Notes on Mission Statements
My original message 12/18/00
Hi everyone --
Can anyone recommend a book, article
or website that offers critical thinking on the subject of mission statements?
I've seen lots of boosterism for mission statements, explaining how drafting
a mission statement should be a top priority for just about any organization.
It will impress your funders, focus your programs, improve your staff morale,
and cure your rheumatism. I agree there's often value in having a mission
statement. But I've also heard and read what strikes me as a good deal
of inconsistency, exaggeration and wishful thinking as well.
For example, it's said that a mission
statement is essential because an organization's goals and programs should
"flow out of it". I'm not sure I understand what it is for a goal or a
program to "flow out of" a paragraph of text. I think it suggests, misleadingly,
that an organization's goals and programs are like theorems of a Euclidean
geometry of the group, that can be deduced somehow from the mission statement
axioms. There's a lot more to human and group motivation than that.
Mission statements are often described
as articulating the most fundamental commitments of an organization. In
the next breath, they are described as aptly phrased rhetorical soundbites
with which to impress funders -- a slogan for t-shirts and coffee mugs.
It's not clear to me that those two purposes are always, or even usually,
It's often said, platitudinously, "if
you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there". That seems
to suppose that knowing where you're going is equivalent to crafting and
approving a concise paragraph explaining where you're going in very abstract
and general terms. Is that the only way for an organization to know where
Has anyone ever tried (in print) to
separate the wheat from the rhetorical chaff here? Has anyone ever done
empirical research on the actual consequences of mission statements?
Thanks for any tips you can provide.
From: William Myers <WMyers@alternatives.org>
Eric, My favorite is "Eighty Exemplary
Ethics Statements" by Patrick E Murphy
The range of statements is astounding
and the commentary is short and useful. You're welcome to borrow my copy
if you like.
From: "Andrew S. Turner" <email@example.com>
I would recommend Peter Senge of MIT.
I would recommend the Fifth Discipline, the subject is much broader than
mission statements but I think the point is that a Mission statement is
only one component, by no means a magic bullet. It must be accompanied
by a vision, a plan and true commitment to mission/vision focused decision
making at all levels of the organization, otherwise it is indeed just words
on paoer, that is the part that few organizations ever reach it seems to
I would also recommend a book from
the Peter Drucker Foundation that I am currently reading, although it is
at home and I cannot remember the title! I think it is Leader to Leader.
From: Steve Goggin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I don't know why, but the minute I
read "mission statement" my eyes seemed to focus on just a few words of
your entire text, "inconsistency, exaggeration and wishful thinking."
I have nothing to refer to you unfortunately.
Have a good holiday Eric, I enjoy hearing
from you via the email system.
From: Barbara Blanchard <email@example.com>
Eric, I've seen a couple that I thought
were pretty good. TC airport and TCAT both have pretty tight mission statements.
Student Agencies did some work on this is past years also. I'll take a
look around and would be very interested in what you find.
From: Paul Eberts <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Neat, Eric!! This ought to raise someone's
ire!!! (Although maybe you'll simply get dismissed as a "crank"! Paul.
From: Kristen Grace <email@example.com>
I enjoyed talking with you at Esther's
presentation the other day. I have very similar hesitations and questions
about mission statements. Of course, the business literature warns people
about using mission statements that do not capture what the company is
about (you cannot sell what you do not have), because this can backfire.
But I agree with you, that there is a lot more to it than this.
One interesting ethnography that addresses
this question obliquely is "Engineering Culture," a book about research
done in a high tech firm that was going with the "strong culture" approach
where the business really emphasized strong loyalty and involvement in
the "[Business-Name's] Way" of doing things. I do not know if the book
offers a short or specific comment or reflection on mission statements
per se, rather, there is a sustained critique of high-powered manipulation
of workplace culture for business ends.
I'm very interested in what you learn
from your inquiry--either from postings or from more thinking/reading/research
you are doing on this theme. Would you share your insights? I am beginning
my dissertation work looking at how academic departments attempt to be
places of creation and innovation and maintain existing reputations/programs.
I have not figured how having a mission or vision relates to this kind
of Weberian dilemma. But added to the mix, I am interested in how they
conceptualize who their constituents are, what it means to be responsive--basically
the professional autonomy v. public accountability question.
If I think of other stuff, I will let
I look forward to future conversations.
