Drawing your veterinary practice's road map

Ensuring that your mission statement, vision statement and core values align can make for a much easier trip.
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Sep 01, 2013

Remember that mission statement you worked so hard to develop a few years back? Why exactly did you do that? Let's review.




The mission of any business is the yardstick by which goals and performance are measured. The mission statement represents the fire to which we hold our individual and collective feet. I remember a business advisor saying, "Your mission statement should be virtually tattooed on the inside of your eyelids."

The role of a mission statement

While most veterinary team members have a pretty solid idea of their mission statement, I have found that, when asked to recite it, most tag on a caveat such as "or something like that" to the end. And while they might know what the mission is, they aren't really sure of its purpose—which is, of course, the very purpose of the practice.

Where is your mission statement displayed? I believe it should be visible in several locations in your practice as well as a prominent part of your Web and social media presence so that clients and also staff can see just what you're pledging to them and they to each other.

Unfortunately, personnel changes are frequent in veterinary practice, and a good number of employees and associates most likely were not part of the process of developing your mission statement. That means you need to familiarize every team member with the statement and ask him or her to memorize it. After all, if they're not totally familiar with the mission of the practice, how can they live up to it?

Before you do that, though, consider whether it's time to revisit your mission. Many mission statements were developed 15 or more years ago, and a lot has changed since then. Make your mission statement—and its possible revision—a topic for a team meeting or even a retreat.

Keep in mind that mission statements should clearly state your higher callings. What do you provide? How do you deliver patient care and client service? What work environment do you create? Your mission statement should reflect a true commitment, not just a good idea or something you try once in a while to accomplish. It's a statement of what you do, how you provide it, and how you serve your patients, your clients, your team and your community. When you're in doubt on any decision, refer to your mission statement for guidance.