High-performing organizations have a clearly defined Vision. This Vision helps guide all its employees and supervision to their desired destination and explains why. Companies who have a Vision have a workplace of direction, purpose and achievement. These companies have a Vision of where they want to be, and do the appropriate things to get there. All along the way, they have employees who are enthusiastically a part of it, eagerly supporting the Vision.
What Is an Organizational Vision?
A Vision that is optimal is one that has been created, or at least contributed to, by all employees of the organization. Like the Mission, the more buy-in the organization has, the greater the effectiveness of the Vision. The Vision should be inspiring! It is where you want to be! The Vision is what you seeing occurring as you deliver on your Mission. It is where you want your organization to be in five years. We define it as five years but you may prefer to extend that, or, if you are a start-up, you may want to start with a three-year Vision. We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most companies to get to the next step. The Vision must be realistically achievable. If you own a pizza shop, it would not be wise to say your Vision is to grow to a $2 billion-dollar market value. But, an achievable Vision might look like: “We will grow to be a regional choice by consumers by expanding to 10 locations.”
Reflect on the following questions as considerations for building your Vision:
1. How are the market and customer base changing in the next three to seven years?
2. How will that create opportunities for the organization?
3. How can we meet the gap between now and our Vision?
4. How will we surpass our competitors and seek greater market share?
5. What are we doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and needs of the business?
Amazon “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Nike “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”
What is the difference between Mission and Vision?
The most asked question to us surrounding Mission, Vision and Core Values is: what is the difference between a Mission and a Vision? Your Mission is what you do best every day. Your Vision is what the future looks like when you deliver on your Mission so exceedingly well.
There is, unquestionably, a key to high-performing organizations. That key is Vision — a Vision that ignites the employees of these organizations to achieve great things!
When I worked with the Gatorade Division of Quaker Oats, we smoked the competition. Why? We had Vision. And every employee who worked there bought into that Vision. Powerade and All Sport didn’t have a chance. In fact, where is All Sport today? If Gatorade did not take them out completely, they certainly limited their capabilities!
The problem is not with workers in the U.S. What we have today is a problem with leadership — leadership that lacks the ability to create buy-in for excellence in Vision achievement.
If you are a leader, you must develop a Vision, and develop it with employee input. If you are an employee, make sure you buy into your organization’s Vision. If it needs tweaking, ask to do so with respect. Your leadership will appreciate your interest!
Let’s all work together with our organizations to create Vision, to create a hope and future for everyone.
We Value your Comments. Please share your thoughts on having an Organizational Vision. How do they fit into your workplace? Do you have a Vision where you work right now? Have you worked at a high-performing organization that did?
All organizations have Core Values.Few organizations memorialize them; almost none manage them.
Organizations tend to be meshed together by a unique blend of personal and corporate values. These values are important to its employees, leaders and stakeholders.
What exactly is a Core Value? A Core Value from our human resources perspective is one that reflects the heart of your organization. It is what makes your organization tick; it defines your organization. It is how your vendors view your behavior toward them; it is your culture when dealing with customers.
It is what employees tell their neighbors and friends when they ask what it is like to work at your organization.
One of the most important aspects of Core Values is where they come from. Core Values need to be shared across the organization, but they also need to have a reference point. Your Core Values should include a statement highlighting that reference point.
We are a family-owned and operated organization. As such, we respect each other and collectively support the following Values in the way in which we do business and treat each other both internally and externally to the organization.
Efficiency: We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Individual Responsibility: We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises and we always endeavor to use good judgment.
Quality: We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Ownership: We own our decisions, we own our mistakes, we own our achievements.
If you have not yet defined what your Core Values are, it may be time for you to solidify an agreement on which Core Values are important to your organization. This should be done with care, because, by now, leaders and employees have created their own values, and they are not always aligned with the owners or senior managers.
In the development of Core Values for a seasoned organization, the process should be shared, not just top down. Brainstorming should include several layers of employees and are often best done in focus group format, where groups of employees nominate a representative to meet with the facilitator, and the ensuing Core Values should be agreed upon and understood.
Naturally, there are some Core Values that are nonnegotiable, such as Trust or Integrity but the core value, the true heart of the organization, is what is valued collectively by employees, and is not necessarily always what the top leaders think or want.
How many Core Values do you need?
Some companies have as many as ten Core Values. We believe that ten Core Values is too many. Instead, we recommend three to five Core Values. Fewer Core Values not only ensures that these are your true core principles but, also makes it easier for your employees to remember them easily. It is also easier to manage within your HR processes.
