Reviewing Your Mission and Vision Statements and Values as a Part of Your Strategic Review
While we briefly explored each tenet of a successful strategic review of your dermatology practice, let’s take a closer look at exactly how reviewing your mission statement, vision statement, and organizational values can benefit your dermatology practice.
In particular, reviewing your mission statement, vision statement, and underlying organizational values—should be the bedrock of all you and your team do. Let’s look at each piece more closely, including how you may wish to modify or adapt to our current unique and unprecedented circumstances, and how each piece can lead to the next to help ensure fantastic patient care.
Reviewing your mission statement
Your mission statement should help you outline your practice’s purpose, define your business, and identify your core customer base. Let’s examine each piece more closely.
Outlining your practice’s purpose
Assuming your dermatology practice already has a mission statement, it may already offer a pretty clear outline of your practice’s purpose. If it does not, this is a great time to reexamine the role you see your practice playing in the larger community, what you hope to achieve with your practice, and the role your practice can play in this unprecedented time.
Defining your business
Similarly, your practice’s purpose may help you define exactly what your business is—not only for yourself but also for your team members and your community, including both patients and prospective patients. If your purpose, for instance, is to offer the best Mohs surgery in the greater Omaha area,, your business might define itself as the best Omaha-area skin cancer treatment center, and that definition can help inform decision-making and marketing.
Identifying your core customer base
Outlining your practice’s purpose and defining your business naturally leads to identifying your core customer base, as well. For example, if you are defining your business as the best Omaha-area skin cancer treatment center, your core customer base is going to be skin cancer patients in the Omaha area.
Putting it all together
Consider VitalSkin Dermatology as an example. Our mission statement is “VitalSkin Dermatology is a world-class dermatology and aesthetics practice management organization built from the ground up to align with the clinical, financial, and lifestyle priorities of its partner physicians.” That mission statement outlines our purpose (to align with the clinical, financial, and lifestyle priorities of our partner physicians), defines our business (a dermatology and aesthetics practice management organization), and identifies our core customer base (our partner physicians).
Revisit your vision statement
Your vision statement should help you map the pieces of your mission statement to long-term objectives and, consequently, may help guide decision-making, especially if the vision statement is frequently revisited in the context of key decisions. Let’s look at a few of the key pieces of many successful vision statements:
- A clear connection to your mission statement.
- Measurable and defined long-term objective goals.
- Clear progress checks and a willingness to reevaluate regularly.
A clear connection to your mission statement
Successful vision statements rely at least in part on integration with your mission statement; the two work best when working in harmony with each other. Your vision statement should help reflect the practical application and end goals of your mission statement.
Measurable and defined long-term objective goals
The success of a vision statement needs to be measurable and objective. You may wish to consider SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and TIme-bound) as check-in points toward the long-term objective goals of your vision statement. In this way, revisiting your mission and vision statements may also help you address your long-term strategic plan, as well, as you should be regularly checking your progress toward those long-term aims.
Clear progress checks and a willingness to reevaluate regularly
Many successful vision statements are in part so successful because they are upheld as part of regular, organization-wide progress checks. While the vision statement itself should be relatively concise, utilizing it as part of your strategic planning and denoting clear benchmarks that your practice will hit as part of the successful implementation of that vision statement can help hold the entire organization accountable. Not only can that lead to higher team-wide performance, but it can also contribute to better team member buy-in and increase loyalty and staff workplace satisfaction as they are more likely to feel like they are part of something larger.
For example, the VitalSkin Dermatology vision statement is to support 150 partner physicians by December 31, 2030, which maps those pieces to a long-term focus and helps guide internal decision-making. While succinct, it speaks both to the mission statement and the long-term organizational vision in an objective and clear way. Utilizing that vision statement as part of regular strategic planning helps hold everyone accountable to that vision statement, too, as does a clear reliance on organizational values.
Revisit your organizational values
Finally, revisiting your organizational values may help ensure that your mission and vision statements are translating into team member actions and organization-wide decision-making. Organizational values should also help you define how each individual team member helps the practice achieve the respective mission and vision.
For instance, if your mission and vision statements reflect the desire to make your practice the best in a specific geographic area for a specific specialty, your organizational values should reflect the behaviors and steps necessary to make that happen. At VitalSkin Dermatology, our organizational values are represented in our values statement: As a company and as individuals, we serve our partner physicians every day by having fun, being a team, being resilient, being accountable, being courageous, and being entrepreneurial.
Those behaviors—having fun, being a team, being resilient, being accountable, being courageous, and being entrepreneurial—help guide each team members’ actions. We serve our partner physicians—our core customer base, as identified in our mission statement—both as a company and as individuals. We make it clear to each team member that the mission statement is mapped to our vision, and that we are all part of something larger, to which each team member is accountable. Further, we objectively define how we work toward our mission and vision statements by clarifying in our vision statement that we “serve” our partner physicians “every day”—the choice of verb is very intentional, as is the inclusion of “every day” to signal the expectation of consistency.
While your mission statement, vision statement, and organizational values are likely different, revisiting them periodically and especially during any strategic review—such as while reopening your business during this unprecedented time—may help guide your decision-making and help you keep your business on track.