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I am going to go out on a limb and say that every public, private and non-profit organization has a mission statement. I wonder how many customers, clients, employees know what it is. In many cases executives establish a mission then forget about it until the annual report has to be written. The best way to operationalize the mission statement is to keep it top of mind for everyone.

The mission is the main thing. A mission statement is an expression of an organization’s reason for existing. It is the catalyst for developing values and vision. With a clearly defined purpose/mission, “the why” an organization or business exist, leaders can enlist like-minded people who believe in that mission. However, it’s important to recruit, promote and hire people from diverse backgrounds and opinions. A monolithic culture fueled by groupthink could miss out on so many opportunities in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Can you imagine assembling an orchestra with only trombone players? In an orchestra the musicians play different instruments in blended harmony. The main thing is beautiful music. Although music is the main thing in the example above, other organizations consists of accountants, marketers, product/service producers among others support personnel. To survive long-term, representatives from younger generations should be in the mix as well. While diversity can broaden the customer base, it could also create tension within organizations which is good – as long as it is healthy.

Due to the nature of some departmental responsibilities, tension is inevitable. For instance, accountants control costs while marketer spend to make money. An accountant and a marketer would probably answer this question differently: How many marketing dollars are necessary to sustain the mission? Instead of attempting to stifle tension, leaders need to anticipate it and help employees learn positive methods to resolve it. Rather than being combative, employees should be curious, empathetic and focused on the mission. Working through a tense situation requires mutual respect and trust among everyone in an organization. Managed correctly, healthy tension can make an organization stronger by keeping everyone focused on the mission which is the main thing. Change your thoughts, change your destiny!