Vision, mission…and all that
Here is a useful diagram that we often use when doing the YPDP. We will walk a team through each level and discuss how it relates to their youth provision. This will work for any team or organisation. Below, each level is explained and for the purpose of this blog I’m going to use a made up team for a fun example – N.A.S.A – Normally Always Saving Astronauts.
There has been a crew of astronauts seen floating in space, they need saving. Who you gonna call?…Yep…
Key question: Why do we exist?
Your group or organisation is unique, it has a fingerprint and a specific reason why it was born. Try and identify that and jot it down in a sentence.
Example: N.A.S.A. exists to save astronauts floating in space.
Key question: What matters most?
There will be a shared priority throughout your organisation that binds it together. At the end of the day, above all, we believe that…. Jot them down then try and consolidate them down to 4/5 key words.
Example: N.A.S.A.’s core values are – selflessness, others first, no floating, oxygen saves.
Key question: Where are we going?
The destination, end goal, desired change will be in the mind of the leader(s). It will be a better, more fruitful picture of the future. Try and paint that picture with 6-8 descriptive words.
E.g. We’re going to be an, intergalactic and heroic, space traveling, life saving, astronaut rescue team.
Key Question: How will we do this?
This is the vision with legs (or jetpacks) on. A little more detail and action attached to a goal. Aim for 2/3 sentences with verbs.
Example: We will relentlessly travel through space and time across every galaxy. Providing oxygen, food and safety to floating astronauts. We will rehabilitate and bring everyone home safely, by the end of the next light year.
Note – The above are all relevant to the identity of the group. These are very foundational and will tend not to change very often. The following are a little more flexible, they help work out the identity as a strategy. This will change and morph as the group adapts to better achieve the goals.
Key question: How will we organise?
The task here is to develop the way in which the organisation will function. This will be the administration, communication, health and safety, etc. In summary, the operations. When this is done well, it will facilitate vision and release activity. It should never hinder the ministry.
Example: We will use Fisher Price walkie talkies and spacebook to communicate. We’ll take a register and an oxygen mask. We’ll make a rota so someone is always on the – driving, look-out, first aid and rehab teams.
Key Question: What will you do?
These will be the specific activities that put into action the vision. The key to this is thinking what activities will achieve the vision and mission. Be disciplined to say no to the good and plan to do the great. Don’t polish a spaceship or clean up space at the expense of saving astronauts.
Example: Omega team – travel daily across the galaxy asking if people need oxygen. Recovery team – give oxygen and food to astronauts we find. Star finders – have special oxygen tanks ready for any teenage astronauts.
Key question: What will we measure?
These are the goals or targets that will define or indicate success.
Example: We will measure: amount of astronauts we see, amount we bring home safely, amount of fuel we have and amount of astronauts in one space ship.
Go for it. Excuse a silly illustration but it can sometimes help explaining and identifying the purpose of each part of the pyramid. Spend some time going through each level, it will really help you build clarity and confidence in developing your provision. I would greatly encourage to work through it with your team to help build a collaborative understanding.
Go therefore, and bring them home safely.