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Developing Mission and Vision Statements

Developing Mission and Vision Statements

As an employee, I’ve been subjected to Mission, Vision and Value statements when I worked for major organizations and that’s probably how I came to hate them.

Many Mission, Vision and Value statements are fluff, sometimes focused on marketing more than what they should be - for employees in the organization. They are often dreamed up at the upper levels with little involvement from the people who keep the organization working. If you own a business or manage a team, there is a better and more productive way to develop and use Mission, Vision & Value statements.

Since leaving corporate employment, part of what I do is to research motivation, results based initiatives and how successful organizations work. As a result, I gained a new respect for the Mission Vision and Value statement – as long as they are done well and simply part of a larger change management process.

In fact, a good Mission, Vision and Value statements can be a powerful tool to provide guidance and direction to your organization if they are carefully developed and follow some basic concepts. Use them to motivate staff, guide decisions and frame your strategic plans. And remember, they aren’t the silver bullet to making change in your organization – they are just the tip of the iceberg and need to be supported with other continuous initiatives, not just a one-time focus.

Mission Statements
When done well, a mission statement is concrete and tangible. It inspires and focuses efforts towards a single purpose. It describes what you do, who you do it for and why you do it, basically why the organization exists.

The mission statement guides everyone in their day-to day activities and keeps the goals front and centre for decision making and initiatives.

Vision Statements
A good vision statement illustrates either the future of the organization or the ultimate goals of the Mission. It defines what will happen as a result of your Mission. It focuses on tomorrow, it is inspirational, it provides clear decision-making criteria and it is timeless.

The vision statement tells you where you should be heading and what the outcome of your Mission should be. It will inspire while guiding long term decisions.

Value Statements
A value statement identifies the beliefs and behaviors that are reflected in all activities and define how you carry out the mission.

The value statement may have a short paragraph accompanied by a list of values. Stating your values provides more guidance for decision making and for day-to-day work activities. They set the standard and expectations for everyone in the organization.

The Mission, Vision and Value statements are not something you memorize and repeat by rote. They must be so meaningful that you can describe it easily without repeating it word for word.

To be successful, they must be developed with a cross section of employees and communication about the process and how everyone can contribute has to be part of the creation process. The best way for them to gain understanding and buy-in is through involvement.

They also must be written in plain language, not corporate fluff and doublespeak.
Some of the key attributes of a good Mission, Vision and Values statement are:

  • Clear and un-ambiguous
  • Paint a vivid picture
  • Realistic and concrete
  • Short and to the point
  • Easily interpreted and acted upon


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Mission, Vision and Values can be an important part of your strategic planning if developed with that in mind. Developing good statements however is not easy.

This downloadable 1-page guide that gives you the basic information you need to understand what makes a good statement and how to develop them so they are meaningful to your team and your strategic plans.

Mission Vision and Value Guide
Mission Vision and Value Guide
This 1-page guide will help you start developing your Mission and Vision statements. It provides useful background info for your team and a process to get started.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

Posted in: Strategy & Planning

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