Part 2: Why Mission Matters

Great "Business" Management is Not Enough
Part 2: Why Mission Matters

We have a mission as an organization.  It is why we exist. The best ones attract, inspire, and guide our actions.

We have a mission as individuals as well.  Our mission is more about our “who” than our “why”, and it evolves over time.  

To maintain success in marketplaces with greater competition, more intensive procurement, higher costs, and increasingly lower fees – and to better position us for the future – top leaders and organizations are leveraging the power of mission.  

Something to Believe In

Our organization’s mission statement connects us to others.  It articulates the impact we want to have through our work and beyond.  

When designed well, it is a perfect “pre-game strategy” or leadership “master plan” to help establish our brand and set targets that motivate us to accomplish great things and navigate challenging times.  

To do so, our mission should be focused on a positive and resilient “just cause” in service to others, and one that all of our employees – present and future – would be willing to believe in and sacrifice for.  

Becoming a Firm of Choice

Many of our industries have become pretty good at aligning our mission with our clients’ and customers’.

Our business development and client relationship management systems are advanced.  They focus on building relationships and understanding issues, desires, goals, opportunities, and constraints well before we begin work on a deliverable.    

We strategically identify, qualify, and develop, and then shift additional effort into the proposal, selection, and contracting processes over the course of months, and even years, to convince them we are the firm of choice.  Most of us would agree that this is appropriate – and that even more is needed.

Purposely and strategically engaging with clients up-front on how best to solve their problems and advance their cause works.  It also builds affinity and loyalty.

Imagine if we designed and executed our internal employee engagement, development, and management systems with the same level of care, intensity, and investment?

Would that be enough to become and remain the firm of choice for our best employees?  

Dealing with Our Biggest Challenge

Throughout the business world, there is the growing chasm between “what it takes to be successful” using traditional means and metrics and the desire employees have today to win at both work and life.  

This separation is leading to burnout and exhaustion, lower profits, less engagement and retention, and an erosion of workplace culture.  This needs to be a leadership’s biggest priority (and mission!) – even if some on the team have not yet fully embraced the issues.

A well-designed mission is especially powerful during challenging times when talent has the choice to step away… and is doing so in increasing numbers.

A Common Purpose

We can all agree that we would like to break the cycle of burnout and disengagement, have products with higher margins, and projects with larger fees and longer schedules.  How to do this in our current state is the challenge.

To progress, we need a shift in leadership mindset and new investments to engage and develop our talent in ways deeper than our clients.  

On the client-side, we engage to “serve a purpose”, to design a solution to solve one or more of their problems.  

On the talent-side, “serving a purpose” is more akin to having a “job”, to put food on the table or pay the mortgage.  This won’t generate the drive and commitment needed to get out of our current cycle.

To advance, we need our talent to “find purpose” and build careers in the work we do.  Fortunately, from a work perspective, many of us create some pretty amazing things, provide access and opportunities, produce needed processes and systems, and help advance progress if we take the time to think about and express it.  Designing our work environments to best develop and retain our talent will take more effort.

As our talent evolves in terms of their interests and passions, we also need to co-create ways to align our work with their “life purpose”, their mission, if we hope to retain and fully engage them.  Work projects alone will never be enough.   

5 Steps to Take

To leverage the power of mission, we can begin with these 5 steps:

  1. Revisit our mission.  Does it inspire and attract?  Does it advance both sides of the “Talent-Client” equation?  Is it able to guide us to where we want to be? Is it a brand we want to be associated with as both leaders and employees?
  2. Revisit our mindset toward talent.  Have we considered the mission of our employees?  Do we know the “purpose” our work serves in their lives?  Do we have a specific plan to optimize and advance it?
  3. Reimagine our “employee development” and “employee relationship management” systems to maximize growth and engagement.
  4. Redesign our work, performance, and incentive systems around our mission to make it happen.
  5. Invest in and celebrate great project (… or product, patient, claim, case) management and execution as the key to realizing our mission and advancing our organization and industry.

There is major change taking place across the business world.  Despite our great work and the value we provide, we need to adapt if we want to attract, inspire, and remain relevant.  

Our mission can be more than website text or words on the wall.  Our mission has the power to produce wins for our clients, our talent, our organizations, and beyond.  

It’s not only possible, it’s essential for our future viability.  

You can also check out Part 1 of this series through this link: Part 1 – Developing Our People Strategy.

To your winning,

PS – Ready to enhance your leadership, management, employee engagement, and simultaneously increase your impact by design?  Check out our Fast Start Programs.

PSS – Click HERE… and then just sit back and listen to one of the most important chapters in “Reversing Burnout” for FREE.  Learn more about the realities of work and life today and how you can reverse and avoid the “Burnout-Disengagement Cycle”.

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Pete Atherton

About the Author

Pete is the President and Founder of ActionsProve, LLC, author of Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners, and creator of the I.M.P.A.C.T. process.  ActionsProve works with leaders and organizations to create greater growth and profits through better strategic planning, executive coaching, leadership and management development, performance-based employee engagement, and corporate impact design.  Prior to founding ActionsProve, and for more than 20 years, Pete was a very successful and accomplished professional engineer.  Pete sold his engineering firm ownership to focus on designing systems for you and your organization to grow and succeed in the 21st century. Pete is also host of the AEC Leadership Today podcast.

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Great “Business” Management is Not Enough – Part 2: Why Mission Matters