Vision, Mission & Value: Do you know the difference? I thought I knew, but many of us are guilty of blurring the three into one and using them interchangeably. During the 2010 MPI Chapter Business Summit, which was held in Dallas, TX in September for the MPI Chapter Leaders, we discussed the differences. Who knew how drastically different they could really be!
Here’s the run down:
- Vision: What will we look like in the future?
- Mission: Why are we here?
- Value: What solutions are you providing; who do you solve it for; and why is this solution different (or better) than the alternative? This can become the foundation for your brand! Why are we the better choice than the competition, what makes us stand out? What is distinctive about us?
To bring a little clarity into the room, know that everyone wants to matter. A value statement can provide meaning to a volunteer (and a member). Belief in a purpose gives volunteers a reason to stick with it, and in turn helps to prevent volunteer burnout!
- Understand your assets and relevance (strengths)
- Matter on what matters
It’s Time to Create Your Value Statement!
We are all chock-full of good ideas. It’s fun to come up with new ideas for our chapter and members. The problem becomes instituting those ideas, committing to them, and following through. All the new ideas become moot, if they are not taken seriously, or if there are too many ideas on the table and not enough manpower (or need) to really make those ideas come to life.
What’s next? So you have a list of good ideas and you want to implement them, but are they all necessary and something desired by your membership. Take a moment to think about two things that can improve the direction you take and refocus on membership needs.
- What do we do first? (What will you start) Okay, you have a list – but you need to prioritize and choose that one thing that you believe in, that you really want to focus on. Pick something that matters to your members.
- What do we stop now? We all love to buy new things, that “ooh shiny” feeling. It makes you feel good right? Well, a little retail therapy always helps me, but then I find I have a pile of things and I haven’t replaced the old with the new. When I buy something new, I need to get rid of something old. Try to keep things in perspective; the same can be applied to your Chapter/Association. If you’re going to start something, and really focus on it, you should also pick something to throw out. What’s NOT working or just isn’t in your power to maintain effectively?
You might be wondering now what have I done, or what has my Chapter has done, with all this information? Well, we created a value statement! MPI Northeastern New York is the bridge to innovative knowledge and connections.
With that value statement in mind we decided that we need to focus on which forms of communication (social media) work best for us and which of those applications our members are actually using. My chapter is lucky to have so many board members who are tech-savvy and comfortable with the ever-changing online communities that are available. It has made keeping up with the “Online Jones” pretty easy. This won’t last forever! Sooner or later our savvy board members will move on, and while we hope the next generation will be as techie, it is not a guarantee. The same goes for our members, not everyone is a “techie” or social media guru.
Our plan is to narrow the playing field to the top five social media tools that work best for our members, (MPI NENY Website, Virtual World, Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn) with emphasis on the website! While it’s possible to sign up for every social media outlet available, this does not mean each tool will be used effectively. Consider your audience! Is your audience listening and engaged; which tools are they using?
Okay, you’re thinking – so you stopped something, reduced the number of social media tools. But what will you focus on – what will we “start”? I’m going to quote directly from our President, Doug McPhee, CMP, CMM:
Leadership is about commitment and competence. We are leaders not just volunteers. All the chapters are looking at member growth, engagement and strong educational programs, especially for planners. Succession planning is obviously important for all chapters. How do we engage our members? ASK them to participate. We know that people become involved and attend things because they are asked. When recruiting for committee positions consider strengths that will enhance the committee.
As the new year approaches and the nominations process begins, we will add Director positions to our Board so that we can divide up responsibilities and take the pressure off the Vice Presidents! We are a small Board – currently there are only eight of us. Did you know that 89% of members access MPI through their chapters? (Bruce MacMillan, MPI President & CEO) By adding Directors to the Board, we will more effectively engage our members, provide leadership roles for volunteers, and gain new insight as to what our members need and want from us as a Chapter.
Now I ask you:
- What what will you start and stop this year?
- Do you have a value statement?