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As you reflect on this weekâ??s lecture, describe the learning process in your organization. Does it
take into account the varying generations? What does it do to capture learning and
knowledge? What can your organization do to ensure future learning?
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Utilize the required reading material as
well as one outside scholarly source to support your claims.
John Lund/Blend Images/Getty Images
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
â?¢ Discuss the role of vision, mission, and values in driving organization-level change.
â?¢ Describe key activities that facilitate strategic planning, such as environmental scanning, SWOT analysis,
SMART goals, and scenario planning.
â?¢ Of the various organization designs, identify those that best facilitate the organizationâ??s mission and those
that need to be reorganized or restructured.
â?¢ Explain how learning can be used strategically, such as by capturing organization learning and developing a
strategic learning organization.
â?¢ Explore how culture influences organizations and can be changed through interventions, including diversity and inclusion initiatives.
â?¢ Describe key talent management interventions, such as talent management strategy and succession planning.
â?¢ Examine the role of large-scale interactive events for organization change.
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A nonprofit health care organization had been struggling to keep its doors open. When the
regionâ??s largest employer went out of business, the size and needs of the population served by
the organization rose significantly; it was becoming increasingly difficult to provide services to
clients. The executive director, Jane, was relatively new and decided the organization needed to
improve its ability to raise funds. Jane contracted with an OD consultant, Jeff, to address the issue.
Jeff took Jane and the organization through the action research process to discover the root
cause of the problem. He began by collecting data. He reviewed the organizationâ??s website and
brochures and interviewed employees, donors, and clients. After analyzing the data, he concluded
that the organization was not clearly communicating its mission and services well enough and
that it lacked a strategic plan. Jeff also suspected that the organization design was not conducive
to carrying out its work.
Jeff and Jane began to address this problem by holding a retreat. During the retreat, board
members and staff engaged in numerous exercises to express, clarify, and revise their mission,
vision, and values statements. For example, they spent time identifying the organizationâ??s
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats over the short, mid-, and long term. They
imagined various scenarios that would create very different outcomes for the organization,
such as changes in health care coverage, escalating expenses, a new employer moving into town,
future company closures, and an electronic medical record.
Immediately following the retreat, the organization updated its website, letterhead, and
brochures to reflect its more concise mission, vision, and values. Jeff and Jane also worked with
the board on developing a 5-year strategic plan that included more aggressive communication
to potential donors, increased fund-raising efforts, and enhanced diversity of both its board
members and donor base.
Part of the strategic plan included reorganizing the nonprofit around its programs to more
readily respond to its distinct stakeholder groups, such as patients and insurance companies. The
reorganization was preceded by a large-scale event that brought together employees, patients,
other health care providers, board members, and other local nonprofits that worked closely with
the organization to plan for the future and how best to meet its needs. Each of these steps will be
illuminated in the following sections.
Organization-level OD interventions tend to be more comprehensive and long term than
individual and group interventions. Their goal is to help the organization set direction, determine
strategy, solicit feedback, facilitate learning, manage knowledge, change the culture, value
diversity, develop the workforce, and manage day-to-day activities. Although the list of potential
interventions is endless, this chapter introduces the range and variety of interventions that are
typically used in OD. These can be categorized into seven areas, including mission, vision, or
values development; strategic planning; organization design; learning infrastructure; culture;
talent management; and large-scale interactive events (see Table 9.1). The first of these is the
development of mission, vision, and values statements.
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Section 9.1
Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Table 9.1: Categories of individual OD intervention
and values
Organization design
Diversity and
Talent management
Conference model
Open space
9.1 Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An organizationâ??s mission is its reason for being.
It is usually based on a central product or service.
Shown here is eBayâ??s mission statement.
If an organization is to communicate
its core beliefs to the world, it must
have a clear and concise statement of
its mission, vision, and values. Startup, merged, or significantly reorganized organizations need to develop
or revise these statements, and even
established organizations should revisit
them periodically. OD consultants often
get involved in these efforts. Take a
moment to jot down the vision, mission,
and values of your organization. Can
you do it from memory? If not, you are
in good company, since most employees
and other organization stakeholders
cannot; this signals that these statements
are probably in need of some revision.
A mission statement explains why an organization exists. It identifies the organizationâ??s
target audience and the product or service it provides in a way that expresses the organizationâ??s core values. Good mission statements are easy to remember and describe.
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Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Section 9.1
Why Do OD Consultants Advocate Mission Statements?
