Posts Tagged ‘Built to Last

27
Oct
09

The World Needs More Big Hairy Missions

Your loving alertness is a lantern.  Keep it protected from wind that makes it crazy.  Instead of that airy commotion live in the water that gently cools as it flows.  ~ Rumi

In the OCT/NOV issue of Fast Company, Nancy Lublin CEO of Do Something, shares an article about mission statements …..why they are dumb and how to write one. Basically she suggests that using a specific target such as a BHAG aka Big Hairy Audacious Goal (hey! I just blogged about BHAG’s!) as a mission statement is a good idea because it is clear and precise ~ a quantifiable goal everyone can get behind.

I agree with her that companies should take any “wonky mission statement and rip it to shreds” – I don’t agree that mission statements should be BHAG-ish.  Mission statements, an integral component of core ideology, should be enduring – if the environment changes, the statement remains the same. For example, Microsoft’s well-known BHAG, as referenced in the FC article, “a computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software” is a goal/BHAG, yes – but is this really all the company is up to? As stated on the company website, “at Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential” ~ now that is one Big Hairy Mission ~ one that is enduring, non-limiting and inspiring to most people reading it.  So, let’s keep our BHAG’s distinct and start creating and working from Big Hairy Missions that compel us all to act from our highest selves.

(Lublin is obviously up to some good stuff ~ her company Do Something “uses the power of online to get teens to do good stuff offline” ~ now that is one big hairy commitment!)

 

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24
Oct
09

Back to the Core


2 of Force: Ideology
Originally uploaded by Arenamontanus

…Split the sack of your culture…stick your head out…look around…reach up…a voice speaks to your clarity. ~Rumi

When I was in grad school, we spent a lot of time on a popular book called Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (BTL). Published in 1994 by Collins and Porras, the book outlined visionary habits of successful companies. BTL made a strong case for a focus on core ideology (mission, vision, and values) and BHAG’S (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that go beyond profit.  With the further support of an ongoing body of business literature, the next 15 years of management consulting instilled core ideology and organizational culture development just as strategically necessary as quality products.

The main thrust of core ideology is that it is enduring ~ the eighteen companies on BTL’s “best list” have all been operating for over 100 years with the same ideology intact. Ultimately, core Ideology provides “higher thinking” and guide posts from which to make decisions ~like a beacon reminding you of what you and your company are all about when things seem dark or confusing. The core remains intact regardless of circumstances (very much like spiritual principles that endure over time, resonate when we hear them, and bring us back to center).  A powerful core ideology will speak to anyone who hears it and supersedes individual personalities.

The collective personality of a company is the culture and is distinct from core ideology ~ not separate, but distinct.  The core ideology is operating within the culture, sometimes more obviously than others, but always operating. When things seem “off kilter” and/or the next evolution is necessary, the core is consciously brought to the forefront to smoothly guide the company to the next level.

A strong, effective culture is in love with the ideology, is responsible for it’s growth, and organizes around it. Consciously smart companies understand that supporting the vital connection between culture and core ideology leverages profit and the difference their entity will make in the world.

Read more about Core Ideology in the eBook Becoming a Source of Good

Related Posts:

What is a Vision Statement?

Face Your Brilliant Creation

Lean Your Graceful Plan Towards Spirit

The World Needs More Big Hairy Missions




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