Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Mission Moments

Suppose that your board heeds Earl Nightingale’s call to “become what we think about” (see Monday’s entry) and decides to be more deliberate in focusing on mission. It sounds good. It sounds downright exciting. But…

The agenda for your next meeting is more than action-packed – filled with budget approvals, personnel policy updates, proposal approvals, etc. Where in the world will you find time to delve into the reason behind it all? There is plenty of room to debate whether we’re structuring our meetings as effectively as possible. For today, though, let me offer up an idea that your board may find workable: the mission moment.

A “mission moment” involves taking time – not a lot of time – to set aside the routine and learn about the ways in which your organization is working toward its mission. Look for ways to illustrate your story for your board. Share a case study, an individual or group who received support from your organization – or, better yet, invite the client to share the story in person. Read testimonials, kudos and letters of thanks. Find creative ways to illustrate progress made by the program, beyond the usual graphs and charts. Invite front-line staff to share brief presentations on the work they do on a daily basis.

These breaks do not need to consume vast amounts of time. But their potential to energize, to make what the nonprofit does real, is significant.

How would you use your mission moment? Please share your ideas in a comment.

1 comment:

larindas said...

Debra, I agree with you mission moments. Boards need motivated as well as staff and volunteers need motivated. What better motivation than to hear the success stories from clients themselves.

Placing a staff person on the agenda to talk about their work is a good way to educate the board in the daily operations of the organization. I have found that board members are often lacking in knowledge about the organizations that they govern. Anything that gives them more information is a good thing.