Building a co-operative requires a lot of planning and development of documents, policies, and procedures. These steps can be a bit tedious, and even boring. However, early planning stages will require shareholders to think big about what they want the co-op to be. Creating mission, vision, and value statements can be one of the more engaging steps in co-op development that often allows shareholders their first tangible contribution to the co-op’s identity. This tool helps clarify the purpose of mission, vision, and value statements.
The mission statement simply explains what your co-operative does. This statement should be concise and serve as a one-line overview of why the organization exists, and why your co-op’s identity matters. It should convey a clear purpose and direction for the organization, offering something to work towards. Everything the organization does should be in service of this mission.
The vision statement is less direct than the mission statement and is usually more aspirational and inspirational. Think, “What is the vision for my co-op’s identity?” For many organizations, a vision statement captures an ideal outcome or a societal goal that we need to work towards together.
A values statement may contain multiple values that demonstrate the priorities for the co-operative and identify how it will conduct business. Your co-op’s identity and vision statement speak to the nature of the co-operative and should be reflected in the work that it does.
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