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Capstone Forum: Assignment With Peer Review: Evaluation of the Mission, Vision, and Values of an Organization: The Soulful Purpose in Action

Capstone Forum: Assignment With Peer Review: Evaluation of the Mission, Vision, and Values of an Organization: The Soulful Purpose in Action

This week, you begin to build your Strategy Playbook for your chosen Capstone organization. You will begin this process by evaluating what Wolfe calls the "Context Field," or level of analysis, of the organization. As Wolfe explains (2011, pp. 81–84):

Within organizations, the Context field is often incorrectly referred to as the culture of the organization. It is this but is also much more. Culture is part of Context but not all of it.

Context is certainly much more than the "do's and don'ts" we associate with the word culture in our society. It's even more than the mores and shared values we spend so much time dissecting and diagramming. It's the sum total of all our shared stories, the mythology we make up to explain our world to ourselves and to others.

As such, it is not something that we can easily observe or measure but it literally defines "how we do things around here." An organization and the individuals within it cannot behave or operate in ways that are contrary to the Context framework defining the organization. . .

The Context Field contains energy associated with meaning and purpose. It is the energy that drives what is known in today's business environment as engagement.

In traditional strategy terms, evaluating the "Context Field" of an organization is related to the evaluation of the organization's stated, and lived, mission, vision, and values (if they have them stated). The analysis of the Context Field derives from developing answers to a probing set of questions that are intended to help you better understand the goals, ambitions, values, and long-term soulful purpose of the organization. Understanding these issues sets the context and lens from which to better understand how to shape your Strategy Playbook when you complete later analyses in the course. It also affords you the opportunity to recommend ways in which these important context elements (mission, vision and values) could be improved. This week's focus question for your Strategy Playbook is, what is your winning aspiration? (What do you stand for and believe deeply in?)

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review all required readings, including the Weekly Briefing, which provides additional guidance on how to complete the Assignment.

Review this week's case study and peer discussion.

Identify and review all relevant readings from the Capstone Program Bibliography.

Locate and maintain access to publicly available information about the organization's mission, vision, and values. This information should be available in:

Annual reports

The organization's official website

Synthesize your answers to the following analytic questions as part of your formal assignment response. That means you should answer each question, then you should take your overall conclusions about your responses to write your response to the formal assignment below:

What is the fundamental purpose of the organization (beyond "making money")? Why does it exist and what problems does it solve in the world? (See Wolfe, 2009, pp. 121–128)

Would the world be a better place if this organization no longer existed? Why or why not? (See Wolfe, 2009, pp. 121–128)

Has the company been consistent and true toward achieving its purpose and vision over the years? Is it still consistent now? How? What could it do better?

Are organization-wide goals stated merely in terms of market growth or financial outcomes for a year or two? Are there any more broad, stakeholder-related goals or "balanced scorecard" goals? How should they improve in this area (what goals should they have and why)?

Do the stated mission and/or vision statements address all of the fundamental stakeholders explicitly (at an absolute minimum this should include employees, customers, shareholders)?

Are the organization's fundamental (soulful) purpose, mission, vision, and values aligned explicitly with one another, and with the actions of the organization?

Consider what you learned from the James Houghton and Signature Theatre case study that you can apply to your chosen organization.

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