By John Vawter, Rob Howland and Ben Walker
Have you ever wondered how companies define their mission statements? Is it something the founder created on a whim when he or she started the company? Did the executive team develop it behind closed doors and roll it out to the team without first getting buy-in? Does it sound like a copy-and-paste version of its competitors’ mission statements?
Every company has a defined mission and set of values, yet few get it right and create a mission statement that sticks. Others unveil a mission statement that falls flat with employees or fails to describe who the company is and what they do.
As a team, we spent the last 18 months developing Capstone’s mission statement and core values (“The Capstone Pillars”). We were determined to stay true to our roots and continue building on the solid foundation laid by Mike Mouron when he started the original Capstone company back in 1990.
If we’ve learned one thing throughout this process, it’s that a mission statement doesn’t magically develop overnight. It requires patience, persistence, listening to your employees and taking a step back to answer some of these most essential questions:
- Who are we?
- What do we believe in?
- What makes us tick?
- What sets us apart?
- What goals are we working to accomplish together?
- How do we do accomplish these goals?
- Where are we headed in the future?
With a passionate team of both familiar and fresh faces, it was time to ask ourselves these questions as Capstone celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022. We are fortunate to have a strong team who live and breathe our mission every day, but we needed to put a mission statement on paper to spread our passion throughout Capstone’s footprint to our construction and residential teams across the country. Bringing our full team together and helping everyone realize the direct impact they make on Capstone was a big goal we set out to achieve during this process.
To develop our mission statement, we felt it was important to bring in outside counsel to offer an unbiased third-party approach. Our public relations team, Peritus PR, has worked with us for several years and successfully led this process from start to finish in collaboration with our leadership team.
Employee & Stakeholder Feedback
Listening is a crucial first step when undertaking any new project. Peritus interviewed 25-30 team members to learn more about their personal and professional experience working at Capstone. These conversations were essential for transparency and helped form the backbone of our mission statement and pillars.
Additionally, we distributed a company-wide survey to give every team member the option to voice their opinion and play a part in the process. Peritus also spoke with Capstone’s close project partners and stakeholders to hear a mix of outside perspectives. Gathering this external insight helped create an added layer of authenticity to our mission and values.
Mission Statement Workshop
Once we completed the listening tour, it was time to put the interview and survey takeaways into action. During our annual summit in 2021, Peritus led a mission statement workshop with a series of exercises designed to generate continued feedback and buy-in.
Our team participated in several exercises to first understand the importance of a mission statement and how successful, longstanding companies like Google, Facebook, McDonald’s, and other household names position themselves. Next, we walked through several preliminary mission statement options, and each table had the opportunity to edit these or draft their own mission statement.
Planning Meetings & Revisions
Did we mention a mission statement doesn’t happen overnight? We underwent several rounds of planning meetings, internal discussions and mission statement revisions before producing a final product that we all agreed truly described who we are and what we do. This was a time-intensive process where everyone put their pride and egos aside. To do it the right way, we knew it wasn’t going to be quick or easy.
The Final Unveiling
To introduce our final mission statement and Capstone pillars, our leadership team worked with Peritus to organize the “Capstone Olympics” this past December during our annual summit. Our company was split into teams competing against one another in various exercises designed to tie back to each of our core pillars. This was a fun and engaging way to build team chemistry while also reinforcing the importance of our mission, values and each team member’s role in living those out.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Getting a mission statement and core values on paper is only the beginning. It needs to be more than just a blanket statement on a website or a sign that hangs in your conference room. Now it’s our job to ensure these become woven into the fabric of everyday life at Capstone.
When looking back on the process, the aspect we enjoyed most was the collaborative nature and staying true to who we are as a company. It was a rewarding experience and a fitting example of Capstone’s team-driven, family-like culture. Everyone had a seat at the table and helped decide a path forward together. Now, our mission statement and pillars will help guide us in everything we do at Capstone in the future.
Capstone’s Mission Statement
Our mission is to be an innovative company dedicated to serving people, building community and delivering exceptional experiences that stand the test of time.
The Capstone Pillars