Why an organization exists doesn’t change that often. Purpose and mission statements do change, however, and most often in one (or more) of three ways:

  1. The organization has pivoted.
  2. Expanded market influence allows for a wider lens.
  3. The current wording does not capture the minds and hearts of those making decisions, inside and/or out.

In the short clip captured below, you’ll hear from two organizations, University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and Patagonia. Both organizations recently revisited their mission or purpose statements. I’ve captured start and end points specific to this topic.


Notice how each person, Jenna Johnson, Head of Patagonia, Inc., and Frank Hodge, Dean at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington, homes in on the word choice.


Jenna goes deeper into describing why they chose the word “our” in the mission statement, emphasizing that this planet is for every person and Patagonia is but a steward within this larger community.


Dean Hodge goes deeper into describing why the word “together” was used in the purpose statement, emphasizing that this word expresses their belief that the Foster School can amplify and leverage everything they do if they do it together.


Also notice that they created more succinct statements so that they could be carried more readily in the hearts and minds of all stakeholders.


Which one (or more) of the three most common reasons for revisiting a purpose or mission statement do you feel these two fall into?


Which one (or more) reason might you have for revisiting your purpose or mission statement?


Share in the comments below. Or reach out to me if you’d like to dig deeper.


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