The ones that just don’t fit. You hire, fire, review, recognize, and reward around these core values.
At Velani Consulting, we stay true to our organizational culture by following 5 guiding principles:
1. Simplify Complexity
2. Listen & Help First
3. Be In Pursuit Of Excellence
4. Never Be A Finished Product
5. Find The Next Mountain
This is how our company behaves on a day to day basis, whether leadership is around or not. It gives our team boundaries where they have the freedom to make decisions without causing a bottleneck.
This is our organizational culture!
Discover How To Create An Organizational Culture Of Growth, Innovation, & Excellence
By now you’ve defined why you are in business, what market do you serve, where you want to go, and how are you going to get there. You should be starting to see a very simple, yet clear picture of your company.
By simplifying and defining your organizational culture you not only tell your team “why” they are doing what they are doing, but you also provide them with day to day practices on how you expect them to behave. You should now see the value behind defining your mission, vision, and core values.
This is just part of the five habits that you should be adapting in your business daily to create a culture of Growth, Innovation, and Excellence. That is why I’ve created a special free mini course called Growth = Innovation and Excellence. Click the link below to check it out right now.