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How about your mission statement? Do you even remember it? Or is a forgotten file, covered by other forgotten files?

Many organizations approach mission statements incorrectly, turning the development process into an arduous, painful process filled with lengthy wordsmithing and too many buzzwords.

Reality is, your mission statement is a foundational element in all great strategic plans and can be leveraged to drive organizational focus. You need a great mission statement if you wish to succeed in 2017.

How?

 Revisit your mission and examine it critically. Do you think the current mission statement is good enough? Think again. Read it again and ensure it fits this structure:

Present tense verb + who you serve + what you do

  • Use action oriented verbs
  • Clearly identify who is the beneficiary of your work.
  • Include your “why?” in the description of what you do. Don’t limit yourself to your actions and transactions: Ask, “What is the value of our credit union’s work?”

Once you’ve created your formula, explore it further using these five criteria. This is important to ensure the mission statement can be applied to the real world. Is your mission:

 Original? Don’t copy from competitors or any other outstanding organizations. Be unique, speak to your truth.

  • Foundational? Your mission statement should not change; it should withstand the test of time.
  • Inspirational? When every staff member leaves home in the morning knowing why they are heading to work, you have a killer mission statement.
  • Memorable? A good mission statement stands out.
  • Brief? Ideally, your statement is half the length of a tweet. It’s not a long sentence’ it’s a few words.

 Now, align your mission statement to lead with the “why.” If everyone in your credit union understands the why, it’s easier for them to understand what you’re doing and how you’ll do it. The why keeps them motivated.

 Be vigilant about your mission statement. Make it the core of your credit union. Use it daily. Lead with it. Make it visible. Your plan for 2017 will be successful when you lead with your core purpose.