A Brief Case: How do I get our employees to understand and embrace, and then execute our mission and vision?

Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 02:16 pm


Ginny Finn

Chief development officer

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin

“First, our mission and vision are clear and bold: We work to eliminate racism and empower women. Second, our programs directly connect to that mission and we recruit staff to the organization who already embrace the mission. No matter our role, all staff participate in ongoing mission-related training centered on issues including racial justice, how trauma affects program participants and personal performance, and women’s role in leadership.

“All-staff meetings include discussions around issues in the community and how they relate to our work. This approach includes encouraging ideas from everyone on how to distinctly serve those who turn to YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, leading to initiatives like personal hygiene product drives, collaboration with sister organizations and internal process improvements. 

“A combination of genuine teamwork and personal accountability means we are each always seeking to do better and celebrating successes.”


Tracy Johnson

President and chief executive officer


“Our internal culture is a reflection of the commercial real estate industry where each day, like our members, we bring value and deliver solutions. To fulfill our mission, we not only have to react to issues effectively, but anticipate opportunities that enhance our members’ success.  Transparency and trust amongst staff, board and members allow us to recognize and prioritize anything and everything that comes our way – from tax reform to opportunity zones; from changes in technology to ordinances. As the membership has grown, we have designed our communication and committee structure to align resources and a wide stakeholder group.

“To be that resource for the commercial real estate community, our mission must be crystal clear and the communication around how we deliver it must be easy to articulate and execute. Connecting to mission requires our entire team and board leadership to pull in the same direction. Efforts are amplified when the team understands the ‘why’ behind our strategic decision-making process, as well as the day-to-day.

“It’s not only a management philosophy for me, but also a cultural imperative. With a small team, every member of the staff is serving on the front line. Developing a culture of confidence around understanding what the answers are, and humility to ask for guidance when the answers aren’t known, is a key priority and a mark of excellence for our organization.”


Gary Witt

Chief executive officer

The Pabst Theater Group

“My partner Matt Beringer and I reinforce the Pabst Theater Group’s mission and vision by tying each to department and individual goals. These goals are made public and they are reviewed quarterly. By doing this, they then are directly tied to employee compensation as employee reviews change from the old, backward-looking, universally-loathed annual review to forward-thinking, continuous performance management (thank you, John Doerr and ‘Measure What Matters’). Goals, mission and vision then remain a constant focus.

“We raise awareness for the Pabst Theater Group’s vision and mission by always making sure that it is visible in how we communicate privately and publicly. This explains our mission and vision not just to our team, but also to our community and customers.

“We experience highly visible success stories daily that help us to realize our vision and mission. We are extremely fortunate to be in a business whose work is done in a very public way. This type of public storytelling plays an important role in helping to give our team a higher purpose for their work. This gives our group the power to establish The Pabst Theater Group as a brand, helping us to retain and attract top talent and make sure that everyone is not only aspiring to the same overarching mission and vision and goals, but also feeling the success of achieving them.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin