I think that other businesses, particularly professional service firms, could learn from this.
Below is how Coca Cola describes their mission, vision and culture on their website – all in 462 words!
Taken From the Coca Cola Website
The world is changing all around us. To continue to thrive as a business over the next ten years and beyond, we must look ahead, understand the trends and forces that will shape our business in the future and move swiftly to prepare for what’s to come. We must get ready for tomorrow today. That’s what our 2020 Vision is all about. It creates a long-term destination for our business and provides us with a “Roadmap” for winning together with our bottling partners.
Our Roadmap starts with our mission, which is enduring. It declares our purpose as a company and serves as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions.
- To refresh the world…
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
- To create value and make a difference.
Our vision serves as the framework for our Roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth.
- People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
- Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.
- Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
- Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
- Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
- Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
Our Winning Culture
Our Winning Culture defines the attitudes and behaviours that will be required of us to make our 2020 Vision a reality.
Live Our Values
Our values serve as a compass for our actions and describe how we behave in the world.
- Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
- Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
- Integrity: Be real
- Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
- Passion: Committed in heart and mind
- Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
- Quality: What we do, we do well
Focus on the Market
- Focus on needs of our consumers, customers and franchise partners
- Get out into the market and listen, observe and learn
- Possess a world view
- Focus on execution in the marketplace every day
- Be insatiably curious
- Act with urgency
- Remain responsive to change
- Have the courage to change course when needed
- Remain constructively discontent
- Work efficiently
Act like Owners
- Be accountable for our actions and inactions
- Steward system assets and focus on building value
- Reward our people for taking risks and finding better ways to solve problems
- Learn from our outcomes — what worked and what didn’t
Be the Brand
- Inspire creativity, passion, optimism and fun
Maybe it’s easier for a fizzy soft drink company based in Atlanta to communicate this kind of thing than a professional service firm with no tangible products.
But maybe, ultimately, it’s more important for a law firm to be clear about its brand proposition – so clients know what you stand for and what differentiates you from your rivals and employees know the basis for making decisions which are consistent with the brand values.
Also, once you’ve decided what impression you’re trying to create, to what extent does your visual identity reinforce this? What about the pictures or diagrams you use, the type of font, the type of language? Firms need a style guide to ensure consistency in these subtle but important forms of communication.
My own view is that law firms are typically not good at this stuff. Whether you agree with me or not, you might want to consider:
- How clearly does your firm communicate your mission, vision and culture to your market and
- How aligned are your partners and staff with your brand? Do they even know what it is? Are they really living it?