Is Your Hospital’s Purpose Short and Sticky?

by Rebecca on November 11, 2013

bigstock-Sticky-Note-Banner-Dog-36899038That seems like a weird question doesn’t it?

It really isn’t. Most animal hospital mission (purpose) statements are insanely long.  In fact, they are too long for the people who created them to remember, let alone new people joining the team.

Because of the length of most mission statements, there is an immediate disconnect between what you have posted on the wall and what actually goes on between the walls in your hospital.

Coming up with a short and sticky statement is not an easy process, but it is so powerful when you do.

A few years ago, I struggled to create a mission statement that encapsulated what we were trying to do with TVSS. It took a lot of brain- storming, but finally our mission statement was crafted.

 We exist to provide the surgical excellence and compassionate service we would want for our own pets

At the end of the day, what mattered to us was providing surgical excellence and compassionate service.  But what was most important to us, was providing to other pets what we would want for our own pets.

Every day, our team knows this is the goal.  At the end of the day if we have done these two things, then we have accomplished what we set out to do.  It is short, and it is sticky. It is NOT complicated and NOT hard to remember.

A short and sticky mission statement helps us make tough decisions when needed.

The other day we had a dog, already under anesthesia, who was going to have an FHO.  After reviewing the radiographs of the dog, I concluded there was no way I would do an FHO on this dog if he were mine (the radiographs revealed no significant DJD.)  I called the owner and explained to her that there was no way I could perform the FHO.  For all I know, she went down the road and had another veterinarian perform the surgery (she really wanted this surgery for some reason) but it was not going to be me doing an unnecessary surgery.

Not only can your team actually remember what you collectively are trying to accomplish when your mission statement is short and sticky, but it will also resonate with your clients.

We recently added a video to our website and most owners have told me that the reason they selected us to do their pet’s surgery was because we treated their pet like he/she was our own- how awesome is that?  So not only is it resonating with my team and me, but also clients who chose us to perform their pet’s surgery.

I challenge each of you, to take some time at your next leadership team meeting and start crafting a short and sticky mission statement-one that will actually help your team know why they are there and what you are trying to accomplish!

 Do you have a short and sticky mission (purpose) statement you would like to share?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David Tabrett November 21, 2013 at 4:34 am

Hi Rebecca,

We were stuck on our purpose for 3 years before we uncovered

“Respecting Humanity by Improving Animal Well-Being”

This speaks to why we are there every day. People (Clients and Staff) buy Why you do something, not What you do… Paraphrased from Simon Sinek….


rebecca November 22, 2013 at 5:13 am

That is great and very easy to remember. No doubt coming up with a great statement of purpose takes time! I love Simon Sinek! Thanks for sharing!


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