One of the first things every community should have is a reason for doing what they do. I’ve said it numerous times before and I’ll probably elaborate on it even more in a future blog but the first and most important part of every community is the “why”. I won’t go into more details now; if you want to refresh your memory watch this video.
A vision statement for a community is important to understanding the why and sharing a grand “perfect world” example of what things would be like if the community’s why is achieved. If you have never heard or thought about a vision statement before or if you simply want to learn more about them then keep reading.
What is a Vision Statement
According to the Business Dictionary the definition for a vision statement is as follows:
An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.
These aspirations are usually grand in scope and world-changing in philosophy. Some might even consider them to be unattainable. The vision is what the community strives to see happen. It’s their purpose for existing and their motivation for future improvements. The vision statement helps to shape the direction and course for decisions and choices which might affect the entire community.
Because the vision statement shapes the direction of the community it is quite important that the vision match up closely with the why of the community. Now that we understand what a vision statement is by definition let’s look at a few examples.
Examples of Vision Statements
The following are some examples of vision statements from well-known companies. See if you can find similarities between them.
Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world
Our vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.
– Creative Commons
Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
– Save the Children
Almost every community, non-profit organization, and company has a vision statement. I’ve explained the reasons above why a vision statement is important and now we have three samples from three vastly different types of organizations. What similarities can we find? First, each of these statements clearly defines a purpose: shaping the future (Smithsonian), drive a new era (Creative Commons), and every child attains the right (Save the Children). Each of these purposes is grand in scale. Each one wants to change the world.
There’s nothing wrong with a vision statement that seems impossible to achieve. Your vision is your ideals, your goal, and the thing which motivates you as you make decisions. If you are in a community that doesn’t want to change the world…then why would you even bother. Making a difference in the world is one thing which instills the passion in volunteers.
A Problem Identified
As I shared previously, I’m excited to be involved in a brand new open source community. Mautic, is a free and open source marketing automation software. The Mautic community is centered on a very particular focus. Small business. The little guy. The underdog. Whatever you want to call us. We’re the ones working to build the base for our world. Our companies are the ones which employ the most people, provide the most revenue, and give stability to the global economy.
Previously we’ve been neglected. Big business likes to work with big business. That means big software companies like to focus on big business because they can charge more money and make more profits. Because of this misplaced focus the small businesses are disadvantaged. We lose out on access to tools and resources which others are able to use. Because we are ignored we lose opportunities. Without opportunities our chances for success are lessened. We see this as a problem.
The Mautic community is focused on solving this problem. We, as a collective group of individuals, are joining together for a purpose, and a cause. We have grand ideas about what we want to do and we want to see the world changed. Here is our vision statement:
Mautic is free and open source marketing automation and our community is passionate about doing big things and changing our world. I can’t wait to share more about what we can do and how we can do it. I’ll hopefully provide another update as things move quickly towards a grand unveiling. I’m excited to be able to be a part of something so revolutionary and if you’re interested in joining this community you are welcome to become a part. We’re all in this together and we’re passionate about changing our world.