Mission statements create boundaries of service, motivate staff, and help evaluate whether
the organization has met its goals. They succinctly communicate the organizationâ??s purpose
to both the internal and external world. They can also help focus strategic planning, product
development, and innovation.
How Do OD Consultants Help Organizations Create Mission Statements?
There are three parts of a good mission statement: the audience, the product or service, and
the evaluative measures. Consider a social media companyâ??s mission statement to evaluate
these elements:
TechConnectâ??s mission is to give people the power to communicate and connect
Audience: The audience defines whom the organization serves. TechConnect is boundaryless to people who have access to a device and an Internet connection. TechConnectâ??s audience is â??people . . . worldwide,â? as noted in the statement.
Product or service: The product or service identifies what the organization provides. TechConnectâ??s service is social networking, with the aim of openly connecting
the world.
Evaluative measures: Evaluative measures are the standards by which the organization can be judged in terms of whether it is achieving its mission. TechConnectâ??s
mission is to connect people throughout the world. How well it is doing that might be
measured by the number of users, ad revenue, or site traffic.
Mission statements should be short, succinct, and easy to remember, like the ones listed earlier in this section. Management guru Peter Drucker was known to have advocated mission
statements that were no longer than eight words and could easily fit on a T-shirt. In his opinion, anything larger was simply too long (Wartzman, 2012). Chances are, if you cannot state
an organizationâ??s mission, it may not be a good statement.
You can use Figure 9.1 to write your own mission statement or evaluate your organizationâ??s mission according to how well it articulates audience, product or service, and evaluative measures.
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Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Section 9.1
Figure 9.1: Mission statement assessment worksheet
Use this worksheet to write or evaluate your organizationâ??s mission statement.
Mission Statement Worksheet
The Audience (the boundary)
The Product or Service
Evaluative Measures
Now, put the three functions together in a succinct statement:
Jeff and Jane, from the opening vignette, planned a retreat with staff and the board, who
used their time away to craft a mission statement that could be communicated more succinctly. A list of exemplary mission statements can be found at
A vision statement articulates an organizationâ??s desired end state. When the organization is
able to articulate its image of a desired futureâ??that is, where it wants to go and what it will
be like once it gets thereâ??it has clear vision (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, & Smith, 1994).
Although leaders are responsible for formulating vision, Senge and colleagues (1994) argue
that fostering and fulfilling the vision is everyoneâ??s responsibility. Examples of good vision
statements include:
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Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Section 9.1
Motorcycle Company: â??To awaken adventure through motorcyclingâ?
Wine Maker: â??To be the worldâ??s most distinguished producer of fine winesâ?
Chain Restaurant: â??To create a first-rate, accessible dining companyâ?
Why Do OD Consultants Advocate Vision Statements?
Noting that â??not all visions are equal,â? (p. 299) Senge and colleagues (1994) identify several
attributes that make a vision powerful. Powerful visions â??tap into an organizationâ??s deeper
sense of purpose and articulate specific goals that represent making that purpose real, [and]
have unique power to engender aspirations and commitment� (Senge et al., 1994, p. 299).
Creating a shared vision requires stakeholders to reflect on the organizationâ??s purpose and
future. Senge and colleagues (1994) equate building shared vision with building shared
meaning that yields a collective sense of what is important.
How Do OD Consultants Help Organizations Development Vision
The consultant helps the client determine how it hopes its products or services might change
the world. The statement should capture the organizationâ??s dream; it is a picture of the organizationâ??s ultimate success.
There are multiple methods for creating vision statements. These include simple wordsmithery and generative activities in which multiple participants identify key vision ideas
that are collated and ranked. Other companies may use exercises involving pictures and
visual aids to create images of the desired future. Table 9.2 compares the characteristics of
vision and mission statements.
A list of exemplary vision statements can be found at
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Section 9.1
Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Table 9.2: Comparing mission and vision statements
Mission statements:
Why the organization exists
Vision statements:
The organizationâ??s desired end state
â?¢ Succinct one-sentence statement explaining why
the organization exists. It should
1. be simple and clear,
2. avoid jargon,
3. be easily memorable,
4. be distinctive, and
5. not be confused with vision statement.
â?¢ Succinct one-sentence statement describing the
organizationâ??s long-term desired end state. It
1. be simple and clear,
2. avoid jargon,
3. be easily memorable, and
4. not be confused with a mission statement.
