What is the essence of your organization? Why do you exist? Who are the stakeholders? Who are the customers and what do they want? Where does most of your funding come from and are your actions to support that effort directly and indirectly mentioned in your mission?

If you don’t have a common definition of success to point your group members towards they will be left to develop their own. With everyone having their own definition of success your lack of a mission statement will promote self-inflicted chaos.

Drive your organization with a single definition of success by creating one or improving the existing mission and train everyone in your group on its importance along with an invitation to contribute. Everyone.


Even if you know who you are by defining your existence with a mission statement where does the organization need to go? Over the next six months or year or five years. What are important future events? What are you going to do to prepare or even leverage disruptions that are coming to your industry? Even if you are not sure how to answer these questions what should you be doing over the next six months to find out?  

If a mission statement is the vehicle to success the vision statement is the steering wheel. Vision statements can be short term, long term or both. Instead of saying what to do next and where to go specifically it can simply say go find out where the group should go. What are the next moves forward? Again, if the group doesn’t know what the vision statement should say, the vision statement itself can say, “go find out.”

  • What does the future bring to our industry?

  • What does the future bring to our community?

  • Where do we need to improve to better meet our current commitments?

  • What are the answers to these questions from the board of directors or the commission?

  • What are the answers to these questions from the community groups, tax payers, and customers?

If you don’t know where your group needs to go in future, start asking lots of questions and take serious consideration of the answers they provide you.     


The strategy statement bridges the mission to the vision and does so with significant detail. And even though it’s called a strategy statement, it’s really a strategy and tactics plan. In order to use the Vision roadmap to drive the Mission vehicle, the actions of the group need to be modified with strategic goals in mind. The Strategy statement asks and answers the following questions in order to facilitate the Vision:

  • Who should be doing what and why?

  • What should they be doing and why?

  • When should they be doing it and why?

  • How should they be doing it and why?

The who, what, when and how are tactics, and there are often multiple answers as you cascade these questions to include every level of your organization. The answers to the “why” questions are strategies used as guidance to bridge the mission and vision.

While answering the “why” question does make sure you’re doing what you need to do, it needs to be detailed enough so it can be used as a road map for those given the task of carrying it out. Once completed a Strategic Plan can be a very powerful in driving group success.


The values statement speak directly to the behaviors you want everyone to use when supporting the mission, vision and strategy statements. As each statement is developed take the time to create the values that support it. Then turn those values into performance expectations to make sure they are trained on and used.