Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mission (statement) impossible?

When bored, one way of passing time can be to compare and contrast mission statements in social housing. Here are a random selection from some local housing associations:

1) Working with residents to excel at creating and sustaining communities where people want to live.

2) We will provide our future and present customers with well maintained and affordable homes, in safe and attractive neighbourhoods.

3) Our vision is to build successful communities. Our communities will be famous for good quality homes, excellent services and a cleaner, greener environment. People will feel safe and have pride in their homes and neighbourhoods.

Some adopt a slightly different tack:

We are a social business providing:
- Support and services to individuals and communities through good business practice;
- Quality accommodation in an economically viable manner.

It’s not easy to have a distinctive mission statement that works. Yet such statements do convey something of the organisation’s brand – its value and culture.

As an accountant by profession, I’m not going to give lessons on inspiring mission statements. However, I would recommend a perusal of the 2008 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. The blog might be from the other side of the Atlantic but it has some useful advice on effective taglines (specific, positive, brief, clear, accessible) that are relevant to mission statements too.

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