Too often the Mission is the first to be compromised when an organization experiences challenge. The Mission is not an expense to be cut. It is an asset to be protected. Authentic, effective leadership requires that we find the resources necessary to elevate the Mission, starting with the debridement of useless bureaucracy. Identify those closest and most important to the success of the Mission and redirect resources to support them. If we take the time to articulate an excellent Mission Statement it should be the rallying point around which the collaborations of a shared vision can thrive.
This last thought is worth considering more closely. The “collaborations of a shared vision” are not the top-down mandated policies of an entrenched executive bureaucracy. They are the collaborations of those closest to the organization’s engine, the stuff of the organization’s business, and are driven by the passion by committed players to get it done right. A well-articulated Mission provides not just the benchmarks for process and procedure, but also acts as the moral and ethical compass of the organization.
Business decisions that diminish the Mission are bad decisions. Possibly, there is a bit of accounting that can be smoothed over in an austerity budget that can be justified as “cost-cutting” and errantly referred to as “sustainable business.” But it is dangerous ground to navigate, and potentially introduces the rot of duplicity and distrust into the organization’s most important resource, the human resource. This is especially true if Mission-central workers observe that the executive bureaucracy, disconnected and impersonal, does so with no sacrifice of their own.
The collaborations of shared vision are vital to the organization’s thriving success. Those collaborations are the solution to greater challenges, not the threat. Those collaborations, and the mission-central workers integrated in them, are valuable assets to preserve. Bureaucratic bloat can, and should, be aggressively cut out like a cancer.