Describing the dream

Articulating vision and mission is a critical skill for leaders. It’s hard for people to follow someone when they don’t know where they’re going. It’s even harder if no one – not even the leader – has a clear idea of where the organization should end up!

For leaders in MnSCU, the challenge is to create a student-focused mission that clearly explains the direction to our many stakeholders. What does that look like?

Achieving_word_cloud_1200x1000 (1)The Lumina Foundation’s Achieving the Dream network provides an example of mission, vision, and values that are clear and student-focused:

Achieving the Dream

Mission:  Achieving the Dream is a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion; focused primarily on helping low-income students and students of color complete their education and obtain market-valued credentials.
Vision:  To lead the most comprehensive, evidence-based reform movement for community college student success in higher education history, resulting in significantly improved lives and greater global economic competitiveness for the United States.
Values:  Evidence-based, student centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream, Inc. embraces continuous improvement, fosters creativity and innovation, and operates with transparency and respect.

This example gives the reader a clear idea of the mission (what kind of work the organization is doing); the vision (what the work looks like when it’s done well); and the values (how decisions are made). They can help everyone in the organization to move forward strategically.

Does your organization have clear mission, vision, and values?  Would everyone be able to explain them?

Dee Anne Bonebright


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