Mission Statements...what are they used for? What difference do they make? Let's consider a scenario that has probably taken place in your organization: there is a meeting (staff, board, whomever) and you are trying to maintain focus and help the group make a sound decision. Will the Mission Statement help the group achieve that?
Challenge yourself to imagine a real-life scenario in your organization where the Mission Statement will make a practical difference. What are the circumstances under which this would occur? Who is involved? The real test of a Mission Statement is not how poetic or inspiring it sounds; the real test lies in its practical application.
No wonder developing a practical Mission Statement seems a Herculean chore! To get started, try completing these two sentences.
What were your answers?
The Bottom-Line: Too often, the process of crafting a Mission Statement becomes an exercise in wordsmithing, developing pithy yet lofting sounding statements of an ideal future. While I have nothing against well-written, inspiring Mission Statements, I happen to believe that there ought to be a practical purpose to the exercise. Completing the two sentences above will help you to do that.