From: "Martha E. Strodel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi Eric: I can only speak to mission
statements as they relate to non-profit, community-based arts organizations.
I can't recommend a particular publication or author, but there are two
important resources I use in my field. These are: Arts Extension Service,
part of the Continuing Ed program at U. of Mass at Amherst (www.umass.edu/aes)
and the National Center for Non-Profit Boards (www.ncnb.org).
In New York State, a non-profit community
arts organization is a resource of public trust. It is led by a volunteer
board of directors and usually, a small paid staff. It goes after public
and private funding and serves its community. The history of public funding
for the arts has tightened the rules for non-profits. The organization
is incorporated by a board (has to be a minimum of three persons); the
board has certain legal and moral responsibilities; they need to address
such issues as public interest, inclusion and accountability.
So, it's legally a team effort. The
mission statement is the essential basis for why the organization exists
and the team works together. To create or regularly review the mission
statement: ---takes all team members back to these basics. It also gives
them the opportunity to look at what they're doing in relation to why the
organization was created in the first place. Does it still mesh? Have or
are we moving in new directions inconsistent to our mission? As a team
member, do I support this, want to stay part of the team? It is the general
statement that defines why the team is together. ---As the public "team
consensus" statement it gives the basis for planning. Without agreed basic
direction and goal, how do you plan and monitor your activities, your budgets?
(Legal responsibilities of the board.) I disagree with your statements
about planning as equivalent to crafting "a concise paragraph...in very
abstract and general terms." The mission statement is the overall reason
why any planning is done, where the planning flows from. ---mission statement
as a "rhetorical soundbite." While a negative concept, it has great value.
I have read that a mission statement should allow flexibility---should
be general enough to emcompass all the organizational goals and plans,
and short enough to be memorized by every board member, and used as a tool
by the board members to represent the organization to the public, including
funders. (a basic board responsibility.)
The main point I'm suggesting is that
the mission statement is an essential tool to guide a team of individuals
in their work for a public trust. Teamwork takes consensus on general goals
first (the mission); within this general consensus they can then plan and
monitor the activities and services of the organization.
I've seen too many situations where
the mission is NOT considered or reviewed by the board and staff together.
The results can be disasterous for an organization.
Then there's the new "visioning" process,
adopted of late by a number of arts groups from the corporate world. This
is becoming as important as the mission, because it's a way to throw the
door open to the public, to community leaders, etc to become part of defining
or redefining the organizational mission. Having witnessed this process
on more than one occasion, I can say it's a bit scary (will we throw the
baby out with the bathwater?) but exhilarating, because it brings in wider
voices and new ideas, and most often a wider interest and committment for
the organization. Kevin Geoghan, a consultant from Corning speaks of a
vision statement as such: "All men are created equal." It's the big goal;
we may never fully achieve it, but it's what unites us in our efforts.
Then the mission statement defines how we as an organization will generally
address this vision.
Hope this gives you some "wheat". I
would be greatly interested in any other comments,ideas that come in on
Also, if you are interested, I can
send you a copy of a book we recently published documenting the Rural Arts
Program in New York State. The program started in the early 90's to address
the crisis caused by major cutbacks in public funding to the arts. It speaks
to how the Rural Arts Program and these groups addressed these problems.
It relates their organizational stability to the rural issues they deal
with, often in anecdotal form. And while it doesn't exclusively focus on
the role of their mission statements to their continued success, there
is agreed acceptance that attention to this is crucial. If you would like
a copy, let me know.
Martha Strodel, Rural Arts Program
Director Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations
To: Martha Strodel
Hi Martha --
Thanks for taking the trouble to write
such a detailed response to my questions on mission statements. I received
several replies, but yours was the most thorough. I'd like to use your
remarks as a foil as I try to clarify my thinking. I may be working my
way up to writing an article on this. I'd welcome any additional thoughts
you may have -- but please don't feel obliged to respond at length. I'm
sure you have real work to do, and indulging in too much discussion about
the nature of mission statements is probably off-mission for you. :-)
Perhaps I should clarify first that
I'm not a novice. I've been director of 3 not-for-profits, a board member
of several more, an elected official funding many dozens, and an educator
leading trainings for elected officials, not-for-profit boards and staff.
And after 25 years of listening to people promote mission statements as
a one-size-fits-all management tool, I find some of the conventional wisdom
unpersuasive. See comments below.
