What is Mission 2015? During a Society-wide staff meeting on April 10th in Grosvenor Auditorium, CEO John Fahey shared a slide that summarized the initiative:
Mission 2015 is an organization-wide effort to transform NGS so we’re better positioned to respond successfully to the digital revolution. If we all do our part, to embrace these changes together, we can ensure that our organization has a bright future and the ability to coalesce large numbers of people worldwide behind our mission.
It’s a noble goal. And while John presented slides with lots of self-congratulatory copy — “NG is vibrant, popular, top of mind… We are fun, entertaining, and enriching… National Geographic is a leader…” — he also shared one idea that’s worth publicizing and celebrating. It was on the final line of the final slide, and it said what I’ve been hoping to hear from John ever since Society Matters launched in 2009:
Wow. That’s incredible, especially given (a) John’s retail mindset (the world is a market; people are customers), and (b) what he told me about the word “Society” back in 2006. (John considered the word to be a vestige from Geographic’s olden daze that just got in the way of growing the business. Nobody wants to belong to anything, he told me.)
So, kudos to John Fahey. I applaud his flexibility and adaptability, which reflect National Geographic’s core values: “We actively embrace change and create an atmosphere where new ideas are given room to breathe,” says another slide from the Mission 2015 presentation.” This “re-embrace” of Society — and of membership — is precisely the direction that National Geographic has long needed to go.
Question is: How does John plan to get us there? What will be the glue that will help our Society cohere? What sort of rallying cry can John deliver that might “coalesce large numbers of people worldwide behind our mission”? Most of all:
Coming soon: More about Mission 2015, including some specific, actionable ideas for the road ahead….