Because The George Floyd protests took place during the pandemic, many people were looking for ways to make a difference in a more remote way. Many of those people were business leaders who chose to update their corporate social responsibility policies, usher in new diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and make their intentions known to other professionals in business meetings.
One such meeting of professionals was the Marketing Committee at ChamberRVA. As a member of that committee, I was tasked with authoring my own personal draft of a new Mission, Vision, and Values Statement (MVV) for the organization.
We had gathered feedback from members and non-members, engaged the students at the VCU Brandcenter to conduct an analysis and present recommendations, leveraged volunteer talent from multiple agencies in Richmond, notably The Martin Agency, and ultimately parsed all of it so we could take a bold step forward as an organization in a changing business environment.
During a presentation of each committee member’s draft MVV, we stuck post-it notes all over the walls and windows, teased apart sentences, threw out words, tested new ones, authored entire new drafts, and threw some of those away – all to come to a consensus MVV that we thought our board and membership would rally around.
We even conducted an exercise to explore how the organization might approach policy recommendations differently under the old and new missions (think casino). It seemed like we were approaching a big change.
The new MVV for ChamberRVA is as follows:
Mission: The Trusted Voice of Modern Business.
We are change agents rallying everyday to do the hard things that will create a more connected, prosperous, healthy and equitable community.
Credible | We are experts on our region and on what makes it great.
Inclusive | We err on the side of consensus building and bringing people together
Compelling | We inspire conviction to motivate action.
Courageous | We do not compromise on the future.ChamberRVA
My own draft of the mission statement included the word “healthy” because of what I learned in my Leadership Metro Richmond Quest immersion project. If we’re going to expect our business members to thrive, we need to ensure that everyone in our community is thriving.
During the committee discussions, I shared my belief that health means much more than just physical well-being and includes other things like housing, access to services, wealth building and so much more. I was surprised to learn, though perhaps I should not have been, that our committee shared a more or less unanimous view on including the health of our entire community in the new mission.
Chris Mumford from Martin presented the new MVV to the board of directors and it received overwhelming support. Polly White, of Gather and Chair of ChamberRVA’s Board of Directors, presented the new MVV to the membership at the annual meeting earlier this year and it was similarly well-received.
I’m encouraged to work amongst business leaders in Richmond because I know they care as much about their community’s success as they do the success of their businesses. The more time I spend here, the more business people I meet who are leveraging their power in business to have a lasting, positive impact on our community. That should be incredibly encouraging for anyone who calls Richmond home.
I can’t wait to see what new paths ChamberRVA takes as a result of its realignment and I can’t wait to see how other businesses and business groups work to make Richmond the Healthiest City in America.
Photo credit: Emmanuel Pezoa