At 12:03 PM 12/19/00 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi Eric: I can only speak to mission
statements as they relate to
>non-profit, community-based arts
organizations. I can't recommend a
>particular publication or author,
but there are two important resources I
>use in my field. These are: Arts
Extension Service, part of the Continuing
>Ed program at U. of Mass at Amherst
(www.umass.edu/aes) and the National
>Center for Non-Profit Boards (www.ncnb.org).
>In New York State, a non-profit community
arts organization is a resource of
>public trust. It is led by a volunteer
board of directors and usually, a
>small paid staff. It goes after public
and private funding and serves its
>community. The history of public
funding for the arts has tightened the
>rules for non-profits. The organization
is incorporated by a board (has to
>be a minimum of three persons); the
board has certain legal and moral
>responsibilities; they need to address
such issues as public interest,
>inclusion and accountability.
>So, it's legally a team effort. The
mission statement is the essential
>basis for why the organization exists
and the team works together.
I think I'd distinguish here between
the mission and the mission statement. Even if having a consensus on a
shared mission is essential (and I think there may be cases where it's
not), I don't see that that makes the mission *statement* equally essential
in every case. Sometimes, I think, getting preoccupied with a mission statement
can divert energy from moving forward, and bog people down in semantics.
It can put talkers in charge, while marginalizing the do-ers.
>create or regularly review the mission
>---takes all team members back to
these basics. It also gives them the
>opportunity to look at what they're
doing in relation to why the
>organization was created in the first
place. Does it still mesh? Have or
>are we moving in new directions inconsistent
to our mission?
I agree this is one of the central
points of a mission statement. As plans develop, they can be compared to
the statement as a benchmark, and yes, we must ask whether we've wandered
off mission. But that's a reactive role for the statement, which is rather
different from wanting the statement to somehow pro-actively play an important
role in creating new policies or programs, that are then said to "flow
out of" the mission. That strikes me as much more puzzling.
As a team
>member, do I support this, want to
stay part of the team? It is the general
>statement that defines why the team
Must there be a single, shared reason
why the team is together? Politics, they say, makes strange bedfellows.
There may be times when a team is assembled because pursuing a common goal
is in everyone's interest. But those interests may be quite different.
Pressing for a consensus on basic values may be divisive, even where there
is a solid consensus on goals and programs. For example, a homeless advocate
and a large employer may be able to agree on a job training prorgram for
the homeless, even though their basic values and long term goals may be
different or even opposed.
>---As the public "team consensus"
statement it gives the basis for planning.
> Without agreed basic direction and
goal, how do you plan and monitor your
>activities, your budgets? (Legal
responsibilities of the board.) I
>disagree with your statements about
planning as equivalent to crafting "a
>concise paragraph...in very abstract
and general terms." The mission
>statement is the overall reason why
any planning is done, where the planning
I still don't understand what "flow"
means here. If we're choosing between competing program proposals or balancing
the budget, the process requires an understanding of the pragmatic situation
and the creative energy of the planners. And periodically, we can check
for consistency with the mission. But the mission statement strikes me
here as a passive benchmark, not an active source of creative planning.
>---mission statement as a "rhetorical
soundbite." While a negative concept,
>it has great value. I have read that
a mission statement should allow
>flexibility---should be general enough
to emcompass all the organizational
>goals and plans, and short enough
to be memorized by every board member, and
>used as a tool by the board members
to represent the organization to the
>public, including funders. (a basic
Yes I've heard that too, and it sounds
lovely. But I wonder if it's really realistic for all or even most organizations.
Encompassing all an organization's goals and plans may be quite complex
and nuanced. An organization may have a fairly sophisticated understanding
of a complex subject that you just can't do justice to in a short, easily
memorized phrase. And when you *can* capture the mission in a short phrase,
e.g. "our mission is to find a cure for cancer", then it's very shortness
and generality seems to undercut its ability to play a meaningful role
in planning. If we're trying to decide which research program to fund,
or how to re-design the staffing plan, reciting to ourselves "our mission
is to find a cure for cancer" does little to settle the real issues.
Moreover, a funder's reasons for supporting
an organization may be only tangential to the mission. For example, a hospice
providing end-of-life care for the terminally ill may be funded by county
government because it helps reduce medicare costs for nursing homes. Emphasizing
the program's humanitarian mission may be beside the point for the funder.
