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Team Charters: The Importance Of Establishing Mission, Vision, And Value Statements
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Establishing collectively agreed upon team charter of mission, vision, and value statements with your team or business group is of great benefit. A common culture of accountability and singular focus can help a group's performance. I have had over twenty years of successful experiences as a senior leader in health care. The positions I held where a common mission, vision, and set of values was established and abided by were always associated with the greatest success. This article provides a framework for setting your team up for success.

Start by gathering your group together. It is important that this be done without acknowledgement of status or rank. Everyone is equal on the team. After all, it is my belief, that as a leader, you are there to serve the needs of your staff. Input and buy in by all is essential to success.

Begin by asking the group for input on the creation of a mission statement for the team. This is a broad statement that will act as a compass to guide them. A typical mission statement would sound like, “We aspire to produce a quality widget that will make the world a better place." Of course this is just an example, but it illustrates the idea that a mission statement should be timeless and without boundaries. It is a goal that can be worked for, improved, upon, yet never attained. As the meeting's facilitator, be sure to encourage participation by all.

The next step should include time to create a common vision statement for the team. This is a statement that acts as a guide for how the mission is to be reached. It should be as broad reaching as the mission statement, without finite boundaries, but with realistic qualities. "We will produce our quality widget in an environment that improves society and does no harm to any individual or people," would be an example. Again encourage open discussion and participation by all. This is essential to buy in and support by the group.

The final step is the development of values that the team can and will support. Values are behaviors and normative behavioral standards that the group will support going forward. Pretty universally accepted for these is that everyone will listen without interrupting, no idea will be mocked or debased (even the craziest, offbeat, suggestion can spark a useful idea); everyone will be treated with respect, etc. Again, encourage open discussion and participation.

Conclude the meeting with all team members signing a form acknowledging their support. Everyone must agree to every part of the established charter. This function allows everyone equal policing ability and ensures that the team will abide by the established values. Team members agree that any variance from the established norms will not be tolerated. This gives all equal say in maintaining enforcement.

It is important for teams to establish a team charter of acceptable missions, visions, and values. It creates an environment suited for exceptional results.

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