At this stage of your organizational development, you have a clear sense of what change you want to create, for who and possibly how. You have thought through the most viable location for your organization and yet the strategy for how you will fulfill your mission might still not be clear.
Your mission statement specifies how you intend to go about fulfilling your vision. Your vision is the big picture of the impact you want to create. Your mission statement is derived from your vision. You can start by asking yourself how you might fulfill your vision and keep asking until you have a clear strategy.
It is advisable to summarize your mission statement in one sentence of about ten words. Make it short so that your team and stakeholders can easily remember it as well as memorize it. What we remember we are more prone to put into practice. I have read some mission statements that literally sounded like an entire paragraph. If you can’t remember it, chances are high that you won’t implement it.
Keeping your mission statement short doesn’t mean you take out all the relevant information. Your mission statement should be able to cover what you do, how you do it, for whom and the expected outcome. In other words, it should be a mini summary of your concept note. It should be provoking and yet inviting at the same time so as to ignite a curiosity in the mind of the listener to want to know more.
A year ago I learnt an invaluable insight from one of my mentors. The vision is a constant while the mission can change and adapt to the revolving needs of your target customers. Bear that in mind even as you concretize your mission statement. Leave room and allowance for adaptation and revision of the same in the future. If you’re building an organization that is here to stay then you ought to envision beyond your regime and yet still remain relevant in your current generation.
The only way to get it right is to keep working on it until you get it right. Remember it’s a revolving statement that is meant to enable you stay relevant in an evolving world. Be as concrete as you can yet retain balance and a future perspective.