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  • Writer's pictureNancy H. Cummings

4 Simple Hacks to Avoid Mission Drift

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. Maybe it

occurred as a result of necessary resilience the past few years.

Here’s how you’ll know if you’re suffering from mission drift: You look up and realize

no-one really knows where your organization should be heading or why. The roadmap

has become unclear; the direction is no longer obvious. Outcomes are challenging to

assess; the benchmarks to measure progress have become vague. Defending

company actions and decisions seems too challenging.

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.

Read the opening questions again and imagine your team responding to them. If

people on your team cannot state your mission, know that your potential customers

and the community you serve are receiving a mixed message. It can be damaging and

difficult to overcome.

Try these 4 simple hacks to avoid further mission drift and return back to your True


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.

In your email signature.

2. Print your Mission Statement and give it to everyone. Laminated business cards

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.

4. Talk about your Mission all the time. Relate it to everything that you do. Share with

your Team how the Mission drives decisions every single day. And, how mission

engages success.

When your team knows what the mission is, it is 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 retention 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 today.

If it feels like you might be drifting and need help getting back on course, give us a call.

We’d love to set up a complementary session and get you headed in the right direction.

Chief Collaborator,

Nancy H. Cummings, EdD

Find us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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