Establishing Your Mission and Vision Can Start Your Organization Down the Road to Success
The first step in developing and executing your strategic plan is to know where you are going so you can design the plan to get there. At Edison Strategy, we help public, private, and nonprofit organizations establish their vision and articulate their mission to ensure the strategic plan we help them develop will get them to the desired destination.
Your mission is the reason you exist. As a public sector organization like the U.S. Department of Education, your mission may be “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” If you are a nonprofit like the American Red Cross, your mission may be to “prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” And, if you are a for-profit private organization like Google, your mission may be “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
While donors, shareholders, and other stakeholders may influence the mission of your organization, a key role of executive leadership is to lay out the long-term vision for the organization, its staff, and external stakeholders. It sends the message of where you expect to be in the future if you are a successful organization, it is ambitious and may even be a nearly unattainable ideal, but it must be a statement of what your organization is striving for. For example, the vision of Hilton Worldwide is “To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.”