The final aspect of defining our core ideology relates to the question, “What is it that we do?” In strategic planning parlance, this is called a mission statement. A mission statement describes what we do to fulfill our core purpose. Let’s recall our core purpose, or why we exist in the marketplace.
Our Core Purpose
NACE is the preeminent community for disseminating knowledge, enhancing skills, and expanding the professional networks of corrosion control and asset protection professionals, worldwide.
A mission statement is externally focused. It is meant to be broadcast to the world. Yet it is also supposed to inspire members to do their personal best. It’s supposed to be simple; a clear and concise statement. It’s the “elevator pitch” you use to quickly tell someone what it is we do.
NACE International equips society to protect people, assets, and the environment from the adverse effects of corrosion.
On the surface, the changes to our mission appear to be minimal. However, it does reflect one critical reality. NACE as an organization does not protect people, assets, and the environment from the adverse effects of corrosion. What we do is support those people (our members) who do. We provide a community for disseminating knowledge, enhancing skills, and expanding professional networks, so our members can be successful in their efforts to fight the “Silent Menace—Corrosion.”
One really can’t engage in strategic thinking, and exploring a vision or goals for the future, without having a deep appreciation for the beliefs that guide an organization. Thus, the Board of Directors set out to define our core ideology. In doing so, the board recognized that we must answer three questions:
1. Why do we exist in the marketplace? That is, what is our noble cause; our core purpose?
2. How are we supposed to behave with one another? That is, what are our cultural beliefs and core values?
3. What is it that we do? That is, what is our mission?
Today we addressed what it is we do—our mission. In the past two months, we discussed why we exist—our core purpose, and how we expect to behave with one another—our cultural beliefs and core values. Taken collectively, the board has defined our core ideology.
Keep in mind that our board is comprised of four activity committee directors, eight global area directors, four executive officers, the presidents of NACE Institute and NACE Foundation, and our CEO. That’s a very diverse group designed to be representative of all aspects of our association. Our consensus-building process resulted in a core ideology we should all be proud of. This is not something that will be subject to routine change—it will endure. That said, many aspects of the core ideology are aspirational in nature. We need to consciously and continuously strive to achieve these lofty expectations.
Note: This article is maintained as part of an ongoing series of posts on the NACE web site.