Similarly, a local arts organization may be supported by the funders because
it contributes to the local tourism industry. From the funder's point of
view, the cultural enrichment mission may be quite secondary.
>The main point I'm suggesting is that
the mission statement is an essential
>tool to guide a team of individuals
in their work for a public trust.
>Teamwork takes consensus on general
goals first (the mission); within this
>general consensus they can then plan
and monitor the activities and services
>of the organization.
I'm wondering how often it really works
out that way. Are the most effective organizations always the ones with
the best mission statements? Do organizations without mission statements
inevitably fail? I think the answer to both questions may be 'no.'
>I've seen too many situations where
the mission is NOT considered or
>reviewed by the board and staff together.
The results can be disasterous
>for an organization.
I've seen lots of disastrous situations,
typically resulting from poor communication, poor planning, poor meeting
management, chronic confusion about staff and board roles, or inadequate
support from funders. I don't think I can recall one where I thought the
essential problem was failure to discuss the mission statement.
>Then there's the new "visioning" process,
adopted of late by a number of
>arts groups from the corporate world.
This is becoming as important as the
>mission, because it's a way to throw
the door open to the public, to
>community leaders, etc to become
part of defining or redefining the
>organizational mission. Having witnessed
this process on more than one
>occasion, I can say it's a bit scary
(will we throw the baby out with the
>bathwater?) but exhilarating, because
it brings in wider voices and new
>ideas, and most often a wider interest
and committment for the organization.
> Kevin Geoghan, a consultant from
Corning speaks of a vision statement as
>such: "All men are created equal."
It's the big goal; we may never fully
>achieve it, but it's what unites
us in our efforts. Then the mission
>statement defines how we as an organization
will generally address this
The down side, which I've seen too
often, is organizations that devote a huge effort to mission, vision, strategic
planning, etc. and then find that there's no energy left for follow-through
and implementation. There's an awful lot of elaborate planning documents
that get created, filed and forgotten. These sorts of processes may indeed
be just the ticket for some organizations. But I'm resisting the idea that
they are panaceas that are the best approach to planning for everyone.
>Hope this gives you some "wheat".
I would be greatly interested in any
>other comments,ideas that come in
>Also, if you are interested, I can
send you a copy of a book we recently
>published documenting the Rural Arts
Program in New York State. The program
>started in the early 90's to address
the crisis caused by major cutbacks in
>public funding to the arts. It speaks
to how the Rural Arts Program and
>these groups addressed these problems.
It relates their organizational
>stability to the rural issues they
deal with, often in anecdotal form. And
>while it doesn't exclusively focus
on the role of their mission statements
>to their continued success, there
is agreed acceptance that attention to
>this is crucial. If you would like
a copy, let me know.
Thanks for the offer, but I'm not sure
that's what I need right now. Best save it for someone who'll put it to
Martha, thanks again for listening,
and for giving me an opportunity to try to spell some of this out. Have
a great holiday.
From: "Martha E. Strodel" <email@example.com>
Whew! Now I know that you do have great
experience in the non-profit world. I also hear a sense of frustration
in the process of "mission statement as management tool." I too sometimes
wonder about the time taken to revisit the mission statement, or the strategic
or long range plan that winds up on a shelf collecting dust.
My bottom line thoughts as I've reread
your responses: ---the mission statement is a passive benchmark; it's only
a tool that can measure where we are in terms of our team consensus. It
has value as a passive benchmark. ---how do you communicate your basic
reason for being without a mission statement? (your distinction between
the mission and the mission statement) Let the "talkers" do their work;
if a session to review the mission statement brings stated consensus, then
the doers have their benchmark to proceed. --- Is the strength of an organization
measured by the brilliance of their mission statement? No; but how long
can an organization continue or thrive if individual team members are in
too many or conflicting directions? ---Funders, program or planning committees
don't need to buy into an organization's mission statement to work towards
common goals. But if the the Executive Director or a board member of the
hospice (your example) decides to develop a major event using organizational
funds with the goal of promoting regional visual artists, what will happen
to the hospice? ---those who want policies and programs to flow out of
a "proactive mission" are looking for too much from the mission statement.
There seems to be some missing links here: the settings of priorities and
goals and their review in light of financial realities. I'm sure you know
that when a strategic plan is done right, it provides good working blueprints
for the organization; provides a strong monitoring tool when regularly
used, and empowers the board in their work.
