3 Simple Hacks to Avoid Mission Drift

Updated: Mar 26


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True North. Or, is it?


Real quick - Do you know your company’s mission statement? Can you say it with confidence and clarity?


If your initial response is not a resounding yes; you’re already living in mission drift. Simply stated, mission drift is when the organization slides off course. You start moving away from your ‘True North’ as it is written and intended.


Suddenly, the lack of clarity leads your team down a side street. Or, two. Maybe it occurred over time in between leadership transitions and competing priorities.


Here’s how you’ll know if you’re suffering from mission drift: You look up and realize no-one really knows where you should be heading or why. The roadmap has become unclear; the direction is no longer obvious. Outcomes are challenging to assess; the benchmark to measure against is now so vague. Defending company actions and decisions seems too challenging.


Read the opening questions again and imagine your team responding to them. If people on your team cannot say your mission, know that your potential customers and the community are receiving a mixed message. It can be damaging.


Your team can’t explain with enthusiasm what you do. Your stakeholders don’t understand what you do or why. Funding agencies don’t give anymore because they don’t know how to hold you accountable. Contracts are no longer being granted.


Your True North is no longer clear.


Try these 3 simple hacks to avoid mission drift and return to your True North:

1. Post your Mission Statement everywhere. As you walk in the main entrance. In your conference room. Near the water cooler. On the refrigerator. Beside every light switch. On your email signature.

2. Print your Mission Statement and give it to everyone. Laminated business card size copies work well. Make it portable and durable. Keep one near your computer. Keep one in your car. Place them on the table before every meeting. Put one in any goodie bags that you give-away.

3. Place your Mission Statement at the top of every meeting agenda. Live or virtual. Make certain it is front and center in every conversation you have with your team.


When your team knows what the mission is, it's simpler for them to live it out. They will want to contribute positively. Involvement in innovative planning sessions will be embraced. Constructive feedback will emerge as a highlight within your culture. Loyalty and longevity will become the norm.


Having a Mission Statement that reflects your purpose is critical. It prevents mission drift - which is an enemy of success. Across industries today, mission drift has become an unspoken crisis. Take action to avoid the crisis.


If you'd like to continue this conversation, give us a call. We’d love to set up a complementary 60-minute Visioning Session and help you establish your priorities. 407.720.7168.

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Nancy, Chief Collaborator

Nancy H. Cummings, EdD

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