If your Personal Foundation is a blueprint for your life, then your Corporate Foundation is a blueprint for your business. It gives purpose to your business, it identifies clear objectives for your business, and it weaves ethics, values, and beliefs into your business. In short, it breathes life into your business. Without it, a business becomes an empty shell, doomed to limp along offering little of real value to its owner(s), its employees, or even its customers. Oh sure, it might provide a few jobs and sell a few products, but it will be just another place to work or shop. Nothing more. What’s the alternative you ask? It’s anything you want it to be, and it begins with your Corporate Foundation.
If your business is not the empty shell described above, and I hope it is not, it's because you’ve already incorporated some basic foundational principles into your business. You’re one step ahead of the game. If that’s the case, then this process will help you to organize your ideas and put them to even greater practical use. If not, then your business is about to go through some huge, positive changes. In either case, you’re about to discover an untapped treasure chest, hidden within your business.
Corporate Foundation Pyramid
- At the base is your Corporate Mission. The purpose of your business. Its reason for being.
- On the left side are your Corporate Values. Your standards for professional and personal behaviour.
- On the right side is your Corporate Vision. Your specific objectives as well as your strategies for their achievement.
A well-designed Corporate Foundation gives a heart and soul to an otherwise ordinary business. It is made up of three interdependent components, which function in a similar fashion to your Personal Foundation Pyramid, to give your business a life of its own.
A well-developed and properly used Corporate Foundation will add tremendous value to your business.
- It will inspire you, your employees, your customers, your lenders and your suppliers. When work becomes a fulfilling, personal challenge, people get excited.
- It will give purpose to your business. Everyone, including you, will discover a sense of purpose for their work beyond simply the collection of a paycheque.
- It will clarify your vision of what your business can eventually become. You need to know what tomorrow will look like if you want to start building it today.
- It will provide a way to chart the progress of your business. When you know exactly how your business is doing, you can make better quality decisions.
- It will simplify the decision making process. Decisions are always easier when you know where you’re headed.
- It will strengthen your business. A Corporate Foundation holds a business together like glue by unifying people, process and purpose.
- It will increase the value of your business. When a business begins to run more successfully on its own, it can’t help but increase in value. Profitability + Predictability = Value.
- It will increase the growth potential of your business and strengthen its foundation. A strong foundation promotes the development of a unified team with a clear and organized purpose. That’s fertile ground for business development.
- It will generate excitement about your business. It will keep your business from getting lost in its industry. It will stand out in its own unique and marvelous way. Now that’s exciting!
- It will reduce your level of stress. By increasing the ability of your business to handle difficult and unusual situations on its own, you reduce the amount of stress in your life.
- It will give a personality to your business. Of course, your employees and your customers already have an opinion about your business, but a Corporate Mission helps you to shape it for the better.
- It will help to find the right kind of employees. The right kind of employees are those who will fit in with your company. Knowing your Corporate Mission, Values and Vision will help you to identify the kind of people who will work best in your environment. It will also let people know if your business is the kind of place they'd like to work. This is just as important because if people don’t enjoy their work, they won’t do a good job.