Now, I do have to get back to some
planning work. Martha
From: William Bentley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peter Drucker's writng on Non-profits
has some useful material on mission statements, as I recall. So does Tom
Peters. All of this stuff is little hyped, but when I was with Winrock
Interntional we found an open dialogue that crossed levels and functions
about our mission statement was a very powerful way to get buy-in.
From: Ann Martin <email@example.com>
eric--If Bob Rich isn't on your list
to receive this, be sure he receives it. He would be a good person to address
your questions. We agree, by the way, that the mission statement project
can take on a life of its own and leave the real mission of an organization
in the dust.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Randy
It seems to me some of the training
manual sites on the COMM-ORG <http://comm-org.utoledo.edu/> "Training
and Technical Assistance" page had some of this stuff, but I don't recall
From: Dick Schoech <email@example.com>
Eric A book that tries to make sense
of mission, etc. is Sluyter, G. V. (1998). Improving Organizational Performance:
A practical guidebook for the human services field. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Dick Schoech <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
U of TX at Arlington
Box 19129, 211 S. Cooper, Arl TX
From: Jim Mays <email@example.com>
Eric: Strategic Planning for Nonprofit
Organizations by Michael Allison & Jude Kaye [Wiley] goes into the
question of Mission Statements and even has a work sheet on the topic [perhaps
overkill] The cliche's do contain more than a germ of truth.:-) cheers,
From: "Laura C. McKieran" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I've thought about a lot of the same
things you are. So far as I know, the mission statement's origins are,
unfortunately, in the professional planning/services world, with all the
attendant grassroots-unfriendly baggage.
I don't know of empirical evidence
about mission statements per se, but there's a growing body of literature
looking at what makes groups work well, and one thing that crops up over
and over is the value of a shared vision or goal, consonant expectations
and understandings of roles, etc. And if you think about the ever-more-popular
theory of change/logic model/theory of action approach to planning and
evaluation, it's easier to see how creating a thoughtful "if-then" sequence
of events requires starting with a shared end goal in mind, as well as
some philosophy, assumptions, and so forth that influence what the group
is or isn't willing or able to do to reach that end goal.
So my sense is that the *process* of
developing the mission statement may be what's really valuable to the group,
assuming that the process is characterized by dialogue, mutual respect,
and so forth. If papers talking about the value of a shared vision would
help you, email me off list at email@example.com and I'll get some citations
From: "Doug Hess" <DHess@frac.org>
I think a lot of management consultant
recommendation are specious, so you can always try the Dilbert
Mission Statement Generator:
More seriously, the idea behind having
a mission or vision statement, or both, is to make sure that all the staff/board/donors
are on board as to what the group is basically all about. Obviously, it
doesn't immediately help with specifics of what you are doing, or should
do, since you can imagine many various organizational approaches to community
organizing all having the same brief statement. Nonetheless, sitting down
with staff and thinking up a concise way to describe what it is you do
can help clear up misunderstandings about your/their work and what it is
you don't do. I think this can be pretty important. For instance, if you
work just in a certain neighborhood, or for a certain consistency, or organize
in a certain way, this is very important, albeit basic, info to have down
for both the public and yourselves. This is especially true for developing
new staff and boardmembers.
Having said that, you can also use
a brief statement as your Vision Statement and a more specific one as a
Mission Statement. I.e., the vision statement says you are "organizing
residents of x community to have more control over social, econ and political
developments in the neighborhood." If you are just working on school issues
or kids issues or women's issues, say so. Then in the mission statement
you could outline in a few sentences how you do this organizing: "NAME
of GROUP will fulfill its mission through: 1) building a membership organization
funded and run by membership from X community, 2) training local residents
to run for school boards or whatever, etc.". Again, concise yet thorough
is the point. Try to avoid vague jargon statements like this one from the
webpage generator above: "We have committed to proactively facilitate excellent
catalysts for change while continuing to efficiently administrate value-added
methods of empowerment."
