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Do I need a Purpose, or a Vision, or a Mission?

Do I need a Purpose, or a Vision, or a Mission?

By: Ross Paterson

Strategic Planning Blog #2: Big Picture Clarity. If you missed the first one, you may read it here.

Before any organization digs into a detailed planning process, they must create BIG PICTURE CLARITY. I was teaching this idea to my friends in Herat, Afghanistan one year and we had a very heated debate about the terms Purpose-Values-Vision-Mission. Most of our students that year had been to leadership training in other organizations and wanted to do things their way. We finally ended the semantics debate and got to work with three questions.

On the #XtraMile, simple is better than complex. Freedom is better than control. So leaders, we give you permission to call it whatever you want. But, you have to have answers to these three questions to create BIG PICTURE CLARITY.

  1. Why are we here? Answer this existence question with one sentence; make it clear, concise, and compelling.
  2. What makes us unique/better/different in our market? Three to five principles that define your culture and how you do work.
  3. Where are we going? Tell me a story.

Our human brains organize information into stories. Leaders should leverage this truth by crafting a story for your team that starts like this. “On December 31, 2020, We will have accomplished….”  Imagine being in the future and describing what happened in 2020 so your people can see it in their minds, feel it in their hearts, and connect their roles to the story.

Strategic planning starts with BIG PICTURE CLARITY. Download our BIG PICTURE PLANNER and get started on your 2020 plan.