12 Steps to Create a Mission Statement

AchieveIt explains a process for creating a mission statement in a whitepaper, "Mission Statements: A How-To."

AchieveIt suggests conducting a one-day retreat to create a strong mission statement. Here are 12 steps to create a mission statement from the whitepaper:

Preparing for the retreat
1. Each participant brainstorms about why the organization exists, chooses his or her best answer and writes it in 10 words or less.
2. Participants submit their statements, which the retreat leader writes on Post-It notes.

The retreat
3. Randomly stick all submitted mission statements on the wall.
4. Participants group mission statements by major themes.
5. Participants choose a heading of three words or less for each group.
6. Participants rearrange mission statements if they no longer fit under their heading.
7. Each participant receives a number of single-color dots equal to about half the number of mission groups. Participants use the dots to vote on the mission statement(s) they think best reflects the organization. The two mission groups with the most votes go to the next stage.
8. Each participant chooses a word or phrase in any of the mission statements that inspires him or her. The retreat leader writes the three words or phrases with the most votes on Post-It notes.
9. Arrange the words and phrases with their group heading.
10. Use the words and ideas to frame the mission statement. If the chosen words do not naturally frame the mission statement, each participant writes a mission statement under 10 words using the key words and phrases.
11. Pair participants to share and combine their mission statements into one statement of 10 words or less. Combine pairs to create teams of four and combine the two mission statements into one. Repeat this process until only two teams and two mission statements remain.
12. The two teams present their mission statements and combine if possible. Otherwise, each participant votes once on a mission statement, and the statement with the most votes wins.

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