A strategic plan is meant to be dynamic, but if it’s always changing, how are you able to gauge your progress as an organization? Between evolving organizational priorities, shifting economic factors and new trends to deal with, tracking progress toward a strategic goal can prove to be difficult. If you’re looking for ways to judge tangible progress over time, however, here’s an idea: use your mission and vision statements.
In the May issue of FORUM Magazine, (or click here to view the pdf) I wrote a story about the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), which after 10 years decided it needed to update its mission statement. After discussion and deliberation about what the new mission statement should be, AONE’s Board and staff members drew a fascinating conclusion: its 10-year-old vision statement had become its mission. The recognition of this evolution was a testament to AONE’s commitment to its core principles and its strength in leadership. While the medical industry and the nursing field had changed dramatically over the past decade, AONE felt that its goals were still relevant, and it stayed the course as an organization in an effort to achieve them. Ten years later, AONE’s vision statement – an organization’s attempt to answer the question, “What do we want to become?” – had become its mission, or a definition of its core purpose. For other associations looking to validate your strategic planning process, use your mission and vision statements as a litmus test. If your mission still applies, or if your vision still defines your ultimate goal, those are good indicators that your strategy is on track. Eventually, your future goals will become your core competencies.