We all have seen them: Mission statements that are all about the business, the products, and the services.
This fictional mission statement is based on many I have seen:
“We provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) home-based, clinical, and in-school services for individuals with autism.”
While it is factually true, it doesn’t pull you in. Why do these services matter? How does it resonate with potential clients and employees? It probably won’t very much.
What’s missing is the “Why?”
The why tells the reader about the life-changing impact that can result from these services.
Take a look at the mission from Alpine Learning Group:
“We transform the lives of individuals with autism and their families by providing innovative, comprehensive, and scientifically-validated services across the life span.”
Right from the beginning, this mission statement makes it clear that lives will be positively different.
Not only that, but this transformation can occur regardless of age (which addresses a major concern by many parents of individuals with ASD).
Here’s another example from a totally different industry:
“The mission of the Kalamazoo|Battle Creek International Airport is to provide facilities and services to support safe, efficient, and convenient air transportation enhancing economic growth and high quality of life in Southwest Michigan.”
This mission is packed with benefits, not only for people and businesses using the airport, but anyone living in southwest Michigan.
Case Study: From uninspiring to compelling
The following case study shows how arriving at a powerful mission statement requires thoughtful conversations that examine what your organization does – from the perspective of those you are serving.
The leadership team and board members of the BACB, an international credentialing organization, thought they finally got it right when their latest mission draft read like this: “We systematically establish, promote, and disseminate professional standards.”
Certainly, this objectively captures what the organization is all about. Yet, it still lacks the “why-does-it-matter” factor.
As the facilitator I could tell they hadn’t quite arrived. I knew it because the benefits weren’t clearly stated. And more so, I didn’t sense the excitement that fills the air when people “get it.”
Then one question transformed the conversation. Immediately.
When I asked, “Why does all this really matter?,” everyone became excited.
We started talking about how it is almost impossible for consumers of ABA services to distinguish between services provided by well-trained behavior analysts and potentially harmful services provided by someone without the right training and experience.
Credentialing, they told me, helps protect individuals and families from potentially harmful services.
There it was. The “Why?”
“We protect consumers of behavior analysis services worldwide by systematically establishing, promoting, and disseminating professional standards of practice.”
This mission clearly conveys the primary reason the BACB exists.
This case study shows how careful attention to articulating the benefits consumers and families you serve turns an lackluster sentence into a compelling mission that speaks to current and future clients and staff alike.
How does your current mission statement stack up?
Have you been wrestling with it to get it just right? Does it reflect a larger purpose?
If you feel it you’re not quite there yet, schedule a free 30-minute strategy call. Together we’ll explore how you can address the most important question – why does it matter?