At CSR, we have learned over time how essential the execution of a strategic planning session is to kick off our client engagements.  I have my discussion points almost in autopilot as I review how the mission/vision/values aspect of the session can then function as the GPS or guiderails to the business.  Many companies come into the session confidently explaining that “We’ve already done work on that and won’t need to spend time on it.” I’ve learned to not outwardly wince when I hear this.

It could be the very name mission/vision/values conjures up the image of being in a conference room with The Bobs or Toby. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Frequently, we hear something along the lines of, “Our values are integrity, hard work, and honesty.”

Think about that: why not add “Breathing and maintaining a pulse” to that list?

The point is that values are part of your uniqueness; they should serve as an additional filter to ensure that you screen out the jerks that you know will poison the well.  They should include those attributes that you have learned over time are essential to making it in your company (“Perspective” or “Healthy sense of humor under stress”) versus aspects that are obvious and MUST be taken for granted for any employee even to get their turn up to bat.