The first step to building your remote company culture and achieving your common vision? It’s a no-brainer: start with your mission statement.
It does sound easy on paper, but crafting a powerful remote mission statement is an important and (a tiny bit) complicated task. Outlining the goals and vision of a whole team is a tough job in its own. When you add the fact that you have to speak from the hearts of people spread across the globe, as in the case of a remote company…
It starts to look as though you’re that poor guy from the Greek mythology. The one who’s trying to move a huge rock up the hill. Yeah, Sisyphus.
While you might have the muscles to realize a whole mission statement on your own, it takes more than the heroic push itself. This founding text needs to be rooted in the values and culture that are already present in your team. It has to stand for what your people are already engaged in.It has to stand for what your people are already engaged in. Click To Tweet
At the same time, your remote mission statement should also build upon the existing values and common characteristics of your team, and develop them. It should picture the dream of what you want to become together – as individuals and as a group.
How you shape your mission in writing will depend on the culture you have and are nurturing in your remote company. But there are a few things to keep in mind – and to stick to, no matter where you’re based in the world and what your business is about.
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Invite everybody to the creative board
You can easily draft a remote mission statement in your living room, between the 5 pm work call and dinner. I don’t mean to be grim about it, but chances are nobody else will find this manifesto of any interest, and it will stay in oblivion until your next big house cleaning.
A mission statement that looks like – and works like – a million bucks is one that comes from all of your team members. It needs to be authentic and heartfelt. For that purpose, you need to get everybody on board during its crafting.
Just an idea: a team retreat might turn out to be the right occasion to start working on a common vision. Team members can spend time together, get to know each other, and become closer. Retreats are a great way to actually live by your mission statement anyway. Launching a series of company meetups is definitely a good idea if you want an effective mission statement.
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Unite behind the essence of your work
One of the main elements of any mission statement is a succinct description of what your company is about. So, what do you do in your team, for whom and in what context?
Going beyond the cliche phrases about ‘revolutionizing’ your industry and ‘changing paradigms,’ it’s crucial that you state clearly what the purpose of your common work is. The best way to define the ‘About’ section of your mission statement is to draft a few sentences on your own, and simultaneously give the floor to your team members to offer their versions.
If you’ve chosen the team retreat scenario, you can make a workshop dedicated to formulating your common purpose. It can be handy to have a board and put together all descriptions you can come up with. Then start pulling out the words that describe the very gist of your work. It might take a day or two, but you should get these few sentences right – and you should do it together.
Collaborate on defining your common values
Once you have set in words the activity of your common endeavor, it’s time for the next crucial step. It involves elaborating on the values that lead your activities. They define both your big vision, and the small daily steps each of you takes.
Your company values need to be inspiring with their authenticity, and not with pompous declarations. As with the company description, it’s better to stay away from predefined phrases and commonplace notions. In fact, the process of outlining your values should be a truly creative and emotional one. Once again, you need the whole team to work together on defining the values you can all stand behind.You need the whole team to work together on defining the values you can all stand behind. Click To Tweet
The purpose of having a list of values is not to make yourselves proud with the big words you can jot down. Not at all. Your established values need to capture your company’s character, philosophy, and spirit in as much depth as possible. That’s why the right phrases may not come up in a formal atmosphere, but when you’re all in your zone – and in action. This can be while you’re tackling a problem as a team, or you’re just out playing together, say, during your retreat.
Dream a common dream
The third essential element that needs to be present in your mission statement has a lot to do with wild imagination. It is an indispensable factor for building powerful and inspiring company culture. Besides important, it’s also fun: you have to dream together. You need to envision your common future and put it in writing in your team manifesto.
To achieve this, you need to sit down together and outline the goals that you want to achieve. And here we’re talking about your wishes that go far beyond product releases and industry achievements, or simply put, fortune and fame. Your common dreams need to unite you all on a transpersonal level.Your common dreams need to unite you all on a transpersonal level. Click To Tweet
In a way, this is the vision that you can all unite behind. Understanding that it’s much easier to realize a big dream when you have a whole team with you, you decide you want to work together towards it.
Building a great remote team’s company culture often starts with team retreats – and is fueled by every meeting. If you want to truly stick to your mission statement and make it worthwhile, you simply need these group get-togethers as regularly as possible.
Why so? While remote collaboration does work, it is always improved when team members have made a personal contact. Live meetings are a chance to develop stronger connections and to understand the importance of helping and supporting each other.
Besides the feeling of closeness and friendship, meetups are an opportunity to set the right communication standards. They are crucial because they guarantee the proper functioning of the team when working remotely. That’s how you all invest in the smooth operation of your team, one team retreat at a time.
Have you started crafting your million-bucks mission statement?
What does it take to create a powerful mission statement for your remote team? Besides excellent penmanship, you need to be daring and inclusive.Besides excellent penmanship, you need to be daring and inclusive. Click To Tweet
Make sure you include all essential elements, such as defining your company’s mission, your common values, and most of all – the dreams you want to achieve together as a team.
What’s the most important aspect of a successful mission statement? Share your insights in the comments below!