Discussion Guide: How to Make Your Mission and Vision Statements Stick

“I believe that purpose and principle, clearly understood and articulated, and commonly shared, are the genetic code of any healthy organization. To the degree that you hold purpose and principles in common among you, you can dispense with command and control. People will know how to behave in accordance with them, and they’ll do it in thousands of unimaginable, creative ways. The organization will become a vital, living set of beliefs.”

–Dee Hock, founder and former CEO of Visa 

Traditionally a mission statement is a formal summary of the aims or purposes and values of a company, organization, or individual. Purposes are the fundamental goals an organization aims to achieve, and values are the ethical standards deemed most important to the organization in the pursuit of its goals. The tone of your mission statement reflects the style and culture of your organization. A vision statement is aspirational in nature, meant to inspire and give direction to an organization.*

  1. What is your mission and vision statement?
  2. Do you think that the mission and/or vision statements are important to your organization? Why or why not?
  3. In terms of the mission and vision statements, what do you identify as the main purposes or goals of your student government? Is there a purpose or goal that is particularly salient to the organization right now? Where are you focusing the most of your energy?
  4. Are there important purposes, goals, or values that are not currently reflected in the existing mission and vision statements?
  5. Does your organization fulfill the expectations of your mission and vision right now?
  6. What do you do well, presently and historically?
  7. What values are outlined by the mission?
  8. Is there a particular branch or department that is primarily responsible for each goal?
  9. Are any goals shared by more than one branch or department? How effectively do the branches or departments collaborate to achieve each goal?
  10. How do specific branches or departments currently contribute to the fulfillment of the mission and/or vision statements? Are there any specific rules, regulations, activities, or events that fulfill this?
  11. In what areas could you improve?
  12. What branches or departments could address any deficiencies?
  13. Are there any specific ways deficiencies could be remedied? (i.e. programs, plans, initiatives, groups to collaborate with)
  14. Does your organization currently participate in or put on any activities or programs that lie outside of the mission or are in conflict with it? Should you remedy these discrepancies? If so, how?
  15. How can you make the mission or vision statement more present in the daily operations of your organization?

*If you do not have a mission or vision statement, visit https://studentgovernmentethics.com/mission-and-vision-statements/ for examples and a how to guide.

Download “Discussion Guide: How to Make Your Mission and Vision Statements Stick” here.

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