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Forget The Mission Statement: What’s Your Mission Question?

| July 9, 2013

by Jim Bruce

In “Forget The Mission Statement:  What’s Your Mission Question?”,  Warren Berger challenges us to consider responding to a set of mission questions instead of writing a mission statement that is so general it can apply to almost anything.  He argues that mission questions provide a reality check on whether you are staying true to what you stand for and aspire to achieve.  

He suggests five questions that are valid both for organizations as well as for you as an individual:

  1. Why are we here in the first place?  Are you doing what you were created to do or have you drifted to another place?
  2. What does my community, those we were created to serve, need most … that which we are uniquely able to provide?  How can we be empowered to do that?
  3. What are we willing to sacrifice?  What can we stop doing so that we can step up and do something better something that is more important?
  4. What matters most to us?  Where is our passion?  What do we really seek?
  5. Are we on this mission together?  Are the people bought in?  The best way to get people bought in is to give them a voice in creating the mission.  Sam Palmisano, former CEO at IBM, involved more than 80,000 employees in setting company values, which remain in place under the current CEO.

These questions lead us to stop and think about what I value and what I’m out to do.  I hope that they will challenge you in the same way.

.  .  .   jim