Connecting to the mission of one’s work adds value and purpose to the work.
Consider the following questions:
How clear are you about your organization’s mission?
How do you explain to others what you do?
How do you explain why you do what you do?
How does your role at work directly connect you with the organization’s purpose?
How does your role at work connect to your personal goals and values?
In my work with one nonprofit, the board was made up of “old timers” and “new comers”. There was lots of new energy and ideas in the air. The new comers were taking things in a new and fresh direction to bring in new and exciting things to draw in new and enthusiastic members. The old timers were wondering how this fit with their purpose. The new comers saw the potential to bring in more money with this newness. This sounded good to the old timers so they moved forward.
What happened was mission drift. It became hard for the board to agree where to focus and spend and grow because they lost the sense of who they were and why they existed in the first place. It became challenging for leadership to focus on precision and for the staff to operate when the mission was no longer clear. The messaging to the public became fuzzy and the purpose of, and connection to, the organization was drifting for all.
The next board meeting required a full agenda on the questions “Why do we exist?” and “Who do we intend to serve?”
It is invigorating to revisit the mission of one’s organization and clarify the connection for governing members, leadership and staff as well as for one’s self. Clarifying and articulating the mission is also a powerful tool for on-boarding new team members and champions.
How is the work of your board, leadership and staff different when your organization’s mission is clear and each can articulate their own connection to it?
I offer a program on mission connection and enjoy my work with boards, staff and individuals to strengthen connections in their lives.
Note: A wonderful read discussing mission connection is the book, Focus on Sustainability by Dennis McMillian of the Foraker Group.