Scott Bristol's 'Values at Hand'.

Leader Alignment and Change

Summary. A well written mission statement creates a cultural press by advocating values alignment with a desired customer relationship. It can be used as a benchmark for leadership alignment and change. Mission statements that emerge from a group process focusing on present leader values if done well reflect the present culture. But, if the culture is needing to change then a methodology for measuring and mapping both written and individual values is needed.

Using the Mission for Alignment and Change

Often in the absence of a clear desired customer relationship to guide alignment and change their exist an organizational mission statement. The mission statement if it's meaningful includes value words that link the leaders and workforce to the customer in a motivating manner. 

In the case study below the Life Journey Map® methodology is used to answer some key questions:

ABC Inc.'s Alignment and Change Assessment

ABC Inc.'s mission was written a number of years ago by Senior Leaders through a group brainstorming process that was confirmed in group meetings with middle management and the workforce. Presently the Life Journey Map® methodology is being used to facilitate leadership training. The following mission statement has been identified as a potential benchmark representing the desired customer relationship.  

ABC Inc. Mission



Service to the Nation


Each other

Document Analysis

The Life Journey Map® document analyzing methodology identified 42 different values used 62 times within ABC Inc.'s Mission statement. These value words create a ‘cultural press’ that members are expected to strive for and emulate. 

The table bellows identifies the Customer Relationship Orientation (CRO) of the top ranked 11 values for:

Note the absence of Service values both in the written Mission and in the Leader's value ranking scores.  This would indicate that the Cocreation and Integration values are aspirational and won’t be fully achieved until the values identified under Service are mastered. For a more detailed assessment see the values in Column 5 on your Life Journey Map to identify how the Service values were ranked.      

CRO Mission  Leader
Foundation 1 0
Utility 3 2
Quality 3 5
Service 1 0
Cocreation 2 3
Integration 1 1
Navigation 0 0

This gives a high level customer orientation and alignment assessment. It begs a number of questions and observations.

This assessment would indicate two things:

  1. ABC Inc.'s mission statement needs updating to normalize the frequency of Service values.
  2. ABC Inc.'s  Leaders need to focus on Service values and skills in order to fulfill their cultural potential Quality-Service-Cocreation.

BUT if the desired CRO is "Utility-Quality" the mission statement is generally aligned.

Customer Relationship Orientation Mapping

Using the Customer Relationship Orientation methodology one is able to compare written documents with completed values rankings for all of the following:

18 different values are used to measure and map each of the 7 Customer Relationship Orientation steps. To strategize change you need to understand and engage the ‘value dynamics’ at the specific level…at the 18 values per step level. 

Using Life Journey Maps® to Effect Alignment and Change

To plan for and effect meaningful change it is necessary to focus on how the individual and group ranked the specific values in the given CRO area that one is trying to change or align with. 

On the CRO graph below, Jon aligns with the Mission at Quality but lags at Service. If the goal is to increase Jon's Service Orientation it is necessary to pursue more detail value analysis by looking at:

It is also important to assess the Culture's potential for change in the same manner. If Jon's peers or direct reports don't value the Service values he is trying to implement there is a low likelihood that he will be successful. From the graph below we can see that:

Note that ABC Inc Leaders aligns with the Mission at Quality but lag at Service. If the goal is to increase the Leader's Service Orientation it is necessary to pursue more detail value analysis by looking at:


ABC Inc Mission (document analysis) vs. ABC Inc Leader Values vs. 1150 Manager/Leaders (norm)


Copyright by Scott Bristol, 2002