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Caltrans Excellence in Partnering Award Winners stats (2012


Rick Mayfield, IPI Executive Director


Getting clarity on your purpose and your mission

Every few years, organizations revisit why they exist, what their value proposition is, and how to deliver it to their customers and clients in a more meaningful way than they have in the past. Often, it’s not a complete re-evaluation of the business, but more of a rebranding of how they communicate that value and purpose to those who are most interested.

There is a very popular phrase that says: you need to know where you’re going and why you’re going there before you can figure out how you’re going to get there. Although there are fundamental truths to this statement, many organizations find themselves so busy working “in” their business that they don’t have time to work “on” their business. These “fundamental truths” are what leaders of organizations ponder when they are looking to develop their vision and mission statements.

To get at the heart of the matter, you must begin to define your mission with “why” at the center of the equation. Ask yourself, ask your board, and ask your team; “why” your organization exists or what is its purpose? Going back to your company values can be a key guide to help you in the pursuit of your purpose. After considering what values are most aligned with your purpose, developing a “purpose statement” can help you to identify your mission, define your goals and ultimately find the success you’re after.

Next, you will want to develop your vision statement. Your vision statement will contain the organization’s desires of where you want to go, or in other words what the end result will look like when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. The vision statement is forward thinking, setting a defined direction for the planning and execution of long-term company strategies set in the future.

Once you’ve defined your purpose, and set a clear vision of where you want to go, next you’ll want to think about “how” you plan to fulfill your purpose; this will be your mission. Your team can help you to brainstorm strategies and objectives. By engaging your team, they will take ownership of how your mission can be accomplished. What your special services are, or even your competitive advantage can be part of your mission statement. It doesn’t have to be extensive, and sometimes shorter is better; as long as it communicates what you do in a concise, impactful manner.

As we head into a new decade, IPI will continue to reassess the value we bring to our members ensuring that we walk through this very same process with the sincere objective of pursuing our mission; to transform the construction industry to achieve exceptional results through a culture of collaboration.

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. — Mahatma Gandhi