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Clarify and Adjust Mission during Covid-19

Clarify and Adjust Mission during Covid-19

In times of crisis it is becomes even more critical to have a clear and compelling mission statement or strategic intent which provides a direction for team members and keeps them motivated and resilient. Also, the trust of external stakeholders will improve when you have a clear mission or strategic intent.


In times of crisis, not only activities and operations are different from business-as-usual, also the way we manage our organisation and teams, as well as the way we take decisions and execute them will change.

This is one of the 3 main sections from the "Ultimate Guide for Phase 1 - Rapid Response to Mitigate the Immediate Impact of Covid"




Regarding Clarify and Adjust Mission:


Risks to address

  • Declining engagement of your teams
  • Lack of clarity on the strategic direction and focus for leadership teams and team members
  • Lack of direction to take the right initiatives to mitigate the crisis


  • Build and maintain engaged and proud teams
  • Have a re-calibrated mission to adjust the focus for everyone
  • Maximise the alignment and coherence of initiatives and focus across the entire organisation

Main aspects

  • General mission
  • 3-4 priorities
  • Opportunities
  • Specific / adjusted mission
  • Guiding principles
  • Threats

General mission

Revise the existing mission statement and assess how clear, compelling and motivating it is. Maybe you can prepare a summary of the mission statement and make it more compelling by adding different perspectives to it.

Specific or adjusted mission

In times of crisis priorities change, focus changes and certain values become more critical and obvious. It can help to prepare an adjusted summary of the mission statement or prepare an addendum to it which clearly articulates the mission statement during this crisis.

3-4 priorities

Clearly articulate 3 or 4 priorities in the mission.

The most logical elements we have seen are something like;

  • Protect people
  • Protect the clients
  • Protect the business

Companies in critical or essential sectors emphasise their mission for society, like improving health, avoiding unnecessary diseases and a collective effort in fighting COVID-19.


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Guiding principles

These 3-4 priorities can be further detailed with how to achieve these priorities, which again are the guiding principles for the clear plan as discussed in the previous chapter.

For example, for the element protecting the business we have seen priorities like;

  • Secure revenue
  • Delay expenses and investments
  • Free up cashflow


Without becoming negative, sceptical or pessimistic, it is good to clearly articulate the threats and the potential impact of these threats. In every crisis there is something to lose for the public, the business and the team members.

It is good to be honest and authentic about this and keep these threats on the radar screen.


Also, in every crisis there is something to aspire, to gain and even to win. 

This is about being optimistic, having aspirations and hope. It can be related to the crisis itself; it can also be related to changes you envision for after the crisis.

Don’t forget to articulate these opportunities in your mission messages, they will give people hope.


Download the full Guide for Phase 1 - Rapid Response



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