Many articles have been written about the process for developing and implementing an organisation’s mission, vision and values (MVV). These articles highlight the importance of involvement and ownership as key enablers for successful and meaningful outcomes.

Achieving outcomes is key to our success as a boutique consulting firm. Change2020 has the luxury of partnering with our clients to determine a ‘fit for purpose’ approach to the outcomes they are seeking. After understanding our client’s challenges we partner with them to design an approach that aligns to their articulated principles of what is important to them.

Recently we worked with a local council in regional Australia that had undergone a merger of three smaller councils. Establishing a new MVV (with the associated behaviours) was one of the key elements in uniting the organisation and moving forward.

The leaders were inspiring and active in designing and participating in the process.  The principles the leaders identified as important to underpin this process were: inclusion; creativity; transparency; iteration; curiosity and keeping it real.  This level of participation drove a successful process and while this should be the expectation of any exercise like this it’s easy to find examples of leadership disengagement and consequential failure.

With these principles as the foundation, the process we designed and adopted had five stages:

  1. Launch – involved an all staff forum that explained the why, how and what (combined with fun activities that generated curiosity and interested)
  2. Discovery – involved an online survey; interviews with the CEO and Senior Management Team members; focus groups with all staff; review of existing strategic documents
  3. Drafting – once drafted the MVV (and behaviours) were ‘tested and challenged’ with a representative staff working group and a separate session with the leaders
  4. Finalising – the process for finalising the MVV was iterative and involved the development of an implementation plan (incorporating the MVV into all business practices)
  5. Go-Live – involved an all staff launch that reflected to the staff what they had said and where the outcome landed; the launch also involved a painting exercise that was both creative and fun; we also equipped the supervisors with skills and tools to embed the MVV into everyday work practices (team meetings and performance conversations) and other people related activities such as recruitment.

We recognise that size of this organisation made it easier to get everyone involved however what was evident was the genuine commitment and passion from the leaders to be part of the change they were seeking for their new organisation.

I am confident that the MVV for this local council will be more than just a poster, as the leaders are committed to maintaining the momentum while achieving a return on investment, critically the staff own the process and want to make their organisation a great place to work.


About Maree Gardner

She's vibrant, energetic and passionate - just the kind of person you want on your team. With a distinguished career in senior executive roles across both the public and private sectors, Maree also holds a Masters of Human Resource Management. She takes a strategic, accountable and outcome-focussed approach to working with clients across a variety of industries. Her super-power? Being able to sort fad from fact at less than 20 paces.

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