Skip to main content

Taste that Mission Statement!

IT HIT ME THIS MORNING -- MISSION STATEMENTS ARE LIKE good wines or craft beers; they're meant to be savored.

A lot of care goes into making truly wonderful things and that's no less true for the noble statement of purpose. Yet so many mission statements are nothing more than cookie cutter iterations that lack true craftmanship and, ultimately, true meaning. If you can't get jazzed about your organization's mission statement, who do you think will?

How can you break out of the old mold? Let the tasting and the savoring begin!

Try this and see if it helps: make some copies of your mission statement and give it to staff and to some of your board members and volunteers. Ask them to carry it around with them for a day and use it as a comparison to what's really happening at your institution.

Does the statement capture and mirror the enjoyment, the learning, the level of activity, the sense of wonder and discovery, the intensity and the humanity of what's going on? What are the adjectives or phrases that describe the reality?

Encourage folks to write all over that mission statement, or crumple it up and start afresh. Embolden your staff, your volunteers, your board members to make creative and emotional connections to your institution's core principles and values. Then widely share what you've come up with.

You've just tasted your mission. Now savor it. Where will it lead you next?

Photo: words, words, words on paper from kay ef

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

4 Nonprofit Resolutions for 2021

Even though 2020 will technically be in our rear view mirror soon, its ramifications will be with us for years to come. Make no mistake, there's a lot of work to do. So, here are my four really tough, but really important, resolutions designed to lay some solid groundwork for doing your best work in 2021. Aren't you glad there are only four? If you're interested in my resolutions from previous years, take a look here  and here .

4 Strategies to Pivot and Lead Through Disruption

Organizational Resiliency in This Crucible Moment

I am currently working with two colleagues from the cultural and heritage fields to think and write about organizational resiliency in times of upheaval and ambiguity. We believe resiliency in this crucible moment requires, first and foremost, nonprofit organizations activate equity and inclusion by embracing it as central to all their internal and external work. It begins when organizations commit the time to examine their own historical roots and practices as a critical step to ensure they “live” their most meaningful missions, visions, and values. Resiliency requires many organizations also renegotiate what it means to be valuable to their communities. The traditional idea of “value” has changed and is changing, and recognizing the extent to what our communities really value is key to being wanted, needed, and, thus relevant. All organizations must retool their financial mindsets, taking a hard look at their current financial realities and realigning the costs of doing business with