Write effective mission and vision statements,
with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
James Manktelow: Hello, I'm James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools.com, home to hundreds of free, career-boosting tools and resources.
Amy Carlson: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools.
Do you know the mission of your organization?
That is, when everything else is stripped away, what is your organization's core purpose? And why do its people do what they do?
Most organizations have a driving purpose. But sometimes, this purpose is ill-defined, and often, employees don't even know what it is.
This is why taking the time to write out a mission and vision statement, for your organization or team, is so worthwhile.
JM: Writing out mission and vision statements for your organization will define its true purpose.
But more important is what these statements can do for your staff. When your team has a purpose that they understand and are passionate about, the work they do gets more exciting.
And, when people are working for values they believe in, an organization can be transformed.
AC: First though, let's look at what these statements are.
A Mission Statement defines your organization's purpose and primary objectives. It also defines your organization's goals, and how you're going to measure them.
For instance, imagine that you work for a major airline. Your Mission Statement might say, "To be the most reliable airline in the industry for on-time arrivals, and to have the lowest number of customer complaints."
JM: To write out your own Mission Statement, look at your organization's winning idea.
Why was the organization founded in the first place? What distinguishes it in the marketplace? What do its leaders want to achieve?
Then, think about how you truly want to measure success. Remember, this doesn't have to be about the bottom line alone - success is measured in a lot of ways.
In our example, success is measured by being number one in on-time arrivals, and having the lowest number of complaints.
Keep working at this until you can combine your organization's purpose and success measures into one powerful, concise statement.
AC: Once you've decided on your Mission Statement , you can move on to your Vision Statement.
To do this, look at your Mission Statement again. What's the underlying, human value of what you just wrote?
Take another look at the sample Mission Statement we created for the airline. This organization wants to lead the industry for on-time arrivals, and they want to have the lowest number of customer complaints.
The human value to this statement is that the organization wants to reduce stress for their customers and make them happy.
So their Vision Statement might say, "We help families and business travelers to have a stress-free and enjoyable flight: we get people to their destination happy and on time."
JM: Do you see how the Vision Statement is more emotional? This is a statement that sounds like a partnership between the airline and its customers.
This is an idea that the airline employees could really get excited about.
Your own Vision Statement should be similar - it should sound emotional and compelling, and when you read it, you should feel really enthusiastic about what you're doing.
AC: Developing a Mission Statement and Vision Statement for your organization can take a great deal of time.
You'll have to think carefully about your organization's strategy, and agree this with other leader's in your organization.
You can find out more about creating Mission and Vision Statements in the article that accompanies this video.