Your Mission and Message

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Well, that cliche is now about as helpful as a rock concert mosh pit. Things have changed, and they are by no means the same.

If you have actively revisited your organization’s mission and message in the last few months, you can move on to the next story. However, if you haven’t, reframing your organization’s focus to address our new world is a must. (Yes, a must.) Here’s why:

Everything has changed.

Under the weight of a global pandemic/recession and a stronger-than-ever call for an end to systemic racism, consumers of all types—B2C, B2B, B2-whatever—are changing their priorities. That means you must too.

Authenticity is more important than ever because we have all become more adept at sussing it out—especially Millennials and Gen Zs. They, in particular, will not tolerate hypocrisy. It’s a lovely gesture to put Black Lives Matter on your website. However, if your entire board and management team is composed of all white men, the gesture will do you more harm than good. Consumers will not stop there. However, if you haven’t, reframing your organization’s focus to address our new world is a must.

Think of your mission and message like your eyesight. There are a lot of reasons why our focus blurs over time—and it blurs for everyone.

We don’t go deep enough with our emotional connections.

The emotional connection we create with people has to be personal. And just as humans have the tendency to take each other for granted from time to time, the same dynamic can develop between organizations and those most important to their success.

When you layer this point on top of the previous one, that emotional connection becomes exponentially more important.

Over time, your focus naturally dulls.

Think of your mission and message like your eyesight. We don’t get our first pair of glasses and wear them until we die. We continually reevaluate what we see and refocus as necessary. There are a lot of reasons why our focus blurs over time—and it blurs for everyone.

For example, we don’t know what they don’t know. We live and breathe our work day in and day out, and forget that not everyone understands the issues we address at the level we do. It’s like we’re recapping season 3/episode 12 of a Netflix series to someone who has only seen season 1/episode 1.

Also, we tend to focus too long on the squeakiest wheels and not the entire machine. That leads to excellent outcomes in the short term, but over time it can also lead to a blurred focus and convoluted, outdated, or confusing messaging.

Consistency is more important than ever. Organizations are literally more dispersed now, and that is not going to change. Ensuring that everyone in yours can easily, succinctly, and accurately embrace your mission and relay your message is critical. The key is to include a variety of voices in its redevelopment. Doing so not only drives ownership and adoption, more importantly, it creates a richer, more-inclusive end result.

Unless you take a serious and sincere look at your message and mission now, you really are moshing without a mask.

NOTE: For a more in-depth discussion, check out a recent webinar, Webinar: The Third Wave Is Coming: Are You Ready?