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Branding Bytes Archives

Issue 35:
Thoughts On Using Social Media

Issue 34:
Reigning in Public-Private Partnerships

Issue 33:
Seven Ways to Avoid Toxicity In the Workplace

Issue 32:
A Few Bad Apples Bruise the Brand

Issue 31:
Branding Beyond the Logo

Issue 30:
The Yin and Yang of Celebrity Leadership

Issue 29:
Want to Raise More Funds? SPEAK UP!

Issue 28:
Government Funding Cuts: Act!

Issue 27:
"We Are Sorry":
Your Brand is Your Behavior

Issue 26:
Tell Your Story

Issue 25:
Good Leaders

Issue 24:
Think "People,"
Not "Organization"

Issue 23:
What's in a Name?
Just about Everything!

Issue 22:
Is Your Mission
Getting Creepy?

Issue 21:
Welcome to the Age
of the New Normal

Issue 20:
"Receptionist" vs Director of First Brand Impressions

Issue 19:
It's Not About How Your Message is Delivered

Issue 18:
When it Comes to Your Brand, Details Matter

Issue 17:
A Good Brand Requires TLC: Just Ask My Wife!

Issue 16:
Toxic-Work-Environment Syndrome Can Tarnish Your Brand

Issue 15:
Adjusting to the
New Face of Need

Issue 14:
Tired of all the Doom and Gloom? This is Your Time!

Issue 13:
A New Year's Resolution: Don't Cut Off Your Nose

Issue 12:
What You Do Is
About All of Us

Issue 11:
Ethical Standards
and Your Organization

Issue 10:
Leadership: Whose Journey is it, Anyway?

Issue 9:
Giving Circles
and Branding

Issue 8:
The World's Richest Men
— and Philanthropy

Issue 7:
What is an External
Brand Audit?

Issue 6:
Keeping Everyone
on Brand Message

Issue 5:
What is an Internal
Brand Audit?

Issue 4:
Turn Board Members into Better Brand Ambassadors

Issue 3:
Leadership, Vision
— and Branding

Issue 2:
What's 1st—Organization or Brand? / Govt. Cuts?—Branding Helps

Issue 1:
Branding Myths

Issue 22, Spring 2011

Is Your Mission Getting Creepy?

I'm trying to launch two twentysomething-year-old sons. As they think about their futures and write and send out resumes, my constant refrain to them is "Don't chase the money; chase your lives. If you don't, you may — and it's only a possibility — end up with the money. However, you may find in your later years that you missed out on discovering your passion and excelling at what you do best."

The same holds true for organizations: Don't chase the money; passionately pursue your mission.

It's tempting, especially during these hard economic times, to go after whatever money is out there regardless of whether or not it fits into what your organization was created to do. Some people call it "mission creep". I call it bad decision making — and the consequences can be devastating.

Organizations that stretch themselves beyond their core missions:

I'm not referring here to what are often called "stretch goals" by some, meaning a strategy for setting goals that go well beyond conventional expectations within your organization's mission.

For example, let's say over the last several years you've been fortunate enough to increase by five percent the number of people to whom you provide your core business services. A stretch goal for you, therefore, may be to try to increase that percentage to 20% or even 25% over the next 12 months. Ambitious — i.e. a stretch — but still within your mission.

(NOTE: If leadership is not careful, even mission-related stretch goals can place undue stress on staff and harm an organization's reputation. But if done properly, sensitively and strategically, stretch goals also can be useful for growing your organization.)

No, what I'm talking about here is chasing money irrespective of your core mission or your organization's current capacity or ability to deliver a quality product on time.

How to Avoid "Mission Creep"

First, have a clear mission. You'd be surprised at how many organizations aren't clear as to what their mission is or the best ways to go about achieving it. It's imperative, therefore, to clearly define who you are and what you do, and to know what your parameters are.

For example, if for years you've been successful in conducting financial literacy and home-buyer education courses to help families purchase their first homes, are you now all of a sudden capable of helping people with mortgage modifications to stay in their homes?

Filter your decisions through that mission. Once you've clarified your mission, filter all your funding acquisition decisions through it. Ask yourself "Are we responding to this response for proposal (RFP) because we know we can deliver on it with the kind of quality that is expected from us or because the funding is too good to pass up?"

Be sensitive to your staff's capabilities. Is your staff adequately trained and experienced in the kind of work outlined in a specific RFP or grant? What impact would this project have on them with respect to increased workload, stress or morale issues.

Be aware of your organization's capacity. Even if the work is within your mission, does your organization have the resources and capacity to scale up to fulfill an obligation that exceeds your organization's normal abilities to produce? If not, is it worth chasing the money?

I hope my sons decide to chase their lives — and that you decide to passionately pursue the mission you were created to — and are capable of — accomplishing with distinction!

As always, I look forward to receiving your feedback, questions, success stories and branding challenges. Also, if you are in need of a motivational speaker, trainer, branding consultant/coach, or management consultant who can help you answer the questions: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And should anyone care? I invite you to for more information.

In the meantime, good luck with your branding! — Larry

About Branding Bytes

Branding Bytes is a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications. Please feel free to forward Branding Bytes on to others. However, Branding Bytes is copyrighted and may not be reprinted or reproduced without attributing Larry Checco of Checco Communications as its source and providing the following website address: Thank you.


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