Automobile Company Mission
Go the Distance: We Go the Distance to exceed
the expectations of our customers in quality and
Automobile Company Vision
To be the worldâ??s leading provider of automotive
products and services.
Childrenâ??s Hospital Mission
Committed to Making them All Better: We make children better today, and healthier in the future.
Childrenâ??s Hospital Vision
To transform the landscape of pediatric healthcare
and improve the health of all children.
Examples of mission and vision statements
An organizationâ??s values are principles that govern how the organization expects to function
in pursuit of its vision. OD consultants are often hired to help the organization clarify and
articulate its values, along with its mission and vision.
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Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Section 9.1
Why Do OD Consultants Help Clients Develop Values Statements?
A values statement brings the mission and vision statements to life by describing what the
organization believes in and how it will behave. These statements signal the organizationâ??s
beliefs and culture. Values statements can serve as a moral compass for the organization by
defining leadership expectations, establishing standards, and guiding decisions.
How Do OD Consultants Help Clients Develop Values Statements?
Values are usually derived in conjunction with mission and vision statements. They are generally based on consensus and ideally involve input from top management and stakeholders
across the organization.
What are the values of an organization of which you are part?
OD interventions often center on helping organizations articulate their mission, vision, and
values in a collective process that is developmental. It may involve other visioning interventions introduced later in this chapter, such as a Future Search Conference, SWOT analysis, or
environmental scanning. Creating the mission, vision, and values statements are often an
integral part of strategic planning.
Take Away 9.1: Mission, Vision, and Values Development
Mission statements explain why organizations exist and are often created or
revised during strategic planning.
Vision statements articulate the organizationâ??s desired future or end state. They
are often created or revised during strategic planning.
Values statements explain how the organization aspires to behave in pursuit of
its mission and vision. These statements are generally created or revised during
strategic planning.
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Strategic Planning
Section 9.2
9.2 Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is â??a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that
shape and guide what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why it does it�
(Bryson, 2004, p. 6). Strategic planning seeks to accomplish several goals, including establishing
or revisiting long-term vision, values, and mission statements that span several years. Strategic
planning scans the environment to assess the competitors, products, and services that characterize the industry context. The plan generates strategies to be implemented over a 5-year
period that delineate specific activities, champions to advocate for the plan, and deadlines for
accomplishing tasks. For example, Jeff and Jane led the nonprofit health organizationâ??s staff and
board through a strategic planning process that helped accomplish these goals.
The strategic planning process has several steps, including
engaging in comprehensive, effective information gathering;
clarifying the organizationâ??s mission, vision, and values;
identifying issues to be addressed in pursuit of the mission;
developing and exploring strategic alternatives;
emphasizing the future impact of present decisions; and
creating specific, measurable actions and time lines, usually in 5-year increments.
Strategic planning helps organizations communicate their mission and goals to employees and
other stakeholders. The process is often collective and seeks input from across the organization
and its constituents. It represents multiple agendas, interests, and values. It also creates a deliberative assessment of the past, present, and future and establishes accountability measures.
An organization typically makes a public commitment to its strategic plan and uses the plan to
guide its decisions and actions. Figure 9.2 outlines a simple approach to strategic planning.
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Section 9.2
Strategic Planning
Figure 9.2: Strategic planning steps
Strategic planning is a 3-step process to determine where you are, where you want to be, and how to get
Determine Where
You Are
Decide Where You
Want to Be
â?¢ Mission and
â?¢ Organization
â?¢ Communications
â?¢ Programs and
â?¢ People and Skills
â?¢ Budget Support
â?¢ Mission and
â?¢ Organization
â?¢ Communications
â?¢ Programs and
â?¢ People and Skills
â?¢ Budget Support
Plan How to
Get There
Strategic Plan
IT and HR Plans
Hiring and
â?¢ Restructuring and
â?¢ Budget Allocations
â?¢ Metrics
An effective strategic plan will communicate the organizationâ??s mission, vision, and values to
the organizationâ??s constituents. The plan will also help the organization prioritize and allocate resources and provide a basis for measuring progress and change. Consultants who facilitate a strategic planning process must educate themselves on the necessary steps, usually
by undergoing continuing education or graduate study. They should also use products such
as MyStrategicPlan ( to track progress and make the plan and
accomplishments visible on the organization website.
Several interventions support the strategic planning process. These include environmental
scanning, SWOT analysis, scenario planning, and creating SMART goals. Each will be profiled
in the foll …
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