Finance & Operations

Startup CEOs, Are Your Mission and Vision on Target?

November 4, 2011

When OpenView adds a new portfolio company, the point person goes through an Extraordinary Execution workshop with the management team to help them define their aspirations as a company. The output from this workshop will be the development of a Mission, Vision and Values to build a great company and a great culture.

  • Mission: The fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, or succinctly describing why it exists.
  • Vision: The way an organization or enterprise will look in the future. For our purposes, we look for a Vision to be 3-4 years out.
  • Values: Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organization’s culture and priorities and provide a framework through which decisions are made. They are crucial in helping a company hire personnel who match the company’s values and support and build its desired culture.

While we can’t invest growth capital in all the great companies out there, we do try to pass along knowledge and experience to anyone who’s interested. In that spirit, we’ve put together an eBook that provides a recipe to help you clearly define and realize your company’s Mission, Vision, Values and Priorities. Our hope is that this resource will help founders and CEOs of early and expansion stage companies gain value from what we do with the companies in whom we invest. It also includes insights from successful entrepreneurs like Tony Hsieh of and ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey who’ve seen the power of aspirations first-hand.


Topics covered in the book are;

  • The business benefits of company aspirations
  • A three-phase approach to the aspiration process
  • The key roles and metrics that really matter
  • Details on the challenges most companies face
  • Additional resources, including an in-depth workbook and guide for getting started

You can download a free copy of this eBook here.

If you already have gone through this process it does not mean you are done. Every year, as part of your management team’s planning process, you ought to revisit your Mission and Vision to validate that you are still on target. This is something that two of the portfolio companies I work with are doing right now. In both cases their management teams are confident that their Mission statements remain dead-on, but both of them decided they need to refine their Vision based on what occurred in their markets and companies in 2011.

This should be the CEO’s first step in planning for 2012, ensuring that the team is on the same page as you start a new year ready to conquer your market — and the world.

Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.