A “keystone” is the central supporting element of a whole. I believe a high-performing organization has five keystones: (1) mission and vision; (2) core competencies; (3) customer knowledge; (4) organizational learning; and (4) alignment and integration.
Every organization has a mission and most have a vision, so what separates the high-performing organization from the herd? It can measure its progress on achieving its mission and vision. They are written to be achievable and measurable. Here’s what I mean, with links to their Baldrige Award applications.
The mission for Park Place Lexus is to provide an extraordinary automotive purchase and ownership experience.
North Mississippi Medical Center’s mission is to continuously improve the health of the people of its region. Its vision is to be the provider of the best patient-centered care and health services in America.
Caterpillar Financial Services’ mission it to help Caterpillar and its customers succeed through financial service excellence. Its vision is to be a significant reason customers select Caterpillar worldwide, to leverage its intellectual capital to deliver customer-driven solutions and enhance shareholder value, and to grow on its strong foundation as a caring and learning organization.
The mission of the City of Coral Springs is to be the nation’s premier community in which to live, work, and raise a family.
Richland College’s mission is teaching, learning, and community building (TLC) and its vision is to provide learning experiences that enable all students to lead meaningful, rewarding lives in a diverse, global community.
MEDRAD expresses its mission and vision through a Quality Philosophy that states that the company exists to improve the quality of health care, ensure continued growth and profit, and provide an enjoyable and rewarding place to work.
Brevard Public Schools’ mission is to serve every student with excellence as a standard. Its vision is to be first in student achievement in the state of Florida and among the top five in the nation.
Each of these high-performing organizations has developed a management system that focuses every process, person, strategy, and plan on carrying out its mission and achieving its vision. Their strategic plans align with and support their mission and vision. Their balanced scorecards track progress on their mission and vision.
Their mission and vision are central elements that support and provide direction for their entire organizations. They are one keystone of a high-performing organization.