Five ways to future-proof your company with a clear vision and mission

Culture and people
During the financial crisis of 2009, consumers lost trust in the banking sector. Loss of money from mortgage defaults and banks’ inability to extend credit to consumers and businesses resulted in many broken homes.

However, Bank of America proved that these sentiments could be turned around and became one of the biggest comeback stories in banking history. By living out their mission “to help make financial lives better through the power of every connection,” their goal was to improve their customers’ lives by implementing various new regulatory actions, internationally, thereby helping to protect consumers.

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, companies face similar challenges that impact revenue. Fierce competition, shifting consumer preferences, and the quest to attract top talent are forcing companies to carve out a distinct identity for their brand. Businesses require more than just products and services. And that is why Entersekt created a new vision and mission that resonated with its people.
“It ultimately enables ruthless focus, which is the key to success in a product company” – Schalk Nolte, CEO and co-founder of Entersekt
Here are five points to consider when formulating a vision and mission that will support long-term company success.

1. Start with a clear, specific goal

A vision statement outlines a company's aspirations, providing a compelling picture of what the organization aims to achieve in the future. By having a well-defined vision, companies can align their efforts toward a common goal, ensuring that all employees are working in unison, aligning back to its North Star.

“Space X, for example, possesses a ruthless drive to achieve multi-planetary status for humanity. Because of this drive, the company has seen massive success in a relatively short period of time, compared to NASA, which has a much broader (less specific) vision,” says Nolte.

At Entersekt, our goal has always been to make the digital world a safer place by securing billions of financial transactions. Our vision – to be the leading transaction authentication provider for financial institutionswas a direct result of this clear goal.

2. Let it guide strategic decision-making

Vision and mission statements serve as strategic frameworks, providing a foundation for decision-making and resource allocation. When faced with competing options or uncertain circumstances, these statements act as touchstones, ensuring that choices are aligned with the long-term objectives of the organization.

“For me, a vision is the one thing that binds all in the company together and guides many decisions – from Product, to Marketing, to Engineering. We all can measure exactly where we add to this greater plan and drive towards it together,” comments Nolte.

These two statements, therefore, help leaders make informed decisions and avoid drifting away from their core purpose. Brainstorming the mission statement for Entersekt was also a driving force to update our website. Strategically, the newly evolved brand encapsulated bravery, determination, and competency. These are all elements that our logo – the shield – represents, and therefore inspires confidence in both our customers and our employees.

3. Establish a sense of purpose

Mission statements articulate the fundamental purpose and reason for a company's existence. They encapsulate the values, beliefs, and principles that underpin its operations.

A strong mission statement acts as a rallying cry, uniting employees and stakeholders around a shared purpose. In Simon Sinek’s famous words:
“If people learn their why, it makes them better qualified and more confident to choose the careers, to choose the jobs, and find the companies that create environments where they can be inspired and feel fulfilled. And that’s the goal.”
The mission statement for Entersekt was revealed to its employees, by its employees, through an inspirational video. Through the power of story, it gave everyone:
  • A reason to believe in what they do,
  • The ability to describe who they do it for, and
  • A clear view of Entersekt’s unique positioning in relation to its competitors.
And that’s how we got to our mission statement: To empower financial institutions to conquer fraud, poor digital experiences, and regulatory compliance with confidence.

4. Capture the heart of your customer

In a crowded marketplace, standing out is crucial for success. Vision and mission statements can play a pivotal role in distinguishing a company from its competitors.

A well-crafted vision statement communicates a unique and compelling future, capturing the imagination of employees, but also customers. Our mission statement had to make our customers feel safe, but also confident in our ability to arm them to conquer business blockers in their world.

When Steve Jobs launched Apple’s vision statement, it aligned with a strategy and a vision for Apple that captured the incredible benefits of working with their customers, for their customers – not starting with their engineers and figuring out what awesome technology they had.

5. Land it with all stakeholders

Vision and mission statements are not only for internal use, but also for external stakeholders like investors and partners too. A well-communicated vision and mission can inspire confidence and trust in these key relationships. In addition, customers are more likely to connect with companies that share their values and demonstrate a clear purpose.

Investors seek organizations with a long-term vision and a strong sense of direction. Partnerships are often formed based on shared values and complementary missions. Engaging stakeholders through a compelling vision and mission can foster long-term relationships and open new opportunities.

In conclusion

Vision and mission statements create a sense of purpose that drive innovation, enhance employee satisfaction, and foster a strong corporate culture. These elements all contribute to a stronger workforce positioned to survive any economic instability, while helping to also attract and retain top talent.

By clearly articulating what sets you apart, companies can attract loyal customers and build a strong brand reputation. Staying true to your vision and mission builds the resilience needed to adapt to change and make strategic choices to propel you forward.

These power statements will only live in the minds of your employees if they are memorable, inspirational, and have a very specific goal in mind.

As Nolte says:
“No one can motivate you as well as you can motivate yourself. And, if we all know where we are headed, we can determine how we add to achieving this and driving towards success. And that is where the magic happens.”