There I was…an executive manager in charge of corporate communications at my first board meeting with the company’s entire board and executive team. We came together to discuss the direction of our 1st annual report after a recent IPO. As discussions progressed, I quickly realized that our leadership team, from the CEO across all C-level positions did not agree, nor have common understanding of our Mission Statement or who our target customer really was!  I was baffled!

Our Mission Statement!!? – the fundamental, key statement that unifies and directs internal operations and the foundation for building culture and messaging to our customers.  No one in the meeting could recall, recite nor agree on what our mission statement was or should be.  This spoke volumes to me about the importance of leadership and team cohesion on something so basic and common sense as a mission statement. Not to mention all being on the same page regarding who we are serving. I quickly realized we had bigger challenges than identifying a direction for our first annual report.

This was a HUGE Ahhh-HA moment on a few accounts:

#1-  The importance of a commonly held VISION baked into a mission at the top levels of the organization is critical in order to have a framework for shared beliefs, decision making, behaviors, values and communication. Without this common platform at the top, the organization will surely experience fragmentation and inefficiencies at the bottom.

#2- C-level leaders need facilitation and a framework to build consensus on a shared brand vision. I quickly became the facilitator of the leadership team to agree upon a mission statement that we could use in our annual report PLUS express throughout our culture and in consumer and investor communications.

#3-  Your Vision is your Purpose is your Brand. A clear vision unifies and articulates the potential and direction of a company, informs that brand and marketing framework for internal operations, and is a foundation for all visual and communication expressions of the organization.

Since this revelation, I created a Brand Framework/Template I currently use with clients to help them achieve consensus on shared brand vision. Whether you are a start-up or a C-level executive in a large corporation, this structure is invaluable to your internal and external success. If you have brand communication platform in place, it’s good to update it as it can invigorate your organization and teams with new ways to ‘live’ your brand internally and externally.

Reach out if you need to update your brand communication, get more clarity and consensus with your team, we are happy to help.