When I was completing my MBA, one of the most common questions put forward by professors and business leaders was: "What is the mission of X company/business?" Innocuous as the question was, the most widely provided - and accepted - answers were always the same: "To maximize shareholder value." "To make money." "To increase sales + revenues." I decided that I would never work for an organization that ascribed solely to that as their mission. Making money is not the mission. Making money is the result of how successfully a company pursues its mission. It can not be the purpose of doing something, as it provides no direction. A company mission serves as a lighthouse in the ocean of enterprise. When difficult choices arise, or new strategies are envisioned, the first question asked should always be, "How does it fit our mission?"
A company mission serves as a lighthouse in the ocean of enterprise.
That's why missions are important and that's why I'm proud to work at OOHLALA. We are mission driven. Our guiding principle does not change quarter on quarter, or with any single earnings report. The reason we got into this business is the same reason we persist today: to improve the lives of students. All students. All lives. That means all genders, faiths, races and disciplines. It also means their academic, co-curricular, social, emotional and physiological lives. That's a broad goal, yes. But that is the question we ask ourselves on every call with a potential partner, every tech meeting when designing our app and when we celebrate every successful launch at a school.
There are no experts in this field, only learners.
Student Affairs is a cooperative space. There are no experts in this field, only learners. We will be the first to admit to not having all the answers to student engagement, but we will never shy from participating in a conversation to find those solutions. Our LinkedIn Group - Future of Student Engagement - is our forum to have these conversations, and we will be posting difficult questions, problems and often solutions for discussion on a weekly basis. Our hope is that you will join us in the conversation.