The Visioning Litmus Test

6 August 2007

Take 5 minutes to take this litmus test for your Vision, Mission and Values (VMV).Place your VMV before you, and answer the following questions.

1. How distinctive is your Vision, Mission & Values compared to other organizations in the category?

a. Not distinctive at all – pretty generic, I’ve seen this elsewhere.

b. Somewhat distinctive but not unique to us. (others may have something similar)

c. Quite distinctive, but it is not memorable or compelling.

d. Very distinctive and memorable.


2. Does your VMV articulate your reason to exist and your point of view about the business you’re in?

a. No, and I’m not sure it needs to do this.

b. Partially, but it’s not a compelling point of view.

c. Partially, but we could phrase it better.

d. Yes it does articulate what we believe the category is about. 


3. Is the VMV relevant to the people who will need to act on it? 

a. Not at all, it’s just there on our website/ brochure etc.

b. Somewhat relevant to staff and those who happen to know about it.

c. Yes it’s relevant to staff and key stakeholders.

d. Very relevant to everyone. 


4. Is it actionable? Does it suggest some specific behaviour or mind-set?

a. Not at all.

b. Somewhat actionable but its still a bit vague.

c. Somewhat actionable and I understand what it’s trying to achieve.

d. Actionable, clear and compelling. 


5. Is your VMV a point of reference for key decisions on organisational direction?

a. Not at all, it’s pretty generic and full of jargon.

b. Somewhat – it is referred to occasionally although it has some generic words like excellence, quality, honesty, teamwork and caring.

c. Sometimes we refer to it and most people can identify with the aspirations articulated.

d. Yes, it’s meaningful and specific to us, and we do refer to it when considering a major new project.



Review your answers and add up your scores for each question. 
A=1  B=2  C=3  D=4

  • Less than 8 
    You should probably seek professional help if you’re serious about getting this done.

  • 8-15 
    You probably have a somewhat relevant and workable VMV but can do with some help in taking it to the next level of effectiveness.

  • 16-20
    You probably have a potentially great VMV which you should leverage further.