Create Inspiring, Captivating Mission and Values


When employees and volunteers connect to the organization’s mission, values or guiding principles in a personal way, they become more motivated, committed and fulfilled. This connection occurs by engaging people in the development of these foundational statements. Facilitators help groups do this through thoughtful dialogue and creative processes.

Here is a short, pithy overview of the “what, why and when” of mission, values and principles. Setting mission, values and principles is essential to great planning and decision making. If you’re curious about the “how to” of mission and value creation, see our strategic planning package below.


The mission is a short (about 15 words) philosophical statement of the organization’s reason for being. It answers two questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What purpose do you fulfill in society? (your reason for being)

Example Mission Statements:


“Empowering individuals to make positive choices, build stronger families and live healthier, more fulfilling lives.”


“Utilize the power of Moore’s Law to bring smart, connected devices to every person on earth.”


Values are ideals that give significance to our lives. They are reflected in our priorities and we call upon them regularly. When a group defines the values they want to uphold and works on upholding these values every day, they are more likely to return to work each day with a deep sense of satisfaction and high productivity. An organization has to know what their values are to be able to live by them.

Example Values of North Star Facilitators

We value:

  • Listening with compassion and non-judging
  • Treating everyone equitably and fairly
  • Learning from the past to create positive futures
  • Celebrating successes
  • Creating enjoyable, focused learning and discovery experiences

You can visit the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) website for an example mission and values statement.  Also the IAF Code of Ethics and Statement of Values which every Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF©) is expected to follow.

Guiding Principles

Guiding principles are a series of short statements that guide group behavior. They allow the group to self correct when dysfunctional behaviors such as gossip, back-stabbing and withholding information occurs. When people openly agree to abide by their own rules of behavior, this creates a climate of safety and builds trust.

Example Principles of North Star Facilitators (adapted from ICA)…

We believe that:

  • Each individual has an inherent wisdom to contribute to the overall team success.
  • Every idea is valuable.
  • We need everyone’s wisdom for the greatest results.
  • The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  • Everyone will hear and be heard.
  • Learning and productivity are proportional to the positive emotional state of participants

What are the benefits of developing mission, values and guiding principles?

  • Reduces absenteeism
  • Keeps the culture healthy, productive, and open to change
  • Connects key stakeholders to the organizational culture
  • Keeps the organization vital and in touch with the current environment
  • Aligns actions and behavior with overall purpose and values

When is it time to create or review your mission, values and guiding principles?

If any of the following conditions applies to your organization, it may be time to develop or update your mission, values and guiding principles:

  • Recent substantial organizational changes
  • High percentage of new staff, Board, or other key stakeholders
  • Start-up of the organization, or a new division, team or project
  • A number of people are asking “why are we doing this?”
  • There is a climate of mistrust, discouragement or low morale


This bundle includes step-by-step instructions for mission & value statement creation. (If you’re only purchasing single modules, the mission instructions are in the module “Secrets of Strategic Planning”.)

Try the 2-day ToP Strategic Planning course! *Requires ToP Facilitation Methods prerequisite.

Barbara MacKay

Barbara loves “everything facilitation”. She thinks BIG! She loves working with other facilitators around the globe to create transformational results for client groups. She loves teaching others how to do that. She loves presenting at global facilitator conferences. She loves certifying new professional facilitators. If you also love what process facilitation can do for the world, connect with her – virtually or in person. She believes facilitation processes, used well, will provide the roadmap to a more just and sustainable world.

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