When purpose, mission and programs all line up
Hands raised if you are sick to death of talking about purpose statements, mission statements, values statements….sigh. Where I will never ever negate how vital identifying these statements are, the process of deciding them is emotionally exhausting! The amount of mental energy that goes into deciding a clear path for your organization will often be enough to drive you crazy – the indecision, the back and forth, the revisions. (I get tired just thinking about it.) After hours and hours with consultants, the day finally arrives. You have your answer mission, vision, and purpose all hammered out – Congratulations! You’re now ready for the next step.
In the book The Non Nonprofit, the author explains “the best organizations do more than know their purpose. They hold themselves accountable to serving that purpose in everything they do. They are more effective because they continually focus their efforts and resources on what will accomplish their purpose. They’re less likely to get sidetracked. Too many organizations fall into the trap of being distracted from their original intent.”
Purpose: the reason why the organization was created
Mission: what the organization intends to do to fulfill its purpose
Productive programs: those activities which will support the fulfilment of the organization’s purpose and mission
“A clearly defined mission operationalizes an organization’s purpose. It says, “here’s what we do” and, by implication, “here’s what we don’t do.” A clear mission helps ensure that people have clear goals…The success of any organization depends on using that mission to guide your actions.
When purpose guides mission and mission determines programming, you have a beneficial chain that makes any enterprise more effective. With the organization headed in a clear direction, people make better decisions and use resources more wisely. The organization is more productive.”
If the program (no matter how great an idea) does not help the organization achieve its main objective then it should not be pursued. Remember, there are lots of great ideas but all ideas are great for your organization.
For a great example of an organization who was able to tap into the amazing synergy of purpose, mission and programs check out the book The Non Nonprofit today!