One of the biggest challenges the public sector faces (and most other organizations for that matter) is getting its people pointed in the right direction. At World Class Benchmarking, we work with organizations to create a succinct core vision. Not some verbiage that sits on a plaque, per se, but a clear and succinct declaration of the organization’s purpose. It communicates a message and priority internally–one that should serve as a litmus test for everything the organization undertakes. It’s a widespread statement that creates an image of the organization’s higher purpose.
Such statements are found in private sector organizations such as Disney, whose core vision is “We Create Happiness.” As Tom Sellers and Bob Waterman stated in their landmark work, “In Search of Excellence”:
“Whether or not they are as fanatic in their service obsession as Frito, IBM or Disney, the excellent companies all seem to have powerful service themes that pervade the institutions.”
Here are some examples of service mission statements we’ve helped public sector organizations over the years to create:
“We protect the public, the employees, and the offenders.”–Iowa State Department of Corrections
“We help put America through school.” –Department of Education, U.S. Federal Student Aid
“DAS is government’s partner in achieving results.” –Iowa State Department of Administrative Services
“We help people pay the right amount on time.” –New York City, Department of Finance
“Building Community Together.”–City of Sammamish
Whether you’re in the public, private or non-profit sector, ask yourself:
- Do I have a succinct declaration of my organization’s real purpose?
- Does it communicate a clear expectation internally of what matters most?
- Does it create an image I want to project of my organization?
- Is everyone on board with that core vision? How do I get co-workers on board with the mission?
- How does my role tie into the core vision of the organization? How does everyone’s role tie into that mission?
Our book, Lead With Your Customer, showcases other examples of a core vision as well as the operating values that should accompany such a declaration.