Vision and Mission

Defining what you are about: vision and mission

Although most organisations will have some sort of governing document, the wording and language used in constitutions, memoranda of association and similar documents are frequently insufficient, too broad or unsuitable for wider use. Developing a short, clear vision statement and/or mission statement that summarises the long-term change that you want to make, is therefore very useful. When doing so, it is vital that all relevant people are involved. 

Every organisation has an ethos, a belief system or a set of principles 

During this process it frequently becomes evident that different people have very different ideas about why the organisation was initially set up and what it is ultimately trying to achieve. Careful discussions must take place, and the final wording must fully reflect reality.

You can assist the process by:

  • clarifying what drives the organisation
  • identifying what is unique about the organisation
  • expressing what results the organisation is trying to achieve (as opposed to what activities it undertakes for achieving those results – that comes later).

Agreeing the Value System

Every organisation has an ethos, a belief system or a set of principles; these create an organisational culture that affects all that the organisation does. It is a good idea to agree and articulate the value system which underpins your way of working, so that all people, both within and outside your organisation, are clear how you operate.

For example, you might include references to:

  • upholding the dignity of service users
  • empowering people in your local community
  • upholding particular religious views
  • not being affiliated to any political party
  • being an environmentally responsible organisation
  • your openness to building partnerships with other bodies.

An outline of your ethos can be incorporated into your mission statement, or you can produce a separate values statement.