by: Steve Radley
This blog post originally appeared at www.networkkansas.com.
Above: Downtown Sterling, Kansas, a NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Community.
Recently, I spent a day participating in a strategic planning session at the College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University. The primary focus of the day was to work on their vision statement and mission statement. During our time, I found myself sounding like an apologist for the importance of both statements. The reason? They have been instrumental in the strategic direction of NetWork Kansas. The NetWork Kansas Vision and Mission Statements were created in June of 2005 and have not changed. They have been a guiding force in what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. I thought it would be a good time to revisit each statement and discuss their influence.
Vision Statement: To be recognized nationally as a leading organization devoted to the establishment and growth of entrepreneurship and small business as a priority for economic and community development.
The vision statement set forth our aspirations along with the central values inherent to the nature of our organization. We not only would champion the importance of entrepreneurship but we would set forth to ensure that it became a priority for communities across Kansas…and we would do it in a manner that other states would recognize as a “best practice.”
Mission Statement: To promote an entrepreneurial environment throughout the state of Kansas by establishing a central portal that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with the right resource; expertise, education, and/or economic, at the right time.
The NetWork Kansas mission statement has influenced and affected the core of how we execute every partnership and program offered. Here are 4 fundamental statements on how we do business that rests within the mission statement.
- Every business may need one, two, or three of these types of resources at some point in their business lifecycle. They are expertise, education, and/or economic in nature.
- All NetWork Kansas resources flow through our partners, either through our resource partners* or community partners. Our partners are the critical component of everything we do.
- The key to creating an entrepreneurial environment is to constantly work to increase the connectivity between entrepreneurs and resources.
- The focus of resources must be on the 3Es and the businesses themselves, not physical assets that may or may not affect the operation of a business.
In 2005, I didn’t realize how the establishment of the vision and mission of NetWork Kansas would inform our thoughts and actions. But it has kept us from many missteps and served as the “gut level” guide for every initiative created. It also set us on a path to partner with the greatest asset Kansas has: its people and their communities.
*Partner: defined as any nonprofit or government sector resource that provides some type of business building service to entrepreneurs and small businesses
Steve Radley is President and CEO of Network Kansas. Network Kansas is a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.