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Behind the Scenes of Evaluating ICE’s Mission and Vision

By Johnna Gueorguieva, ICE Chair

At the ICE July Board of Directors meeting, we typically meet to review ICE’s Ends statements. Ends statements are unique to Policy Governance and are used to indicate the results for which ICE exists, and the beneficiaries and worth of those results. They are the building blocks to the ICE Strategic Plan.

The ICE Board, with support from ICE management, has traditionally reviewed its Ends statements annually. I don’t mind telling you that it is an arduous task and one with which we struggle each year, but it is one that is foundational to ICE’s continued growth and success. With this in mind, we determined that bringing in a facilitator to assist us was essential this year. And we are glad we did.

Our facilitator, Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF, guided us through a process that not only led us to determine we needed to write new Ends statements, but also that our Mission and Vision were due for revision. We are not the same organization we were 10 years ago, when these statements were last updated. I would even say we are not the same organization we were six years ago when I began serving as a director on the ICE Board.

However, going into this session, we knew that ICE is operating from a position of strength, having been successful with so many new programs and the growth of foundational programs. The Board and ICE management wanted to see how we could find the next new level for which the organization should aim.

Going through this facilitated process, we were tasked with identifying everything we want our organization to be, where we see it going and what value it should bring to its members and the public. The exercise ultimately helped us determine that our Ends statements, Mission and Vision no longer reflect who we are and where we are going. We want to remain relevant while bringing innovation to our membership and we want to intentionally improve what we offer as an organization.

The meeting was revelatory and powerful. I wish I could tell you that we ended our day-long session with a fully developed, new Mission and Vision, and better-than-ever Ends statements. But that’s not the case — yet. What we did develop during our time together is the framework for each and a plan to engage with our membership to ensure that our final versions are reflective of our plans for our future, not just the Board’s plans.

The Board and ICE management are seeking avenues to share our thoughts and ideas with you, and engage you in discussions to determine whether we are moving in the right direction. Our new Mission, Vision and Ends statements will be developed over the next six to nine months. That seems like forever from now, but there is a lot of work to be done and we want to get it right. 

As we continue to evolve as an organization, each of these essential elements will also evolve. Is there an opportunity for your organization to go through a similar exercise?  If you haven’t looked at your own Mission, Vision and Ends statements in a while, we encourage you to do so. It is worth the time and money spent to ensure you know where you’re going.


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