Sunday, October 11, 2015

Does Mission Matter?

While Vision, Leadership, Values and Principles are widely recognized for their importance to an organization's sustainability, effectiveness and excellence, incoming ASQ Board Chair, Pat Lalonde, asks whether mission matters to improving the quality culture.

The Criteria for Performance Excellence (Baldrige) defines Mission as, "Your organization’s overall function. The mission answers the question, “What is your organization attempting to accomplish?” The mission might define customers or markets served, distinctive or core competencies, or technologies used."

My experience in leading the ASQ Statistics Division (1999-2000 and 2001-2002), the Minnesota Section of ASQ (2011-2013), as well as my 34 years professional work experience reinforces the importance of an understood, well-deployed, consistent mission to developing the organization's strategic plan and then working the resulting business plans to achieve excellence. Whereas Vision is more aspirational, Mission provides clarity to the workforce and guides day-to-day decisions regarding business operations. Clarity of mission is critical in defining who you are and how or whether your value proposition differentiates you from the competition. A sound Mission - in concert with a well-articulated Vision - assists in the development of a strategic plan that addresses gaps between the Current State and the organization's desired Future State.

A consistently applied Mission, congruent with the organization's Values and Principles guides behaviors and decision-making in recognition of the organization's core competencies, strengths, challenges and opportunities regarding the selection of key suppliers and complementary business partners.

Of course, the organization's Mission must be considered and consistently applied by leadership, management and the workforce in order to be effective. I invite the reader to visit the MN ASQ Section website to learn how its leadership skillfully responded to member input and redefined its Mission and Vision as part of its strategic planning process, optimizing its value proposition(s) for the effective development and distribution of its products and services to its key markets and customer segments.

1 comment:

  1. Mission brings a focus onto purpose & outcomes. And, that gives criteria that can be used for in-process assessment. Results of the assessment can redirect work to move forward working for meeting goals of that mission.