Do you know what the mission of your organization is? Maybe you don’t know the exact verbiage…but do you know the mission? Could you explain it if asked? What about your teammates or the newest members of your organization? Could they explain what your mission is?
If not…are you ever troubled by that? If you can’t clearly explain what you exist to do, are you losing any sleep?
My sense is that nothing is more important than clarity about the mission; clarity about the business you’re in (as Peter Drucker said it). And yet, so many organizations miss this fundamental truth. Oh, they have a mission statement. It just doesn’t have anything to do with what they’re really about. Or it’s a relic from a time when they were focused. Or maybe they just borrowed their mission statement from another organization. Worse still, maybe their mission statement isn’t really about their mission. Maybe it’s more of a value or something that sounds good.
Is it really all that important to have a mission?
Yes…a mission gives a reason for being. A mission gives purpose. And you might be thinking, “Duh! Already there!”
What about being clear on what the mission is? Is it essential to be clear?
Absolutely. In fact, without clarity, without focus, your organization will wander, your organization will never really flourish. You may experience growth, but it won’t be lasting. You may have seasons where things seem to work, but it will be unsustainable. The first difficulty may not flatten you, but eventually a lack of clarity will stall you.
I loved Peggy Noonan’s end of the year Wall Street Journal article. She pointed out the fact that perhaps “the most worrying trend the past 10 years can be found in this phrase: ‘They forgot the mission.’ So many great American institutions—institutions that every day help hold us together—acted as if they had forgotten their mission, forgotten what they were about, what their role and purpose was, what they existed to do.”
Hmmm. They forgot the mission.
Sound familiar? Does your mission, the mission of your organization, come immediately to mind? Or do you have to hem and haw to explain what your organization exists to do? If you asked random members of the organization would they have the same idea? Or would they be more than a little vague?
If there is not clarity, you’re heading for a stall or you’re in it now. You’re heading for disarray or you’re in it now.
Want things to change? You’ve got to get clarity on the mission.