These terms just might be meaningless.
My frame of reference is the small Architectural Firm (1-15 people). During my career I have spent at least 20 full work days grappling with Mission Statements, Setting a Vision, Establishing Goals. In all that time nothing useful was accomplished. I would now replace those efforts with a once-a-year hour of daydreaming.
To appreciate my point of view you first have to reflect on the fact that things like Vision-Mission-Goals-Objectives are fabrications of human culture. Someone just like you, except with more choice over how to spend their time, developed the idea from thin air.
Everywhere in nature there is just 'taking advantage of opportunities'. No vision. No Mission Statement.
I will stipulate that for some size of human organization there is a perceived benefit in stating the direction in which you want to go. The ‘some size’ is surely more than one hundred individuals, 50 certainly.
The second problem is the lack of day to day use for goals. Unless you add “Work on Goals” to your TO-DO list, it won’t come up. And you probably won’t give goals much focused attention because of all the other stuff you have to do.
Another problem with goals is the lack of an obvious way to move toward them. Having set goals, now you are faced with dreaming up ways to try and achieve them. In my case those ways took too much time and resources for the results I got. You really need to have some level of success to afford to have goals.
I might be different from you but every one of my vision, mission statements, goals and objectives sounded like something that I was supposed to say. I think I would have been more honest to say, “Have fun and make money.”
I’ve known all this for some time. It seemed better to keep it to myself. Then I read a book by the cartoonist, Scott Adams. The book is How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big. It is really worth your time to read his book. In the book I found someone else who realized that goals don’t work. It seems safe to add my two cents now.
It turns out that there is another way that looks a lot more like what nature does. Systems.
When you have a system, you come up with something you want, say, get more work. You think of something you can do about it, and you start doing that thing over and over. While doing that something, you notice what isn’t working or what could be better and you make a change. Repeat.
You might be failing a lot, but you are learning, too. Eventually you will stumble upon some success. Then you keep doing that and improving it. Ad infinitum.
Sounds like evolution.
With goals there are lots of high hopes and then nothing but disappointment and a feeling of failure. Especially when you set big goals as you are encouraged to do. Small goals leave you feeling like you cheated.
There are endless things in architecture that you can apply this systems approach to.
Pick one or two and get started.
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