Friday, December 21, 2007

Hey Champ Car, What is the Mission?

This isn’t the first time I have asked this question. What exactly is the CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES mission? I’ll bet if you asked a dozen fans you’d get a dozen different answers, same is likely true of a dozen CCWS employees. It is unthinkable that CCWS employees wouldn’t know what the company is trying to accomplish.

So for 2008 I will once again lay out what I think should be the next (should have been the first) step for the business of CCWS. You cannot start to fix something if you cannot identify the problem. It is my opinion that CCWS is broken and surely has been since the CART bankruptcy. Since the three amigos raised this Phoenix from the ashes the single biggest disappointment to me has been inconsistency. As far as I can see they have not been able to describe what it is they are trying to accomplish.

This is why I ask, what’s the mission? If a business is to be successful it must have a mission, something everyone in the company can grasp and work towards. A simple mission statement can achieve this and more. The Best Care in the Air, my favorite mission statement which just happens to come from favorite airline is simply perfect. It easily fits on the back of a business card and describes what the company is trying to achieve. How could anyone in that company get it wrong?

Simply put if you don’t have a stated mission how can you ever expect to achieve it? And to me Champ Car feels like a company without a mission.

A mission statement can become the most important sentence a company will ever pen. Every business decision must be tested by the mission statement as to relevance. If some department manager is trying to run his own agenda you will soon know, when his decisions are put to the test. Every budget, every hire, every fire, even salaries must meet the relevancy test. When this is done from the top down you will then have an organization in which every employee is working towards a common goal.

So who is responsible for developing the mission statement? The man in charge who every that is, it is ultimately his responsibility. I would think the owners of the business would drive this issue and make sure that their subordinates live by it.

All departments in the company can have mission statements and they should dovetail nicely into each other and the company mission statement. This can even make planning easier by separating the must haves from the discretionary.

All employees should have written goals and objectives that will all fit together as one and drive the company mission. They would be developed from the top down so that there is no doubt about the reason for having them. When I read the lowest level employees G’s and O’s I should be able to then read his managers and see how they are intertwined and so on up to the top.
A tightly organized company like this is more likely to be successful than a loosely organized one like I see in CCWS.



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