Drifting Away From Your Original Business Mission? Nine Steps You Should Take Next

A company’s mission serves as the foundation for everything it does. While the specific goals of the business may change over time, your original mission, vision and values ​​should remain intact until you and your team consciously decide to change them.

If you find your business moving away from its original mission unintentionally, it may be time to figure out the next steps. To help, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council share some recommended first steps you should take when you sense your company moving away from its original mission, vision and values. Follow their advice to reassess where you stand and decide whether it’s best to return to your core mission or make a conscious pivot.

1. Show Everyone Their Value

Although a company culture can be subject to change—implementing remote work, for example, is a strong incubator for change—this should be done consciously, without endangering the common values ​​and mission. A mission is a goal that motivates people to get work done and reach targets. It brings people together and is the foundation of a team. To get that mission back, we would need to go back to the foundation. One crucial aspect is to show everyone within the company how important their role is. Every single person contributes to the mission. By making everyone aware of the value of their work in achieving your mission and safeguarding your values, a deeper connection and commitment can be achieved. – Brian Pallas, Opportunity Network

2. Consider The Circumstances

Shifts are a natural part of business and entrepreneurship. While the initial reaction may not be positive, a shift away from a company’s original mission, vision and values ​​need not spell disaster if it meets these three criteria: 1. it’s informed by market conditions; 2. it’s more congruent with team leadership, executive preference or business reality; and 3. it represents a purposeful and strategic evolution within the company’s growth cycle. If you’re inclined to update these foundational elements of the business, chances are good that these changes are overdue and should be well-documented. Reflect on why the shifts occurred, how they are showing up for your key stakeholders and what should be done about it—then it will be a positive and transformative experience! – Christopher Tarantino, Epicenter Innovation

3. Take Time To Meditate On It

Guided meditations work for me when I feel the path paved has taken a different course. I spend five minutes quieting my mind and focusing on my breath. This puts me in a calm state to receive what my intuition and gut instincts tell me during the rest of the meditation. I supplement with journaling right after so I get all my thoughts down, exploring what my goals are and the “why” behind them. Pen to paper is different from typing your thoughts and feels more personal. I then take what I wrote and explored the big picture goals and the “why” behind them. I sleep on it for a day or two and then identify action steps to execute my goals. I block time on my calendar to get those goals done, reminding myself that change is normal and necessary and to trust the process. Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

4. Forgive The Uncertainties And Embrace Your ‘Why’

Forgive yourself for your own uncertainty. You can’t reevaluate your own vision if you’re “in shame” about it. Recognize that, as we come closer to our goals, we sometimes find that we no longer want them, and we in fact are striving for something different. That’s okay; There’s no shame in that. It is, however, your responsibility to set your team’s target and know your “why.” Ask yourself: Where am I headed with this business? How is it different from my initial target? You probably made plans and projections when you first set your goals. Revisit them and compare them to your current ones. There’s a deeper reason why you’re aiming toward these new goals, and you will need to embrace that “why” so that you can capture what you’ve been placed on this earth to do! – Jonathan Sparks, Sparks Law

5. Understand The Reason For The Shift

When you feel like your company may be moving away from your original vision, mission and values, start by asking why. Make sure you also carefully review the company’s other key performance indicators, such as growth, customer and employee retention, profitability and more. Sometimes an evolution from the company’s origin can be a good thing, such as when there has been a major shift in the marketplace or the world. Of course, companies can also lose their way due to a lack of communication and discipline on behalf of the founder, CEO or executive team. Before you jump into action though, be sure you understand why things have changed and correctly diagnose the root problem. – Ben Landers, Blue Corona

6. Write Down Your Objectives And Key Results

Some mission drift is unavoidable and could even be beneficial depending on the context, but if your company is drifting due to a loss of direction and focus, the first step you should take is to grab a pen and pencil. Next, write down, on paper, your company’s objectives and key results (OKRs). The act of writing them down on paper will help you remember the framework of your company’s goals and if they are evolving in a successful direction. Once you write down the OKRs, hold a work visualization session with your team and ask them to visualize how their specific tasks and priorities help maintain this framework. Especially when you have a hybrid work environment, work visualization can help stop mission drift and, ultimately, preserve your competitive edge. – Shu Saito, All Filters

7. Expand Your Mission Statement

I live by the idea that what you start with is not what you will end with. However, when it comes to moving away from your mission, vision and values, it’s about finding out why. Why are we moving away from these things? Do we like where we’re headed? Are we happy with this new direction? Is this helping us move closer to our goals? If the answer is “yes,” then it’s time to reevaluate the mission and vision. I’m open to being fluid as long as it doesn’t impede on my personal morals, ethics or values. But the idea that we should have one mission statement and live by it forever is outdated, and probably holding a lot of companies back from growth. – Ryann Dowdy, Uncensored Consulting, LLC

8. Consider Your Original Mission’s Relevancy

To resolve this issue, the first step is to examine your original vision, mission and values ​​statements. Are they relevant today? Do they still accurately reflect what your company does and stands for? If not, it may be time to update them. This will help to ensure that your company is aligned with values ​​that matter. You may find that people don’t resonate with your stated mission, or that your company has outgrown its original vision. If this is the case, work with your team to draft something new. This will help to ensure that you get input and that everyone’s in sync with the stated values. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Converse With Your Team

The first step you should take if you feel like your company is moving away from your original mission, vision and values ​​is to have a conversation with your team. During this conversation, you’ll want to ask them what they think the company’s new mission, vision and values ​​should be. This will help you get a better understanding of where the company is headed and how you can get everyone on board with the new direction. It’s important to have this conversation early on so that you can make sure everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction. Sometimes, you’ll discover that it’s time for your original guidelines to change—and that’s okay. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

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