Usually, these documents are best developed
at retreats with staff, board, etc. when you are trying to make your plans
for the next year or two. Once you realize, or get others to realize, what
it is they want to do, you can use this to get into the nitty gritty, and
get everybody to buy into the nitty gritty. For instance, if your mission
and vision say you build power through membership, how many members do
you want in 6 months, 12 months, and how many staff do you need to do that
in 6 months, 12 months, and how many neighborhoods are you going to be
in by those dates, how much money do you need to bring it each month, etc.,
These statements are useful documents
for when people bring up brand new big ideas and the group can think about
them critically, without coming off like jerks, by just asking: "well,
how does that fit the mission and vision of our organization?" E.g, some
board member wants the group to start a new grocery store, or newspaper
for the community. Big idea. Does it fit? Are some parts of it that fit
achievable in a different format? Maybe instead of the group running a
development project, you see that you want to do an organizing campaign
to get the city to fund more development in your area, or have a quarterly
newsletter, and not a "newspaper", which pulls you away from the basics
of what you agreed you are all about. (Sometimes people say that your statements
should be seen as describing your "core competencies". This means that
you are including what it is that you do best and things outside that realm,
no matter how interesting and arguably related, can be seen as weakening
your core strengths. "You can't do it all," is what the statements are
telling you, "instead, you are to be the experts at x,y and z.")
Once you have these goals that relate
both to your statements and to knowledge and desires about your local organization
and community, you can list them in a column on a grid. The next 12 columns
are labeled as the months of the year. For each major goal, which months
are important? Across from each goal what activities or steps should be
filled in below which month. For some goals, maybe you are doing activities
for it in each month, for others maybe it is only relevant for a few months
(e.g., annual fundraising dinner in May requires work from Feb-May, etc.),
or there are sub-goals that lead up the bigger goal (put ads in paper in
January, have staff hired by Feb and training for Mar-Apr, start two new
drives in May, then repeat, etc.). If you really want to get specific,
maybe at a later point, you need to start putting staff/board/leaders'
names next to projects. This lets you see if you are missing people to
accomplish goals, or if some people are taking on too much, or too little
in some months and visa versa in other months, etc.
In the end, the vision/mission/strategic
planning "thing" is not just to get some holy grail-like product, but to
get all your major stakeholders to buy into a process that lets them think
more clearly about the organizations' work. Out of that you should strive
to get a plan that they support and understand. It's not magic, but I think
most people agree that having a focused staff and leadership is one of
the best things you can have; maybe THE best thing.
Anyway, that's my take on it....
Doug Hess Food Research and Action
Senior Policy Analyst
1875 Connecticut Ave, NW #540
Washington, DC 20009 ph.
202-986-2200 ext 3004
In my experience, when a mission statement
process in controlled form the top down it becomes a ritualistic exercise.
The boards I have served on did mission statements this way, and we spent
a long time crafting turgid language that was always just something on
paper, that got shelved, and never changed a thing. This seems like a terrible
waste of time when the group's actual work is so urgent.
susan talcott in berkeley
From: Gene Allen <gallen@UNHS.ORG>
I just thought I'd toss in my two cents
worth on mission statements.
I do a lot of work at the grass roots
level and have presented workshops on how to develop a positive image for
A mission statement can be a valuable
tool or an albatross around your neck.
In my opinion you need to have a mission
statement that can pass the 45 second rule.
In other words, you need to be able
to express what you are about, and where you are going in a clear, concise
manner in 45 seconds or less.
A former instructor of mine said this
rule was developed by the people asking you for money in the airport. It
takes roughly 45 seconds to go up or down the escalator. They have that
long to convince you to donate to them.
For example: Our agency is a CDC, NWO,
CDFI, NPC, etc., etc, etc. I could go on for pages with all the acronyms.
When I am first talking to people though,
I can tell them:
Our mission is the "Revitalization
and Growth of Neighborhoods" and we accomplish this by helping low to moderate
income individuals achieve the American dream of home ownership, providing
assistance to current homeowners to repair and maintain their homes and
building community empowerment through 175 block associations, county wide.
From there I can expand on any of the
three main areas as needed.
When I started with this agency, the
mission statement was almost a page long and so full of jargon and two
dollar words that no one could express to anyone what our agency did.
The key is to remember there is a difference
between a "Mission Statement" and a "Vision Statement"
A mission statement is what you are
doing. A vision statement is what you want to be when you grow up.
Ideally, your mission is leading you
to your vision.
As I said earlier, this is one man's
From misc web searches:
Eric Lerner, Ph.D.
Community & Organizational Development
504 South Plain Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Page updated September 5, 2001