Vision and Mission

The main difference between a vision and a mission statement is that a vision declares where you want to be and a mission is how you will get there. Sometimes, a mission statement is a combination of the two. A lot of organisations have one of two problems with their statements: 1. They are either too long so that employees have no idea how to relate or remember them or 2. They are so vague, it’s difficult to get behind them.

LEGO Serious Play

Build your team

Many large NZ organisations have used LEGO SP for a raft of reasons.

One of the best ways I’ve used to help an organisation get its mission statement to something succinct and meaningful is through LEGO Serious Play. This methodology is extremely useful for uncovering new insights and getting a fair contribution from everyone involved. After some warm up exercises – probably three or four including 1. A model build representing their ideal working environment and 2. A model build representing what they could do to demonstrate living the current mission, I use the shared model technique.

The Shared Model

The shared model I tend to use is around an aspect of trust which I ask them to build individually and then to place a red brick on the most important element. In pairs, I then get the group to formed a shared model and ask them to eliminate any excess bricks while still holding the same meaning of the model. I get them to do several rounds of this and be quite persistent telling them they may still have too many bricks and so long as they kept the essence of the meaning they were to remove as many excess bricks as they can. The pairs should be able to reduce the models significantly.

Next, I get them into small groups and show the current mission statement on a big screen and ask them to apply the same thinking. What words could we remove to reduce the size of the statement but still keep the essence of the meaning? After three or four rounds of discussions, they should get there. In one example, a new seven word mission statement was achieved (the original was 29 words long) and everyone was on board. In a matter of minutes – probably 30, they had achieved something they had taken hours or even days to do previously and now had succinct message to hang all of their activities on.

For more information on this technique visit: