What does your organization consider its good? Can everyone — from leadership to staff to clients to volunteers to supporters identify the elements of what makes your organization valued? Can all stakeholders articulate the principles underlying the organization’s existence and purpose?
Find moments to articulate these principles. Create opportunities to test the language the organization currently uses. Then test those principles against the reality of stakeholder experiences.
Move the dialogue outside the circle of board members, leaders, and managers. Ask staff, volunteers, and donors about their beliefs towards the organization, its work, and its culture.
From everything you gather, identify the key areas of consensus and disconnect. As a community, make a commitment to promote the former while working on the latter.
During the periodic review of the organization’s strategy, commit to reviewing the vision, mission, and values to ensure your organization continues to move forward along the right direction.
Dedicate at least one time each year for reflecting and representing stakeholder perspectives throughout the organization’s vision and mission.
Craft a philosophy that speaks to the objectives and goals in ways that are both quantitative and qualitative.
In all things, use honest words, not the best sounding words.