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Communicating Your Mission

Posted October 31, 2012 9:25 PM by Brandon Kline


On a recent trip home to see my family, I spent some time watching TV and hanging out with my 16 year old sister. I noticed that, like most people her age, she was texting friends like crazy on her phone. If you have kids or spend any time around people of that age, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Texting is their primary mode of communication.

With the texting phenomenon and sites like Twitter, the ability to get your point across in 160 characters or less has become increasingly important. This got me thinking about the way organizations communicate with their employees, volunteers, customers, and constituents. In the same way that it’s important for high school and college age individuals to communicate a highlight of their day or an upcoming party in a succinct and to the point manner, the same is true for an organization when communicating its mission.

Think for a minute about the organization you manage or work for. If a friend sent you a text and asked what your mission is, would you be able to clearly articulate the mission of your organization in just one or two text messages? Would that text message highlight your unique reason for existence and reflect the values and priorities of your strategy?

If the mission is communicated properly throughout your organization, everyone should be able to send back a text message answering that question. I tested this out by asking a friend at IBM what his mission was. He replied, “We’re working to build a smarter planet.” He immediately asked me the same question about Ascendant, to which I replied, “Our mission is to help social and public sector organizations increase their impact.”

I’d like to encourage everyone who reads this post to think about how they would respond to a text message that asks, “What is your mission?” If it takes some time to decide how you would respond, you might need to take a step back and think about the reason for this. Is there a lack of communication? Could the mission be poorly defined to begin with? If the answer pops right into your head, that’s great! Do you think everyone else in the organization would say something similar?

Send a text to any of us here at Ascendant. We’ll tell you that our mission is to help social and public sector organizations increase their impact.

What is your mission?


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