Understanding Mission Statements

By Ron Blue

  • Mission statement sets an overall purpose for the organization.
  • A mission statement answers questions like:
    • What are the core values, principles, and beliefs (i.e., what is really important?)
    • What are the organization’s strengths? Unique strategic advantages?
    • What is to be accomplished?
    • What are the interests and desires relating to constituencies:
      • organization
      • patients
      • employees – stakeholders
      • vendors
      • community
  • A mission statement provides general guidance.
  • A mission statement cannot be measured.
  • A mission statement is brief, concise, but comprehensive.  Align goals around the mission.
  • Clarifying the mission is an ongoing process.
  • When put on the wall, a mission statement will inspire the devotion of your employees and the commitment of your patients (customers).
  • A mission statement is compelling and pulls people toward them.
  • Success requires the capacity to relate a compelling image of a desired state of affairs – a kind of image that induces enthusiasm and commitments in others.
  • Vision through mission focuses attention on your critical strategic advantages.
  • A mission statement adds value to others.
  • A mission statement focuses attention on lofty aims with which everyone can identify.
  • A mission statement becomes a deep abiding belief, a rallying point that touches deeply the hearts and souls of everyone.
  • A mission statement incorporates components that both adds value to others and focuses on strategic advantages.
  • A mission statement creates energy by instilling purpose into others.
  • A mission statement provides meaning and purpose.
  • A mission statement allows you to recognize when off course so you can correct it.
  • There is more to a mission statement than just economics.  You must address higher needs like self-esteem, offering autonomy and responsibility at work.
  • A mission statement is bound by no preconceived limitations.  It inspires people to reach for what could be and rise above their fears and preoccupation with what is.
  • A mission statement starts with determining what you really care about and want to accomplish and committing yourself to it.  You can always develop expertise.  First, discover your preference.
  • The most productive team is the one in which every individual is important and in which every individual, at the same time, is committed to the common mission of the team.
  • Mission – an image of a desired state of affairs that inspires actions, determines behavior, and fuels motivation.
  • From values and beliefs comes missions.  From missions come the tasks that call for the most creative, productive efforts.
  • Alignment occurs when individuals perceive that contributing to an organization produces direct contributions to their personal mission…

The more opportunity an organization gives its people to align their missions with its own the more likely it is to succeed and survive.