Introduction to Management by Missions V

March 15, 2018

Section 5: W is for Wide

Today we’re going to dive into the W-I-S-E acronym posted last week.  Specifically, we’re going to be looking at the idea that missions result in WIDE thinking.

In the fairly stable environment of business during the 20th century, managing by objectives was an effective means of evaluating performance and measuring success.  However, many things have changed in the 21st century and business is far more volatile than it’s ever been in the past.

And a narrow focus on objectives can limit an employee’s ability to fully appreciate and understand the value they add to the organization.  Alternatively, when we listen to our employees and relate the mission of the business to their respective roles, we both broaden and deepen the meaning of work for them.

Consider the mission statement of the sales department of the European chemical company Elix Polymers: “To connect our product to the ever-changing marketplace.”   Simple.  Yet, this mission, defined together, by all members of the sales team, is both broad and specific. Meeting identified market sales objectives is implied in the statement, but still, it is expressed in broad enough terms that each sales person can relate his or her specific contribution to it.

Missions are not one-off projects or deadline-driven tasks; they speak to the larger motivations that inform and guide a person’s work.  Don’t confuse the term “wide” with needing lots of words to express your role and purpose.  If you find yourself writing long-winded missions, it’s possibly an indicator that you are unsure about your exact mission!

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Carlos Rey | Founder DPMC

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