A common interest or goal is the key to uniting a group of people. Great leaders can distill their group’s purpose into a mission, which can be easily articulated and understood by others. The mission is the foundation of a group’s culture. It helps build the defining aspects of the group, from the structure of events to community guidelines and what new members should expect.
Group missions are applicable for small and large organizations alike. Small groups, like an intimate book club, may rally around great fiction discussed over great food. And large global organizations, like Google, can distill their efforts into one succinct phrase, “organizing the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
In all cases, a clear mission sets the group’s culture. It helps people understand what the group is, and what it is not. If you don’t like reading fiction, then that book club is probably not for you! The mission provides a sense of purpose and ensures culture is maintained as the group grows members.
Documenting the group’s mission is critical. The writing process alone forces articulation of the group’s values. It allows the mission to easily be shared, whether it’s a friendly reminder to members, a helpful guide through difficult group decision process, or a little context for prospective members.
Share your mission digitally with all of your community members and try to make sure it is visible and accessible. It will serve as a reminder as to why everyone is a part of your community in the first place.
What's your mission and how do you share it? We'd love to hear!