There's a lot to be said for well-crafted vision and mission statements. I've been researching and leaving a trail at The Bookshare.
In a Nutshell
- Mission - who are you? what do you do?
- Vision - where do you want to go?
- Values - what do you value? what's important? (your corporate culture)
How Do You Craft Them
- You start by figuring out the values. You figure out the values by observing how your organization prioritizes and how they spend their time. There can be a gap between what folks say they value and what they actually do. Actions speak louder than words.
- Once you know your culture and values, you can figure out your mission -- who you are and what you do. What is your organization's unique value you bring to the table? What is your unique strength? In a world of survival of the fittest, this is important to know and to leverage.
- Now that you know who you are, you can figure out where you want to go.
A good vision statement is a one-liner statement you can repeat in the halls. Nobody has to memorize it. It's easy to say and it's easy to groc. The same goes for a mission statement. You might need to add another line or two to your mission statement to disambiguate, but if folks don't quickly get what you do from your mission statement -- it's not working.
How Do You Use Them
- Use a mission statement to quickly tell others what you do.
- Use a vision statement to inspire and rally the team. It should be on the horizon, but achievable and believable.
- Use a mission statement as a gauge for success.
- Set goals and objectives that tell you whether you're accomplishing your mission and moving toward or away from your vision.
- Use your mission to remind you what you do (and what you don't) and to help you prioritize.
- Craft a personal mission and vision statement to help you get clarity on what you want to accomplish.
- Use your personal vision and mission statements to help you stay on your horse, or get back on, when you get knocked down, or lose your way.
I'm a fan of using reference examples (lots of them) to get a sense of what works and what doesn't. The Man on a Mission blog is dedicated to mission statements and has plenty of real-life examples to walk through.