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The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (8) – a shorter mission statement

This post is another go at mission statements – mixing Peter Drucker’s description of a mission statement as “a concise statement of purpose” (it should fit on a t-shirt!) with the idea that mission should have a bit more of the “what we do” towards making our vision a reality.

The story so far:

Vision: “We work for a future where all children across Indonesia have the opportunity to learn to read, and to love reading.” (Saya Suka Membaca)

(Old) mission:

“We do this by:

– Creating an Indonesia-specific reading curriculum and resources that are effective teaching tools, engaging for learners, and easy to use for teachers;

– Publishing high-quality, contextually relevant stories and graded reading books so that Indonesian children can enjoy the pleasure of reading as early as possible;

– Equipping teachers to use these resources effectively through training and on-going mentoring, helping them to develop as skilled and inspiring teachers of reading who do their best for the children in their care;

– Continually seeking to improve our program and increase our impact by field-testing our resources and responding to feedback, by trying out new ways to serve teachers, parents and children, and by building networks of good practice and advocacy.”

Saya Suka Membaca

Mission statement redux

Our mission is to… OR We…

… equip teachers, communities and families across Indonesia to help children learn to read, and to love reading.

Saya Suka Membaca (draft mission statement revision)

Then the bullet points follow either as part of an extended mission statement or as a set of priorities, as per John G’s suggestion.

Thoughts on a t-shirt please.

5 thoughts on “The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (8) – a shorter mission statement”

  1. This is good Stu.
    I have found that the mission statement needs to concisely answer 3 questions. What, Who and How.

    e.g. ours is ‘CMF exists to unite and equip Christian medics and nurses to live and speak for Jesus Christ’.

    As you say, not that snappy, not a slogan. But it answers what (live and speak for Jesus), who (doctors and nurses) and how (by uniting and equipping them).

    The challenge for us is what does this look like if we achieve it (vision)? I think we have a solid mission but is can lack a visionary focus.

    Whereas you have now got a clear vision – aspirational, or as I put it ‘A clear, shared and compelling picture of the preferred future’ – and the mission statement is much clearer.

    I think you then go with your strategic priority statements which I think your bullet points are.

  2. ‘People will work for a ‘what’ but they’ll give their lives for a ‘why’ – I think that’s Craig Groeschel. Your M+V statements seem to fit that…

    1. Thanks John – really helpful comments! Coming next: a post wrapping up the mission section with a version of strategic priorities, and then on to the next section. It’s a start at least!

      1. Great stuff. Really enjoying reading as you process this. I hadn’t seen your comment on post 6 – I’ve reflected on this too and can really see the stable vision driving a (potentially changeable) mission too, especially when starting up. Very thought provoking!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...