Week 33 of 52. Welcome to Drucker Mondays, a 52-week journey through the new book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph A. Maciariello. Each Monday, we'll feature a Drucker fan and his or her favorite snippet from the week's topic. (Subscribe on this page.) Jim Canning is our guest writer today.
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: A well-thought-out and developed mission statement is one of the most important factors in helping an organization focus its efforts and resources effectively. Good mission statements are clear, memorable and concise.
JIM CANNING'S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHTS from Week 33, pages 265-270:
Peter Drucker believed that the nonprofit organizations in our country are the most important institutions in America. As a result, he devoted much time and effort in helping nonprofit organizations focus on their mission. Today, this goal is still being carried out through the Drucker Institute. (Check out the Drucker Institute website for more information and resources).
“The best nonprofits devote a great deal of thought to defining their organization’s mission. They avoid general sweeping statements full of good intentions and focus, instead, on objectives that have clear-cut implications for the work [they] perform…”
“A good (organizational) mission statement is short and focuses the attention of each member of the organization on how his or her activities fit into the overall mission of the organization.”
JIM CANNING'S COLOR COMMENTARY:
Good mission statements are crucial to helping focus an organization’s efforts. Generally, they should be a one-sentence statement describing the primary reason an organization or program exists, and used to help guide decisions regarding priorities, actions and responsibilities. They should inspire donors and others to want to help and support the organization’s mission as well.
A problem with many organizations’ mission statements is that they are so broad they do not really provide a clear focus for either the reader or the organization.
Given that the world is constantly changing, organizations should periodically review their mission statement to see if any changes or revisions are needed.
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY JIM CANNING:
Jim Canning, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in Executive Management from the Peter Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. While there, he was a student of both Peter Drucker and Joseph Maciariello, the author of A Year With Peter Drucker. For many years Jim served as V.P./Chief Financial Officer of World Vision International. He lives in Spokane, Wash., where, during winter, he shovels a lot of snow! (Jim also was guest writer for Week 9.)
• To help evaluate your own organization’s mission statement, look at the mission statement of several similar organizations and see how they compare with yours. In doing so, be alert for any ways in which your mission statement might be improved.
• For more on mission statements, order the new-and-improved edition (just released) of Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders. (Question 1: What is our mission?”)
On August 24, 2015, David Beroth, CFO at Seed Company, will share his color commentary on Week 34’s topic, “Accommodating Various Constituencies in a Mission,” the second of five weeks on “Lessons From the Social Sector on the Power of Purpose.”