Is Your Mission Still Meaningful?

Article main image
Dec 1, 2020
This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.

In the midst of all the chaos that Covid-19 has unleashed, your organization’s mission is particularly important. It can also be a struggle to get right. That’s because the most challenging question isn’t really about why your mission is important. Rather, it’s whether your mission remains relevant right now

The chaos that uprooted our lives back in March is unfortunately still here. And that chaos can easily confuse organizations about their mission. But clarity can be found in the midst of upheaval. As old ways of working, socializing, and taking care of ourselves are disrupted, you have an opportunity — a responsibility — to ensure your mission is effective and impactful. 

Mission Under the Microscope

In times of economic prosperity, people don’t question your company’s mission — there’s rarely any reason to — but the pandemic is causing both employees and external stakeholders to look at your mission through a different lens now. 

It’s therefore important to know your organization’s mission and how it relates to these new circumstances. To validate or refine your mission, start by asking some tough questions:: 

  • Is your mission to fill an important need in the world? (What is it? Is it really important?)
  • Do your employees know your mission? (Probably not.) 
  • Are your people living your mission? 
  • Can you deliver on your mission in today’s changed world?

Maybe you should consider changing your offerings to adapt to changing times while staying true to your mission. For example, a clothing company may pivot to making and selling masks. Or perhaps a liquor company might start manufacturing hand sanitizer

As you adapt your mission, think long-term about where your greatest opportunity is, and where your organization can best deliver.

Leading With Purpose

Your mission will affect your internal culture and morale, because when it fails to feel relevant, when it comes off as trite, when it sounds like every other company’s statement, people feel it. 

In other words, people want to work with a sense of purpose. Right now, your employees are dealing with so much uncertainty in many aspects of their lives. They’re stressed, disrupted, and most are confined to staying at home. That makes finding their purpose at work that much more important.  

Just speaking for our own company, when the chaos around Covid struck, one of the first things we did was go back to our mission — preventing disease with data. This has always been our guiding light. This year, though, its importance became even starker. We realized that not only was our mission still relevant, but we needed to double-down and leverage it to shape our entire strategy.  

This process led us to adapt our solution for Covid-specific insights, helping employers make better employee health decisions. Our goal is to identify the highest-priority Covid-19 effects on population health, healthcare delivery patterns, predictions, costs, and enrollment. We are actively and continuously prioritizing these opportunities to help fulfill our mission.

This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.