LIVE LIKE THE VALUES YOU WANT TO PROMOTE – Cluetrain Manifesto, new edition, Thesis n°114
It has been a while since the last time I wrote an article. Sometimes I wonder why. It might be that I haven’t felt the need to express myself and my feelings. Now it is an important moment and I want to do it again.
It is a period of transformations. I want to tell you about the journey of Interlogica.
I want to tell you my point of view and I hope it will be helpful for you now that you are reading my words. It is my perspective on an essential topic in the particular historic moment we are living in.
THE DEFINITION OF MISSION AND VISION
Mission and Vision. Two small words and a lot of literature about them. I have always read much about them because it is important for my job and because they are considered the Holy Grail for companies 4.0.
I have never really understood how these principles that are often extrapolated by external consultants, can be a guiding light, an incentive, and a path to follow – until I found myself involved in them.
Why has Interlogica decided to define them?
Which is the real meaning of Mission and Vision within an organization?
Which is their benefit for the people and for the business itself?
Our story started some months ago when we realized it was high time to investigate our Why as Interlogica. We started to reorganize our ideas and to have a specific designated in-house team to manage the process.
The Purpose encompasses what Interlogica has been since its beginning. I have to be honest, it has been an extremely interesting exercise that makes you explore the whole business – only if you are interested in finding out what we have done so far. Here you can learn more about finding our Purpose.
I was feeling as if I had climbed a mountain and got to Camp 1.
That was our first milestone and we felt ready for our legs to walk more.
The time was right.
In the meantime, the context around us was rapidly changing.
The reason we want to define “abstract concepts” is because, realistically speaking, those concepts are not abstract at all.
Everything can be found on the web. It is not difficult to find stories about people who have started this journey before us but many times they were unsuccessful, others way too cryptic to understand, other times just too vague.
I like the verb “to dig” – I guess you can really understand the sense of effort in it. It reminds me about discovering new things, about bringing up something new.
It allows you to learn more about your identity so we can all be aligned on what we can do next and what we want to achieve.
You can really dig to learn more about the Present and the Future: share the common goals with your people, as a real ecosystem.
And here we are, with Mission and Vision.
The difference between the two is not just a simple nuance like many describe.
You need to outline:
- The current situation, the Present. The Mission, How:
- Its projection into the Future – the Vision, What.
Why are they so important?
Vision and Mission are useful to describe the business and the organization in a clear way. They help shape the idea of “who we are” and make us understand more about the value and values.
Let me explain it in another way. For example, they express in a coherent and shared way the internal projection of everything we do and, from an external point of view, what the business offers to its existing and potential clients.
Is it easy to let it emerge? Not so much.
I like to think of Interlogica as a different company (and, for many things it is different indeed) and it often follows paths that are not aligned to the ones other companies are following. Like our decision to continue to define ourselves by using an internal team, investing precious time in this specific task.
I don’t want to bore you by telling you all the necessary things we had to do but I just want to share a couple of examples. Are you ready?
“OUR ROAD TO MISSION AND VISION”: A RECAP
Trial and Error: this is a fundamental method of Problem Solving. It is useful and effective. It is not linear and it is not immediate.
But it is extremely useful to your purpose.
We have spent a long time working internally and on ourselves because this was the right approach for us.
The idea of “selling” an idea of Mission and Vision to everyone is something that does not belong to us. We preferred to start with ourselves.
To summarise: thoughts can be born, shared, and demolished. Feedback on thoughts can be received, validated, and analyzed. You can complicate and uncomplicate things until you reach the end result.
I never said it was easy and why should it be?
We have x-rayed Mission and Vision by having the Purpose guide us. They are three intertwined elements.
The Purpose – the reason of being – to use to reach the Mission with our Vision clear in our mind.
It’s basically three concentric circles.
The focal element which is often forgotten when you think about these three circles is that the Purpose (Why) is still not at the center of our circle.
People are. People who belong to the organization or who will be part of it in the future. This is where you need to start from.
Working on it in a “diffuse” way has been for us a means to write words that belonged to the minds of people who live Interlogica day by day. It’s like a ray of light that comes from inside our people, connecting them.
Mission and Vision are some metrics that we need to analyze daily. They are a declaration of intent that makes us collaborate with one another.
We have revealed it, it is our common code, what makes us Interlogica, our actions.
This is the way in which statements should be read.
Decisions that we make – mine, yours, theirs – and the behaviors we have, all answer to these few lines of text.
It is our fundamental point in our wandering together with our essential keystones which have always been with us in our “Road to Mission and Vision”. In your company, you will have different ones or maybe even the same ones as ours but they will be unique in their essence.
I have already told you about the first one: it’s the People.
We strongly believe in having an open mind as a community and as individuals. We have created a place where people can express their professional opinions in a free way, bringing value to the topic, to the project, and to the clients. You start with people and their aspirations – we are sure that the best solutions to complex issues come from diverse mindsets and backgrounds.
Technology is the guiding thread that unites us all but each one of us grows up and learns different things, challenging himself in his own way and time.
Many of our clients decide to invest in new business by modernizing their own technology stack so that they can go on the market with effective and brand-new solutions. In this process we are always there, at their side, finding the most relevant solutions to their problems, making sure they get value to their process by using our competencies. We share our culture by helping them remove some technological obstacles they find along the way.
Our clients think big, they have ambition and passion – the same we share every day.
We have a unique role to play to make sure technology brings advantages not just to our clients but to the whole society. We use culture and agility to shape a sustainable technological future that has the individual at its core.
Our vision inspires us and it challenges us to work collectively considering our roles, the people we are, our clients, and our partners.
In the current landscape, technology companies like Interlogica are key enablers. We are partners who understand and who can change the business of our clients in a better way. We are also devoted to learning and we want to give the best possibilities to our people. We build our own road by every single action we take.
If the initial question was: were these only just nice words or real facts, well, I can easily say: facts.
My daily activities, like my colleagues’, are around building a sustainable and better future which reflects the Interlogica we belong to, in which we work and in which we believe.
Mission and Vision are visible traces in the planning of our daily activities, both short-term and long-term. They also reflect an awareness around the strategic and economic decisions we make which can no longer be disconnected from an extremely wide vision that incorporates social conscience. Every choice will impact our society and not just my clients or me.
I cannot forget to highlight the extremely important task leaders and managers have. If you are one of them you then have the responsibility to lead by example and make sure to share what has been learned from all the actions taken, starting with the smallest ones and sharing them with the team and with the clients.
I was almost about to forget about Interlogica’s Mission and Vision:
I wanted to tell you that something happened. A transformation took place. We noticed that the Purpose we developed through a complex and shared exercise, well, did not really fit. To use some simple terms, we felt like there was something missing once we put it close to all our statements.
We had a better look at them and we were amazed when we noticed that, involuntarily, we had Purpose intertwined in both Mission and Vision.
Needless to say, we decided to give Purpose a different identity, one which would complete the circle of the journey we had been through.
Sometimes you just need to look at things by considering new elements.
This means being agile and responsive to new incentives.
This is what happened to us.
I always remember that “nothing is set in stone” and when we will not recognise ourselves anymore, we will start the process again.