How To Communicate Your Vision, Mission, and Values



Your mission, vision and values are the foundation for your company’s success. It’s how you communicate your unique value, set goals and priorities, and create a compelling future.

It’s ultimately your gauge for success (are you accomplishing your mission and moving towards your vision?) 

In A Simple Statement: A Guide to Nonprofit Arts Management and Leadership, Jamie Grady writes about vision, mission, and values.

Key Take Aways

Here are my key take aways:

  • Use  a vision statement, mission statement and statement of values to communicate the foundation of your group to stakeholders.
  • The mission statement answers who are you.
  • The vision statement is where you want to go, once you know who you are.
  • Figure out the real values by actually observing the group.  This is more accurate than just thinking them up.  Otherwise, people say one thing, but do another.

Creating Your Mission and Vision

The key steps to creating your mission and vision are:

  • Identify the values of the organization. You find these by observing how employees spend their time, how they set priorities and how they allocate their time and energy. Actions are more revealing than words.
  • Create the mission statement. The mission answers "who are you?" It should consist of one or two sentences max. It should quickly communicate the company’s purpose. It should be an original and unique purpose. It should encapsulate the philosophy, beliefs, values and principles. It should be unique, exciting and inspiring. It sets the foundation for priorities, strategies, plans, and work assignments. The company should derive strength from the mission rather than react to outside influences.
  • Create the vision. The vision statement answers, "where do you want to go?"

Example Mission and Vision

Grady provides an example of using a vision statement and mission statement to communicate the philosophical foundation of an arts organization to its stakeholders:

Court Theatre – Strategic Plan

  • Mission – Court Theatre exists to celebrate the immutable power and relevance of classic theatre.
  • Vision – We share a collective aspiration to create a National Center for Classic Theatre.

Example Values

Grady provides an example statement of values:

Strategic Decisions Are Guided by the Following Statement of Values

  • We believe theatre satisfies an innate human need for communal acts of
  • We believe works for the stage that reveal timeless themes and illuminate
    universal truths are classics.
  • We believe in the primacy of language in theatre.
  • We believe in an artistic process that is venturous, collaborative, grounded
    in thorough research and dynamically evolving.
  • We believe in an artistic process that is venturous, collaborative, grounded
    in thorough research and dynamically evolving.
  • We believe in an environment of trust, generosity, and shared vision enables
    risk-taking in the artistic process.
  • We believe the artistic process should inform all aspects of the theatre’s
    operations including leadership, governance, and administration.
  • We believe classic theatre is a valid participant in American culture, its
    survival and maturation.
  • We believe artists make significant contributions to their communities.
  • We believe learning is a life-long journey, and classic theatre has a unique
    ability to teach and inspire its creators and patrons.
  • We believe in freedom of expression, and embrace a plethora of artistic
    voices and styles.
  • We believe in diversity across all definitions.

Additional Resources

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Image by Vincent Boiteau.