Mission Statements come
from a planning system and Ends
Statements come from a purpose system. Although John Carver uses them
both interchangeably, obviously with a preference for Ends
Statements, I think this is confusing.
Planning systems by
nature are more about control than purpose. When using the word
Mission, it is difficult to not look for and expect the next elements of the
planning system: strategies, objectives, and action plans. This makes
it difficult to use the mixing bowl concept with Mission Statements.
It is difficult to allow the any reasonable interpretation rule
to apply to a Mission Statement when it is to be part of a planning system.
You need more specificity than an End
Statement might provide in order to establish the strategies.
Sometimes boards keep the
use of Mission statement instead of Ends
statement simply because they would be criticized if they didn't have one or
if they weren't the authors of it. This is unfortunate, as it suggests
that boards are uncomfortable with the concepts of Policy Governance and are
avoiding a dialogue to help others better understand how it works. In
a way they are misrepresenting how they govern.
Purpose systems are quite
different than planning systems. It isn't that an organization has to
choose one or the other they need both, and they need to balance the use of
both. Too much planning system and people become personally
disconnected from the organization. This is what is behind the need to
connect the Moral Owners to the Ends.
But the same can be said for all the employees, too much planning system
simply makes a job feel like work. The opposite is true as well, too
much purpose systems means that everyone is connected but too little is
provides a separation of purpose and planning through Ends
and Means, at least at the board
level. Boundary Management provides the same thing for the rest of the
organization. This separation helps create the balance and focus that
is needed for a more effective organization. Using Mission Statements
only tends to confuse this separation.