Every now and then I see something that just resonates with me. It could be a phrase or a video or a picture. So when I saw the picture of the lions and the tag line ‘Surround Yourself With People On the Same Mission as You’, I knew I had to write about it.
A few years ago Mission statements were very popular but I don’t see the emphasis on them that there once was. Maybe your company has one. If so, do you know what it is? Do your employees know what it is? If you were asked to write a Mission Statement for your Accounting and Finance group, what would it be and why does it matter?
I have an admission to make. I’ve never liked the word ‘teamwork’. If you’re the Atlanta Braves it’s fine. But a group of professionals should be encouraged to think independently. The ability to problem solve should be valued even more than the ablity to get along with everyone in the group. Independent thinkers don’t always have the best social skills but that doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent people. I will admit they can be somewhat difficult to manage but Controllers & CFO’s should interact with them on a more frequent basis to make sure they won’t self destruct inside your group.
Let’s face it, every day those of us who roam through Linked In, Facebook, e-mail, text messages, etc. are bombarded with advertisements, white papers, webinar offerings, etc. We want to stay up-to-date but how in the world can we and still do our job. I believe that we should first put a top priority on information that helps us align with our Mission Statement.
Here are my FIVE REASONS WHY:
- It focuses everyone in your group on the meaning of what each member should be doing.
- When hiring it sets the stage for who it is you really need to add to your group (can they live by your creed?)
- It explains to others what your group does (and hopefully why)
- It provides a philosophy for the group to live by
- It becomes the driving force behind what you do
Sample: Our Finance Group’s Mission Statement -‘ To report the historical & map the future by using the best data we can’ …. or ‘to support our corporation using the right numbers’ . I will leave it to you to come up with the right mission statement.
Let’s face it, most people know what the mission of the Credit Department is (collect all the money) or the Mail Room (deliver all the mail) but Finance and Accounting departments are not that transparent to most people outside the finance and accounting functions. And maybe it isn’t even clear to some of your new hires either.
Finally, get your group together around the conference table and start brainstorming it. And if you’d rather keep it private among your group then incorporate it into your group meetings and correspondence between each other.
I don’t know if the Lions in the picture have a written mission statement posted somewhere in their den, but you can be sure they are all on the same page in this picture (most likely food!). How do I know that? Because they are all headed in the same direction.