Steps to your new mission and vision

So you want to lead process of mission and vision creation in your organization team? Here are few tips how to do it:

  1. You need to prepare yourself. You will be faced with some really long and exhausting discussions you need to be prepared for in advance, so you can adequately manage it.

  2. Identify the participants – board, stuff, stakeholders (for perspective only).

  3. Define your process and know: What do you do?, What does everyone feel passionate about?, What must be included to avoid misrepresenting the organization?, etc.

  4. Anticipate the issues by finding out all hot buttons. Answer questions like: What uncertainties are likely to need the most attention?, Where is there dissent?, Are there topics or perspective that are considered taboo?

  1. Structure the discussion by:
    • Identifying the key questions to be considered;
    • Preparing participants with backup materials;
    • Creating and distributing an agenda that includes the topics to be discussed;
    • Reviewing the process;
    • Defining the goal;
    • Choosing topics to be covered;
    • Deciding how decisions will be made;
    • Varying your means of exploring information to accommodate different personal styles.
  1. Agree on the ground rules since all of you are pursuing the shared goal. Encourage a productive disagreement so you can have a better outcome. In order to unify the group and advance the effort, focus on your goal. Here is some check-list of the ground rules:

    • All ideas are welcome;
    • I will listen carefully to what I resist most;
    • Equal participation from everyone is key;
    • There are no taboo topics;
    • I will uphold the confidentiality agreement (if there is one).


  1. Tackle the questions. Use open questions to get people talking about it, eg.:
    • All ideas are welcome;
    • What needs to be done that only we can do, or that we can
    • What do we do better than anyone else?
    • Who benefits from our products/services and how?
    • How do we accomplish our work?
    • What do we value most?
    • How broad or narrow is our focus?
  2. Consider others mission and vision statements.

Mission Statements from Top Nonprofits


Spreading Ideas. (2 words)

New York Public Library

To inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities. (10)

Amnesty International

To undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights. (15)

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF fights for the survival and development of the world’s most vulnerable children and protects their basic human rights. (18)

Save the Children

To inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. (20)

Boy Scouts of America

To prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. (25)

Vision Statements from Top Nonprofits

Human Rights Campaign

Equality for everyone (3)

Save the Children

A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. (15)

Boy Scouts of America

To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law. (24)


We seek to save a planet, a world of life. Reconciling the needs of human beings and the needs of others that share the Earth… (25)

Amnesty International

A world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. (26)

Examples and explanations:

Con(stant)scious social skills training.

Simple and easy to remember. Unique. Include word playing, which is an added value for its memorizing. However, organizations need to be cautious because this trick can lead to miss the essence.

Develop, deploy, and manage a diverse set of scalable and strategic knowledge management tools to serve our customers, improving the possibility of overall satisfaction among our diverse customer

Statement is not concise and simple. It is a too broad explanation with usage of generic phrases.

A society of positive change-makers.

Simple and inspirational sentence, which clearly states what is the end destination of organization, ie. what is the condition for which organization is striving for.

Our vision is an active individual who is motivated and willing to participate in creation of social change and the development of critical thinking for the purpose of building a civil society.

It’s more presented as a goal of the project, than the vision. It’s not inspiring to the action.

Before exercise

After exercise

  • Progress bar 11%

Following: TASK I – Mission and vision formulation