Vision, Mission and All That Jazz

Big Red Car here.  The Boss was out early this morning for a meeting and I got a chance to work on the computer a bit.

All this talk about Vision, Mission and all that jazz is making my head spin.  Yours too?

Well, maybe this graphic can show you how it is all supposed to work together.  Remember, we are talking startups and small/medium companies who are grappling with getting their enterprises organized as a prelude to growing the business.  Organize and then grow.

The Big Picture

Here is how all this stuff is supposed to work together.  Click on the graphic for a bigger view.

Business planning building blocks graphic <<< click on this link for a PDF copy for your use

Organizing themes

As you can see, there are four basic organizing themes:

1.  Leadership functions (Vision, Mission, Values);

2.  Company culture definition (Culture, Values, Ritual, Policies);

3.  Business planning disciplines (Strategy, Tactics, Objectives); and,

4.  Human relations disciplines (Policies, Job Descriptions, Organization Chart, Perfromance Appraisal).

When viewed in this manner, this graphic is both functional and operational.  It is a hybrid.

Mining the interdependence

You can see the connection among the different building blocks and you can see their interdependence.  In this way, you can see how the “whole” works together to ultimately create a seamless and powerful engine which can put the company on a very sound foundation.

To state the painfully obvious, if you are missing one of these basic building blocks, then the other ones that are dependent upon the missing ingredient are going to be very suspect.

Look, as an example, at the Business Planning Disciplines blue shaded area — it shows the interdependence among Strategy, Tactics, Objectives but also how that ties into Job Descriptions and Performance Appraisal.

In this matter, you can see that it is a continuum of planning from the biggest of the big pictures to the detail of Performance Appraisal — the micro report card on performance.

Getting out of the starting gate

The reason this graphic was created some years ago was that The Boss was stumbling on lots of startups and small companies who had absolutely none of this organizational thinking in place and yet they were barreling down the road of progress doing great things — and then they hit a bump in the road and the wheels came off because they did not have a solid foundation.

Do you stop what you are doing and begin work on YOUR missing pieces?  Hell, no!

But you do get to work when you can.  If you cannot define your Vision and Mission, well you have to do that quickly but if you do not have a solid Performance Appraisal system which asks the tough question — what are you doing to advance the Vision? — then you can fake it for a bit but you need to do it when you can.

Right now just mull it over, drink it in and think about it a bit.

How does one eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.


If you need help, call me.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car!