Once an organization answers the first two of the 6 Key Questions – “what do we believe to be true?” and “what’s important to us?” it then needs to answer these questions –
Why do we exist?
What makes us distinct?
The answers to the first two questions, though absolutely critical, do not make an organization unique. But the answers to this second set of questions begin to highlight the essential distinctness an organization brings to the world.
Why do we exist? Mission
By answering this question an organization identifies its purpose for existence by focusing on the difference it’ll make in people’s lives and in the world. Mission is an action and outcome orientated statement and should be, in part, a response to the needs of the world in which the organization finds itself. For this reason, mission may change or adjust over time in response to the unique opportunities its context presents.
What makes us distinct? Brand (or philosophy of ministry for faith-based organizations)
Every organization has a brand (whether intentional or accidental) – it’s the attributes which make it distinct. An intentional brand requires thinking through the attributes of its products or services which are apparent to those who experience the organization, then making these attributes a reality in every part of the organization. The brand is the tangible expression of an organization’s mission, core values and statement of faith.
Answering these two questions is necessary for an organization to identify its unique calling and its distinctiveness in living it out.
In my next post we’ll look at the final two of the 6 Key Questions every organization needs to answer – “what do we want to achieve in the long-term?’ and “what do we want to become?”
To see SpringHill’s answers to the 6 Key Questions click here.