Below is a laundry list of the Core Values we have compiled that we find most valuable, to enable you to best select what is truly most important to your organization.
Accountability — We are responsible for our actions, which, in turn, influence our customers, vendors and coworkers. We hold ourselves and each other to a high standard of accountability.
Balance — We create a work environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and celebrates family-work balance for employees.
Biblical Principles — We are a company founded on Biblical principles, therefore, all we do we entrust in God.
Civic Responsibility — We honor our coworkers and our communities by our motivation, knowledge and ability to actively participate in our communities as volunteers and leaders.
Compassion — We show kindness for others by helping those who are in need.
Courage — We face difficult situations with confidence and determination, standing up for our convictions, even when some of the decisions we make are right, but not popular.
Commitment — We are committed to ourselves, our vendors, and our customers; it is through commitment that we will all achieve.
Community — We are committed to the communities in which we do business and our employees live, work and love.
Consistency — We pride ourselves on our reputation for consistency.
Diversity — We respect diversity of race, gender, thought, interests, and ideas.
Efficiency — We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Empowerment — We create an atmosphere that allows others to achieve through their unique contributions.
Fairness — We pride ourselves on having a work environment that emulates fairness. We treat people equally and make decisions without influence from favoritism or prejudice.
Fun — Work does not need to be painful or joyless.
Honesty — We believe in consistently seeking and speaking the truth in the workplace. We believe in a workplace devoid of lying, cheating, stealing, or any other forms of deception.
Individual Responsibility — We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises, and we always use good judgment.
Industriousness — We realize the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of putting forth efforts to achieve our goals; we celebrate our team’s unique abilities to contribute to prospering our organization.
Innovation — We create before others do!
Integrity — Without integrity, we are nothing!
Justice — We consider the perspectives of others and demonstrate the courage to be consistently fair while treating all with equal dignity and respect.
Leadership — We lead with conviction and understanding.
Ownership — We own our decisions; we own our mistakes; we own our achievements.
Passion — We love what we do, and our heart goes into our work.
Quality — We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Respect — We maintain a work style of trust in all our interactions.
or Respect — We value our vendors, our customers and ourselves; we treat others as we would want ourselves to be treated.
Risk Taking — We take calculated risks, learn from our mistakes, and grow in our successes.
Safety — We are accountable for our personal safety and helping our coworkers maintain a safe environment.
Service Excellence — We provide best in class service to our internal and external customers every day.
The best Core Value is one that you and your teams identify and create together. Please post below what your experiences have been with Core Values and share a list of those values that you think are integral to every organization.
Oftentimes as I meet with people to talk about bettering their HR practices, I use the term “Kingdom Minded” company.” More often than not, they are intrigued by the terminology I use in reference to helping them build their companies. Many Christian business people, pastors and Christian business consultants may have their own opinions or definitions of what a “Kingdom Minded” company is.
I have developed what I believe to be a fairly clear, actionable and measurable way to articulate what a “Kingdom Minded” company is, thus exciting business owners to invest their time, dollars and energy into making their company prosperous and reflective of Christ. So, let me begin by outlining what comprises the framework when building a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Over the next few weeks, I will walk us through a more in-depth look at each piece of the framework. I will ask you to look internally at what you believeyour “Kingdom Minded Purpose” is for your company. In building a “Kingdom Minded” company, the model I have developed contains the following ingredients, listed in order of importance.
These same principles that apply to marketplace businesses do apply to non profit organizations as well.
A “Kingdom Minded” company:
Puts Christ First
Has a Clear Mission
Has a Clear Vision
Has Core Values
Has agreed upon Goals and Objectives, especially in:
And finally, Strives for Prosperity jointly for the good of its owners, employees and company’s community.
If you want to enjoy prosperity, you must look inward and address these critical aspects of running your organization.
Having spent over 20 years in HR I can tell you companies that have a well developed and bought-in Mission, Vision and Values will far exceed those who do not. Take a look inside your own organization. Do you have a Mission? A Vision? Core Values? How are you with setting or receiving expectations through organization goals and objectives? Do you collectively work together as a Team for success and prosperity?
Today’s churches sit empty. More than any other time in history, your employees spend increased amounts of time commuting to and from work, working in their workplaces, and working evenings and weekends, disengaged from their families and communities. These increased hours have resulted in employees spending more waking hours at work than they spend at home with their families, with friends or volunteering in their communities. Because of this, we all have an opportunity and a mission: a mission to reach those who need saving. This is the world’s untapped harvest, a field of opportunity. And, as God proclaims, we need more workers into his fields.
