From well-known, mega-sized companies like Amazon and Clorox, their words paint a picture that’s equally grand:
“Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” (Amazon)
“We make everyday life better, every day.” (Clorox)
With smaller or emerging companies, like The Roasterie and Zapier, their mission and vision speak directly to what they offer — i.e., specialty coffee and automation to speed up repetitive web tasks:
“Serving discerning customers by sourcing and roasting the world’s finest coffee.” (The Roasterie)
“We’re just some humans who think computers should do more work.” (Zapier)
Timing is Right for Our Vision and Mission
I’ve wanted a formal vision and mission for First San Francisco Partners (FSFP) for some time now. We’ve been in existence almost 10 years, starting back when it was just a company of one with me. Over the years, FSFP has grown and we’ve brought on more employees to service, thankfully, the many clients we’re honored to work with.
Over the last year, we’ve gone through a lot of change. Last December, we merged with IMCue Solutions and brought veteran enterprise information management consultant, author and speaker John Ladley and his team into our company.
In April, we announced Malcolm Chisholm was joining as Chief Innovation Officer. Malcom, a well-known author, speaker and industry authority, quickly began working with our FSFP consultants and clients.
I’ve known both John and Malcolm many years, and it’s great to have them representing FSFP at industry events and working with our valued clients. We also brought on many more people and plan to fill additional key roles to meet our growing consultancy’s needs.
With this growth has come many changes, like making us think more about who we are and what we stand for. This is why we recently took on the task of crafting our vision and mission statement – and the core values to support these. We want these to be our framework for the culture we’re fostering and the results we want to achieve. We want to define what we stand for today and declare our aspirations for tomorrow.
Our leadership team initially met to talk through what we believe FSFP stands for and how we want to be seen in the industry and as an employer.
Importance of FSFP Team Feedback
We shared a draft of the vision, mission and values with our team and requested feedback on a call and in one-on-one follow-up meetings, asking questions such as:
- What’s in it for you, with FSFP creating our vision, mission and values?
- How would you see this manifesting itself in your role?
- How should we acculturate the values into our organization?
What we heard back told us we were on the right track. One of our newer employees said:
“These tell me what the company expects out of me and shows what I can expect from FSFP — and how I can rely on this type of behavior from the company.”
A long-time employee responded this way:
“Seeing this makes me feel part of the whole and aligns FSFP’s beliefs with mine. It makes me feel proud to be associated with the company.”
We made several tweaks based on what our team shared and, ultimately, came up with our final vision and mission. And we used the acronym FIRST as a way to organize our values:
Vision: Guiding the most successful organizations in the world to turn information into value
Mission: Making information actionable
Living Our Vision, Mission and Values
The challenge now — and a worthwhile one for us — is how to remain true to these principles in everything we say and do. We’re in the process of figuring out the specifics, executing a mechanism to measure our progress and incorporating these tenets into our quarterly Company All-Hands meetings. We’re also encouraging managers to hold team discussions and share collective feedback on how we can further acculturate our vision, mission, values into all aspects of our business — from recruiting to performance reviews and also demonstrating these values in all interactions with clients.
Will our vision and mission statement be one people remember? Will we remember our values as we go about our day-to-day consulting work?
I hope the answer is yes.
What I know for certain is that it feels like a milestone to have our vision, mission and values developed. I couldn’t be more excited about our company’s potential.
I want us to do bigger and better things for clients and be a great place to work. I personally plan to do everything in my power to make sure this happens. And the amazing thing is, I work with a team of people who want the very same.