Organizational Sustainability


The PLE participants agreed that for an organization to be sustainable, it must demonstrate the following:

  • Clearly identified and relevant purpose and goals
  • Strategies to achieve mission and the bottom line
  • Achieving mission and the bottom line
  • Strategic plan for growth and development
  • Clearly articulated values upon which the organization is founded
  • What does your organization mean to others?

Management literature is emphatic about the clarity of purpose or vision. This must be clearly and unequivocally articulated to all stakeholders, both in and out of the organization. Normally, such articulation is found in the organization’s Articles of Incorporation or similar documents, and in its Vision/Mission/Goal Statements. Common definitions of these terms include:

Vision - Aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.10

Mission – written declaration of a firm’s core purpose and focus which normally remain unchanged…. Properly crafted mission statements (1) serve as filters to separate what is important from what is not, (2) clearly which markets will be served and how, and (3) communicate a sense of intended direction to the entire organization. A mission is different from a vision in that the former is the cause and the latter is the effect; a mission is something to be accomplished whereas a vision is something to be pursued for that accomplishment. Also called company mission, corporate mission or corporate purpose.11

Goal – an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe. In comparison, a ‘purpose’ is an intention (internal motivational state) or mission. The question, “Has the goal been achieved?” can always be answered with either a “Yes” or a “No.” A purpose, however, is not ‘achieved’ but is pursued every day.12

Of course, an organization‘s vision, mission and goals are defined by its values. Examples of core values are participation, respect for human rights and dignity of persons, inclusiveness, stewardship, empowerment, justice and equality, efficiency, work-life balance, cooperation, subsidiarity, among others.

10 Business Dictionary.
11 Business Dictionary.
12 Business Dictionary.