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Step 2: Stress test your VMV+

Key Points of this post:

Stress testing a vision, mission, values and core competencies can mean effective integration and how they link. Team working on VMV+ is an important activity, you simply cannot do it alone! Not even Alexander the Great did!

Alexander the Great born 356BC and by the age of 30 he controlled most of the world, creating one of the largest empires in history! He didn't do this without a strategy!

We doubt though he had this outlined in a fancy digital system, in fact we are almost certain. So it does beg the question, do you really need a strategy with lots of complicated models and frameworks? Could your organisation or team survive and thrive without it?

Likely, but its doubtful you will get anywhere without knowing:

  • where you are heading

  • what your clear mission is

  • how you will behave together

  • and what your core competencies are

The above forms the basis of the Executive Summary of any strategy and its likely Alexander the Great and his team knew the answers to these.

Any VMV also requires testing to ensure that it is

  1. engaging

  2. it is simple

  3. it drives broad action

Probably one of the most remembered visions was Henry Ford's Vision in1907

‘My vision is to build a motor car for the great multitude. It will be at so low a price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open country. Everyone will have one. The horse will have disappeared from our highways and the automobile will be taken from granted’ Link to about Henry Ford's vision

So now we are clear on vision, lets look at Mission

The Mission is how the organisation will achieve its vision

It is usually a short paragraph that contains:

  • A strong action verb to enable, to deliver, to create…etc describing what your company, your department or even your team has to do

  • A target group young people, the discerning consumer , people in Hampshire, pizza lovers

  • A big summarising idea to have access to everyday foods to be able to visit national parks, to be able to buy clothes in a relaxed family-friendly setting

  • An implication– to improve educational access, to ensure that young people can enjoy online entertainment, to help families stretch their budget.

To look at –good examples of some check out Google, Ebay, Save the Children just to name a few.


Organisational values describe the core ethics or principles which the company will abide by, no matter what. They inspire employees' best efforts and also constrain their actions.

A few examples of values include:







How values can have important implications

Use the VMVC worksheet (copyright Max McKeown) if you want to practice yourself with your own team.

Download PDF • 277KB


Competencies are the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.

How do you know what thinking and skills are required if you do not define the core competencies?

Competence is the set of demonstrable characteristics and skills that enable and improve the efficiency or performance of a job. The term "competence" first appeared in an article authored by R.W. White in 1959 as a concept for performance motivation.

Defining core competencies ensures that there are clear expectations of everyone. Competencies help you define how you will practice your values, execute your mission to reach your vision successfully.

You might be a leader yet an incompetent one.

You might be a Manager but disorganised yet cannot manage team tasks.

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