This is the first in a series of posts exploring the topic of mission and vision. We will talk about their purpose and value, the differences between them and how to get to congruence and authenticity. The series is a lead in to our webinar presentation in March—3 DANGEROUS TRENDS FACING ASSOCIATIONS AND NON-PROFITS.
Do we really need mission statements? What’s the value? What’s the difference between mission and vision? I recently got involved in a discussion on LinkedIn asking questions just like this. I believe that understanding anything starts with asking the question ‘WHY?’
The Need to Belong
Why do you like Twitter? Facebook? Google+? Certainly we all enjoy finding a crazy video to share, quotes to encourage us, and seeing pics of family and friends. We search out those connections because we want to feel a part of something bigger. Remember, Facebook started as a kind of online yearbook, to help students connect. Not only do we like belonging to groups and making comments, we have a basic need to belong.
This need is well-documented in psychology. Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs, first identified the need to belong as a major motivator of human behavior. Dr Seuss, in his short story, The Sneetches, simultaneously pokes fun at this need while validating it at the same time.
Cultures and communities are groups of people that come together because they share common beliefs and values. Those beliefs and values form a foundation of trust in the relationships between members of the community.
Companies and associations are examples of cultures in the business environment. It makes sense that one of the primary goals of an organization would be to build relationships around a shared system of beliefs and values as a way to build trust. Thus the challenge of hiring and building team becomes finding and inspiring people who believe what you believe. Skill sets matter, but members believing what you believe is foundational to a thriving community.
How do you get to that common vision? How do you build trust and create authenticity? In the next post we’ll explore why trust matters.