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Unpacking My Personal Mission Statement

Yesterday I shared my draft personal mission with the world. In this blog, I provide some backstory about my word choice and version-2 edits.

My revised mission statement

To empower individual and organizational continuous improvement by increasing deliberate knowledge-sharing.

The unpacking

  • I start with my Why, “continuous improvement” — and then follow with my How.
  • I call out “individuals” to emphasize that organizational change is principally the sum of individual change.
  • In the first draft, I choose the word “enable” to suggest that “improvement” is a choice. What I expect to do is to motivate that choice and make the resulting actions as easy as possible.
  • I considered using “facilitate” instead of “enable”; however, “facilitate” seemed too passive and focused on doing something to the audience.
  • In this revision, I went further yet by changing this to “empower” to even more strongly emphasize the importance of individual action.
  • I also changed “performance improvement” to “continuous improvement” to connect with Agile and Lean thinking, which are so important to me. And, “performance” and “improvement” are largely redundant anyway.
  • One of the reasons I like the word “improvement” is that it allows for a focus on “outcome” over “output”. Business outcomes such as improved profitability and customer retention are what I want to be known for. Contrast this to outputs like ‘features shipped’, ‘pages viewed’, or ‘documents captured’.
  • I wanted to make my “How” as straight-forward as possible and avoid any “knowledge management” baggage. Using the phrase “knowledge management” would then beg the question of “what is knowledge management?” I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole again, after eleven years ago compiling a daunting 62 definitions.
  • Using “knowledge management” would also risk signaling that I was only interested in roles that had “knowledge management” in the job or department title. Not true. It is the concept of “knowledge-sharing” that is irrevocably in my DNA. My knowledge-sharing itch could just as well be scratched by performing user research, facilitating Kaizen events, or coaching and teaching. Last fall, I called this out in the deconstruction of my ‘Learn-Share-Impact’ personal motto.
  • The word “deliberate” suggests focused investment to achieve the desired sharing. Investment in collaborative workspaces and targeted communities of practice are two of the many examples for my chosen ‘How’ that do line-up organizationally with typical KM groups. My Knowledge-Sharing mind-map and Knowledge Management System (KMS) mind-map and program plan provide additional “levers” to pull in this realm.

There is much more to say about “deliberate knowledge-sharing”, but I’ll take a break from this to catch-up on some reading prompted by last week’s APQC KM conference. Stay tuned.

Published in About Me Knowledge Management

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