Matthew 9: 35-38 (NIV) The Workers Are Few 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
In the United States, according to a December 2008 Galluppoll, 42 percent of U.S.residents — that’s about 128 million Americans — claim that they attend religious services at least once every week. This number is probably misleading, because many people may embellish their attendance a bit out of a sense of guilt or obligation. However, assuming it is accurate, that still leaves a whopping 58 percent of U.S. residents who do not attend any form of religious service each week. This is a concern, because it indicates that, statistically speaking, your employees are probably not spiritually grounded.
This is where Christian business owners and executives must step in to help God fill the void.
As a human resources professional with 20 years of experience in both public and private companies, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the lack of faith in our workplace affects every aspect of the workplace. Employees’ lack of time to focus on their own spiritual needs will undoubtedly affect productivity, quality and safety. Harder to measure but just as important, it affects their and their coworkers’ morale. Employees lacking in faith will bring far more problems to the workplace than those who are seeking God or are Christ followers.
You can try to run your business without God. Or you can include Him in your plans. I urge you to include Him. God is the ultimate business partner!
Therefore, those of us who are hesitant to embrace Christianity in the workplace must really look at it, not only from a spiritual perspective, but also from a business perspective. Far from being self-serving, this conveys the responsible attitude of a business owner, attempting to prosper their business for the financial security and future of their employees and employees’ families.
Makes Financial Sense
Leading a company with Christ-centered values just makes good business sense. I believe that Christ-centered organizations can experience:
Higher quality products
Fewer employee morale issues
Safer work environments
Better perceptions by customers and vendors
What I have found to work
You must have a Vision, Mission, and Core Values. Many business professionals stop there. I urge all of you to go further. Integrate your core values
into your Human Resources practices. This will:
Memorialize your standards
Provide guiding principles in all you do
Make your values easily understood by employees
Drive a values-based culture with your customers
Don’t just hang your Vision, Mission, and Core Values on the wall! Integrate, Integrate and then Integrate some more. Get your values into your culture and make it an intrinsic part of the way you work.
I believe that employees who work for an outwardly faith-based Christian organization are committed at a different level than those in non-faith-based organizations. Employees are more likely to go the extra mile, to trust their leadership, to deliver on their promises and be led by those who demonstrate Christ-like servant leadership, because they can!
Feel free to reach out to me and ask for my assistance in helping you develop and prosper a “Kingdom Minded” company. Contact Us
Have you worked for a company that has been outward in their faith? What were some of the obstacles the leadership faced? What were some of
the benefits that the company enjoyed because of their desire to lead with principles? What’s your opinion? we would like to know.
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I believe that, in today’s tumultuous business times, we must remain diligent in our obligations as Christian business leaders. Now, more than ever, Christian Business leaders must acknowledge that employees want, need and crave an environment in which they can be not only productive but trust that their leadership is attempting to provide them and their family stability, a “hope and a future.”
We must remain diligent in our obligations as Christian business leaders.
So what about you business leaders? What are you doing to demonstrate to your employees that you are setting the foundation for tomorrow’s growth? Are you giving them hope and a future? If you do this, if you honor your employees by properly managing your businesses and lighting a path to their future, you will be creating a “Kingdom Minded” company.”
What have you witnessed in your workplace that has created a culture of creativity, inclusiveness and productivity? Please share your thoughts and help our community learn from your experiences.
Interested in contributing to the growth of a wonderful company? Despite the difficult economy that industry finds itself in these days, our client — with a brand respected for its tradition, value and stellar reputation for quality — has remained successful and is positioning itself for further
growth with a “Made in the USA” product line. For over two decades, the men and women of this company have provided their customers with a product that will remain in families for generation after generation. Headquartered in Central Pennsylvania, our client is highly principled
and expects the same ethics and integrity from its team members.
Reporting to the President and CEO, the National Sales Manager is responsible to implement and manage sales activities to meet company targets for growth and profitability.
Your key responsibilities would be to:
develop sales, volume, margin and market share,
manage a team of independent sales representatives and an internal contract salesperson
entertain a direct relationship with main customers and key accounts,
optimize the sales function (processes, target markets and determining the size and location of your sales force),
manage the departmental sales budget,
contribute to the targeted market through sales activities, includes driving the mobile showroom around the country presenting products and managing trade shows
develop the capabilities of the sales team via effective recruitment, training and retention programs, and
encourage, in particular by personal example, a culture of encouragement and reflection of Biblical values.
