Organizations can fall victim to mission drift through an unclear strategy and by not explicitly defining priorities.
Robert M. Sheehan, academic director of Executive MBA Programs at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, offered some organizational techniques that nonprofits could use in escaping meandering of priorities during the recent 2011 Bridge Conference.
Sheehan first asked for attendees to do some work in “Mission Clarification,” by addressing specific mission-related questions in your organization. He believed organizations should revaluate:
* Mission Statement — Review your mission statement to assure it specifies the aim and impact of your organization.
* Mission Accomplishment Measures — Reliably measure, which represent an impact/difference made on the condition of a person, place or thing outside the organization.
* Mission Gap — Describe the current state of the condition of the “person, places and/or things” who whom/which you want to make a difference for.
One that is described, Sheehan advocated for re-designing the mission and establishing strategic stretch goals.
* Vision — Create an idea that will ideally close the “mission gaps” present in the issue your organization is addressing.
* Strategic Stretch Goals — Set five outcome-based “strategic stretch goals” which when accomplished can leap the organization towards realizing its mission.