2. At the meeting, get everyone focused on your Vision Statement. Facilitate a few minutes of dialog, asking people what the vision means to them.
3. Point out that to achieve that vision, certain behaviors must become norms within the organization.
4. Brainstorm the behaviors and attitudes necessary for the organization to achieve its vision.
This can be done several ways:
a) As with the vision statement, have people make lists of what behaviors they think will be necessary.
b) Put people in groups of three or four to discuss their ideas.
c) Have each group identify the 10 most important behaviors from their combined lists
c) Write the 10 most important ideas on 3x5 cards, one idea per card.
Have people brainstorm using a Mind Map (link opens a new window)
Don’t rush the brainstorming process!
- By letting it flow you acquire unique perspectives, and
- As your team participates, they engage the ideas and want to live out the mission in their day-to-day activities.
5. Once the brainstorming is deemed saturated (that is, no new ideas are emerging), strive to identify five categories:
- Leave people in their groups of three or four.
- Ask them to divide the ideas into no more than five basic categories.
- Ask them to come up with titles for their (no more than) five categories.
- Give each group five 3/5 cards and have them write one category title on each card (neatly).
6. Synthesize the ideas.
- Post five tear sheets on a wall, then:
- Starting with one team, ask them to state what’s written on one of their cards. Collect that card, and ask if any of the other teams have something similar. Collect the cards that have a similar theme and tape those cards to one of the tear sheets.
- Move to the next group and ask them to state another idea. Collect that card, and repeat the process of collecting other cards with similar ideas, again, taping all of them to another tear sheet for that theme.
- Continue around the room until you have collected all the cards, with similarly themed cards attached to their own tear sheet.
Note: You will likely have more than five major categories or themes. If so, ask the group to consider how themes may be combined into broader, more general themes. If the team cannot find a way to do that, put up a few “miscellaneous” tear sheets and attach 3x5 cards, grouped as applicable.
7. Entertain ideas for a title category for each theme, and write the ideas on the appropriate tear sheets.
8. Let someone work on it.
- Turn the tear sheets over to someone who attended the session.
- The person should be good at seeing the big picture and also a good wordsmith.
- This person’s job is will be to synthesize the ideas and come up with a draft mission statement.
As before, do not expect a statement to emerge in one day, and do not try to wordsmith the first draft as a group. Doing so will quickly become awkward and cumbersome (and it’s also a huge waste of time).
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NOTE: A mission statement is usually a bit longer than a vision statement, but it should still be short so it remains memorable.
A good goal is to create a single sentence that has no more than three bullet points. Follow the guideline of “shorter is better.”
Once you have a rough draft, or perhaps several versions from which people can choose, let people review the draft(s). Then collect feedback. When you finally settle on the statement that “fits,” be sure to promote it as a something that was created with input from many people.