Your main tasks would be to:
identify sales growth opportunities in current and potential markets, plan and develop strategies in conjunction with other functions (primarily manufacturing),
work closely with senior management to establish sales budget numbers and contribute to long range plan estimates, develop sales incentive programs for the sales force,
work closely with marketing, R&D and operations to deliver measurable actions to optimize the company’s positioning within its markets,
contribute to New Product Development through market intelligence,
coordinate with the R&D committee to develop new product launch action plans,
ensure continual maintenance of direct relationships with key accounts and large customers, and develop relationships with potential new large accounts,
present monthly performance results to the president, and
assist in recruiting, developing and training sales representatives.and internal sales personnel
Compensation includes a base component; however, higher levels of income will be based upon your leadership results, calculated
according to a rewarding commission structure.
Malachi 3:5 (NIV) “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
Wow! In this passage you can hear God’s disapproval of those who cheat their employees of wages, but God categorizes it at the level of sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers! How many company executives who have cheated their people probably dismissed their act as harmless?
On the surface, one may surmise that “wages” are defined as cash for hours worked. However, wages from today’s human resources perspective takes on a far greater meaning than just cash. What about your employees’ medical benefits? Their retirement plans, and education reimbursements? What about your support of them in the communities in which they volunteer? Do you look at your employees and see the bigger wage picture? Or do you look at them in distaste and dismiss them as mere “business cost?”
Respect your employees and be rewarded
Studies and surveys have proven that, when employees know they are being treated fairly, they will go the extra mile. When employees recognize that leadership and ownership think of them first, they will think of the leaders and owners first. You see, it really is simple: people reflect their leadership. Respect your employees’ financial futures, and you can expect to be rewarded by your employees’ productivity and devotion. If you respect your employees, if you reflect Christ by making them and their families your company’s financial priority by sharing your company’s prosperity with them, you are helping to build a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Please share with our reader community. Please leave a few comments about atime when you worked for a leader who really valued you. Not just valued you from a financial perspective, but valued your personality, displayed an interest in your family and showed a genuine interest in your future. What traits did that leader demonstrate? How did this leader demonstrate respect for you? What do you do now as a leader to show respect for your people? What enhancements have you taken part in to make your workplace welcoming?
“Do It” Amazing speech by Art Williams on winning in business. Art integrates all the principles of building a “Kingdom Minded” company into his presentation. These are all the principles we have developed into our model in which we help companies build high performing organizations by proper utilization of their Human Resources programs and practices. To be an achiever you must have Integrity, People Abilities and Character.
Art is just so tired of “fence sitters and mealy mouths.”
Art advocates getting excited! You must be excited to win! You must not be a crybaby! Be enthusiastic, positive and tough! Although recorded in 1987, Art’s words are applicable now more than ever. Enjoy Art’s inspiration and energy and his down home style of delivery. Art Williams –
Romans 12:8 (NIV) “if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. “
Over the past several weeks I have encountered a variety of circumstances where I have witnessed extreme cases of generosity. These were situations where someone deliberately went out of their way to help a random “somebody” Not a friend or a relative but someone they did not know at all. As Christian’s we are called to help each other, not just other Christians, for when we do so we shine the light of Christ though us. Several years ago we had a campaign regarding “Others” at my church home. I learned a lot through the sermon series but I also learned a lot from hearing from people who had been a recipient of someone who had acted on their impulse to help another in need. The impact that was made to the recipient was heart changing and ultimately affected the direction on that person’s life.
What impact have you made this week to another’s life? What impact to the lives of your co-workers will you make this week? If you commit to be an encouragement to your Team, if you make an impact to those you work with but not yet know you, you are helping to build a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Help our community of readers
What experiences have you had in the workplace that made it a better day for you and your coworkers? What have you done to be an encouragement at work?
I was honored to be interviewed by Alan Collins who was VP– HR at PepsiCo who I worked with when I led HR for several different business units for the Quaker Oats Organization. Alan is now the Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of the HR best seller, UNWRITTEN HR RULES. His new book, BEST KEPT HR SECRETS is now available on Amazon.
Alan and several of my closest contacts have been an absolute blessings and encouragement to my new venture- Thank You Alan and God Bless you and your work.
1. “Be clear and specific on the HR value you provide to your clients…and stick with it.”
2. “Network with many – but take advice from a few.”
3. “Start planning and strategizing long before you get downsized or decide you want to move on.”
4. “Find your strength and build on it.”
5. “Balance your life.”
6. “Find a Church home if you don’t have one.”
7. “Find a hobby you enjoy and do it!”
What tips meant the most to you? We would love to hear from you. What tips have we missed? Let us know we will include them in future articles.