This tool aids in creating Mission Statements. The Mission statement is a short statement that connects an organization’s Vision to Strategic Initiatives and -Objectives. It usually includes the organization’s tenet, the purpose, and the beneficiaries or primary target group. The Mission Statement acts as the ultimate yardstick for every initiative pursued by the organization.
Creating a meaningful Mission Statement can be achieved in approximately 45 mins using the method described below.
As with any other canvas, bring together a diverse team no larger than 8 people to allow for meaningful discussion.
Beyond printouts of the canvas you will need a selection of sticky notes and markers. Alternatively you can work online, using the PDF e.g. with Miro.
A Mission translates an organisation’s Vision – the statement what the organisation or the part of the world impacted by it, will be like at some point in the future – into a tangible action statement. It explains in very few words what the company will do for whom to fulfill the Vision. A Mission provides the “why” to an organisation. It defines its purpose.
In its best form a Mission statement acts as the north star and guiding light. It’s inspiring, catchy, inclusive, and emotional and invites people to want to be part of this Mission. Well-crafted Mission statements align with your stakeholders’ values and are concise enough to fit on a T-shirt front.
Mission statements often follow a basic pattern:
– We (name of the team or company – optional!)
– Do what & how (how do we make a difference)
– For whom (key beneficiaries)
– To achieve what (statement of the larger objective pursued)
The Mission Tool and the following workflow are based on this pattern.
How to use the Mission Tool
- Download and print the Mission Statement Tool. Alternatively segment a whiteboard, brown paper, or similar into three columns. Headline them “Do What?”, “For Whom?” and “To Achieve?” respectively (your team should know who they are).
- Ask everybody to individually write their thoughts for each of the headlines on sticky notes and have them stick them into the appropriate segment of the tool (approx. 10-15 mins).
- As a group, spend another 15-20 mins clustering, discussing, and weeding out the resulting ideas. Remember, the output ultimately needs to fit on a T-shirt front!
- Use the “We, the X, do what, how, for whom to achieve Y.” Madlib to wordsmith the Mission Statement in another 10-15 mins of co-creation.
- Reiterate. Wordsmith some more – you want your Mission to be inclusive and catchy (and fit on a T-shirt front)!
Here’s also a (beta!) video from our upcoming Ockham+ digital consulting platform that explains how to quickly create a mission statement.
Dos & Dont’s
- make sure your Mission bears some relationship with your reality
- be somewhat specific – ensure your Mission covers what you actually try to achieve. Avoid boilerplate statements and stereotypes!
- don’t brag about what you already are great at – be aspirational; the Mission is meant to help shape the future
- avoid bending grammatical conventions; Apple got away with it – most companies won’t
The Mission Tool was developed at go3consulting PartG and is a Copyright of go3next GmbH. You may use it under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 international license – see creativecommons.org.