Updating Your Mission and Vision Statement

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spring is here, and along with it comes blooming flowers, budding trees and … spring cleaning. Spring cleaning isn’t just a time to clean the house; when was the last time you reviewed and revised your organization’s mission and vision statements?

A periodic review of each of these important, but first make sure you have a concrete understanding of what each is, and why they are different.  A mission statement is what you are doing, your day-to-day operations. A mission statement outlines practical things you do to achieve the vision of your organization. A mission statement tells “Who” and “How” – in the present tense. A vision statement has to do with looking ahead. What is your vision for how the world could be? It tells the “why” with a future objective.

An excellent example of both a mission and vision statement is the TED organization. Their mission? Spread Ideas. Their vision? We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.  

Both these statements follow three best practices when it comes to good mission and vision statements:

  1. Clear – these statements are easy to understand and not mistaken for something else.
  2. Concise – these statements are short and to-the-point. No extraneous words.
  3. Useful – these statements are informative and can guide the organization.

Making sure your statements are useful is perhaps the most important item on this list. Why? Although these statements inform external audiences of what you do and why you do it, internally these statements should be a guide for your organization. In every strategic planning session, you will be able to refer back and say, ‘Is this decision in line with what we do and what we are trying to accomplish?’

Ultimately, our collective mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. What are you doing to make it so?

 

This content was written by the Communication and Marketing Team at GCFA. For more information, or to discuss your communications needs, please contact Sharon Dean at sdean@gcfa.org or at 615-369-2336.

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