Leading an organization of varied characters and level of needs and make them share a common mission is no easy task. Beutifully worded statements defining the organization's mission to be best in the world often remain as irrelevant objects of display in the corporate lobby, relevant to perhaps the ceo and a few managers. The young engineer, whose concern is the brand new car, or the number of of lattes she could afford, best in the world is the least of her concern. As to the tea lady , her concern is only to ensure the displays are dust free. The beutifully worded statement is still Greek to her.
I have written numerous mission statements. Somehow I had this funny feeling that the statement is but me admiring my own fancy thoughts.
The organization MUST have a common and relevant mission. I realized that I am not the only one having this desire to improve my quality of life. My cleaner wants to upgrade the kancil to a proton, my designer wants an SUV, my manager wants to spend more time with the family. No matter what our needs are,our desire is the same, to improve our life.
It started to sink in, how common our desires are. We want to improve our economic well being. We want to improve our knowledge and proffession. We want quality time with our family. We want to travel. We want a safe working environment. We want good health.
It was with this realisation that the organization mission statement was reviewed. Our mission statement now simply states: Our shared mission is to individually and collectively improve our quality of life.
We took the inititiative to draft a quality of life policy. I made a promise to my team that my role is to lead them to continuously pursue quality of life, with a built in continuous improvement mechanism.
THe transformation has been magical, to me personally at least. Whatever initiative we have taken, we take into consideration this desire and need to improve the quality of life.
Central to this is the economic well being of the organization. THe Quality and HSE initiatives seem to fit nicely in the mission to be accomplished. THe tea lady can now understand the language.