Culture: Mission Summary

by Ron Potter

We just finished the three segments of the Mission portion of the Denison Culture Survey.  As a quick recap of each section:


Is the direction and future image of the company clear to everyone?  Everyone from the leadership team down through the entire organization?  Is there unity about what that vision is and how it will be executed within every part of the organization?

Goals and Objectives

Is it clear how everyone’s daily work, goals, and objectives contribute and lead toward that unified vision?  If people are simply accomplishing the “task of the day” without thought of how it contributes to the vision, the mission has not penetrated the organization enough to make a difference.

Strategic Direction

Every organization is vulnerable to changes and disruptions in the market place.  Is there a clear strategic direction to help guide people through those potential impacts?

Why Mission?

But, I started with Mission because Dr. Denison and his organization are great researchers first!  They have continued to dig deep into the impact of culture on the performance of organizations.

One of the studies looked at six different performance issues.  Those six included:

  • Profitability/Return On Assets
  • Growth Sales/Revenue
  • Market Share
  • Product Development/Innovation
  • Quality
  • Employee Satisfaction

As the researchers discovered, Mission was impactful in five of the six measurements.  In other words, if your Mission:

  • Vision
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Strategic Direction and Intent

are not on solid footing, you don’t have much of a chance at achieving

  • profitability
  • growth
  • market share
  • quality (product or service)
  • employee satisfaction.

When it comes to building a great corporate culture, get your mission unified and deeply penetrated first or don’t waste your time.

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