By Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Catherine Holt
A mission statement should capture the reason an organization exists, while its vision statement explains what it will become if it achieves its aspirations.
Summing up these concept in short, memorable phrases helps an organization focus its time and resources. If your organization is going through this process you might find it helpful to learn how The Chamber came up with our new statements.
Last fall, we worked with our board of directors ona mission and vision that will guide us for the next four years.
We decided our mission is that we are: Working together to build good business and great community.
This statement expresses a number of important things about The Chamber.
Members work together to help each other with business and community contributions, as well as personal challenges. As an organization, we work with other associations and community leaders who are taking an active role in ensuring our region prospers.
We also build good business. This phrase has two meanings that capture the spirit and intent of The Chamber. We want our members to prosper, to be doing “good business.” We also want to make the right kind of contributions to our community. Good business is positive and important.
Building great community means more than helping the “business community.” That’s a label I don’t agree with or understand. Business is an essential part of community and we shouldn’t separate the two.
Businesses contribute in ways that make our region a better place. They donate, sponsor, volunteer, mentor, advise, lead, invest, employ and pay taxes. All these contributions help make Greater Victoria a great community.
If we succeed at working together to build good business and great community, we will achieve our vision: The Chamber is the region’s most diverse and influential business association.
As with the mission, the vision should resonate with anyone who wants to understand who we are and what we hope to be.
There are a few important concepts embedded in our vision statement. First, we see ourselves as advocating for the whole region. That’s why our name is the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
To do that, we have to be diverse. We work on behalf of businesses from all 13 local municipalities and beyond. We include big organizations and small businesses. We need long-time members who provide stability, and new members who bring ideas that constantly rejuvenate us. We also want to represent every sector: retail and hospitality, tech, arts, sports, manufacturing, professional services, finance, education, public and not-for-profit.
And we need a diversity of faces at our events and around our board and committee tables. We want everyone who supports the mission of The Chamber to have the opportunity to work together, including new arrivals, indigenous people, young and old, men and women and everyone in between. We benefit from every additional point-of-view and personal contribution.
Diversity and inclusiveness create the pathway that enables us to be the influential business association we aspire to be.
This column was originally published in the January 2019 edition of the Business Examiner