Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On A Mission

I’m on a mission to update Imagine!’s Mission and Values.

Imagine!’s Mission and Values have not been changed for more than 10 years. As most of my readers know, I am a strong advocate of setting a vision, and then sticking to that vision while being willing to adjust and shift strategies to account for changing environments.

But even that vision needs to be evaluated periodically. As I said above, it has been more than 10 years since we last revisited our Mission and Values. Since that time, the environment we operate under has changed drastically. The way services are funded is completely different, and the resources available to provide services have diminished. Moreover, the needs of the population we serve are changing as many individuals with one or more developmental disabilities are living longer than ever and facing new and additional challenges that come with aging.

New opportunities are out there as well. For example, technology has opened many doors to new ways of providing increased independence and community engagement.

In short, we are facing an entirely different set of circumstances than we were when Imagine!’s current Mission and Values were formulated.

This need to change our Mission and Values became quite evident to me when a colleague related a story about giving a presentation about Imagine!’s SmartHomes. Last December, Kevin Harding, Imagine!’s Director of Information Technology, was presenting on our unique homes and how they use technology to provide better, more efficient services. The presentation was to a group known as New Tech Denver/Boulder – a local community of technologists who get together to network, socialize and show-and-tell new technology.

Kevin was asked to prepare a brief PowerPoint slideshow for his presentation. The first draft of the slideshow had Imagine!’s Mission and Values, and the head of New Tech Denver/Boulder admonished Kevin to change the slide, saying it was way too wordy and it didn’t really connect with the ideas Kevin was presenting.

I think that is true. Our current Mission and Values are a bit verbose don’t really connect with what we are currently doing at Imagine!. Furthermore, if you were to poll most of Imagine!’s employees, from our direct support staff all the way up to our senior management, most employees wouldn’t be able to even tell you what Imagine!’s Mission and Values are.

That’s not their fault. As an organization, we haven’t done a good job of promoting our Mission and Values internally or externally, and at this point they are out of date anyway.

So with the blessing of Imagine!’s Board of Directors, I am undertaking the process of updating our Mission and Values for their approval. I have already begun to informally interview employees at Imagine! to get their sense of why we are here and what is important about what we do. It is my hope that with enough input we can create a Mission and set of Values that truly reflect who we are and how we serve our community. I want Mission and Values that give us a fundamental foundation upon which every employee can measure each one of his or her of our actions.

I’m hoping you, dear reader, can help. What do you believe should be fundamental to Imagine!’s Mission and Values? Please leave a comment below. I’d really like to hear from as many people as I can so we can develop a Mission and Values that truly reflects Imagine!, our employees, and the people and communities we serve.

Then again, what do I know?

1 comment:

  1. First the news that all Colorado CCBs will be working more closely, and now Imagine!'s mission and values being addressed. You are full of good news, thank you.