Vision. Mission. Values. These three elements form the fundamental pillars for an organization’s strategic plan. When we look at each of these as separate elements, they have inherent power. Vision is the big idea that drives and pulls the organization into its future self. Mission articulates the purpose or the reason for being in the organizational marketplace. Values are the beliefs upon which the organization exists in order to represent itself with its moral, ethical, and social character.
When these three separate elements are joined together, their power becomes solidified. Like a three-legged stool, their strength is reinforced through their reliance on each other. One leg does not function without the other two, and all three provide the basis of support for the organization’s success. Should one of the legs be weakened or break, the entire entity will topple over.
An example of how the strength of these elements work together—to support organizational and human resources success—can be found in a short interview with the CEO and President of Schneider Electric, Annette Clayton.
As noted in the CEO’s responses, Schneider Electric has not only built its award-winning success on the “highest levels of business integrity,” it is deeply committed to its “people strategy,” so it can remain competitive within the industry, and future-focused to achieve its vision. As the organizational leader, the CEO can clearly articulate how organizational values shape her decision-making processes. It is also interesting to note how critical the role of Human Resources is, not only as a partner to the CEO, but also as a leadership champion for successful changes in implementing its strategic commitments to its people.
- How can Human Resources use organizational values in the development of a “people strategy”?
- Think about your own work experiences. How did an organization’s vision, mission, and values impact you as an employee? Were these elements evident in the workplace? What advice would you give to your employer to change or improve the visibility and impact of the organization’s vision, mission, and values?