Through my volunteer and professional work, I am often in planning, board, strategy, event, and every other kind of meeting that you can imagine. It happens to the best boards or groups. Conversations get off track. Ideas beget other ideas. People get excited about something that may be a great idea, program or event that unfortunately has very little to do with the organization’s core reasons for existing or the task at hand.
In these instances, don’t be afraid to ask for a mission check. A mission check is when you ask the group to take a moment and examine how the subject that you are talking about serves the mission of the organization and helps it achieve its vision.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a mission check in a civic or communal setting or in your own life (More later but I believe in developing a mission and vision for your personal life too. No strategic planning process necessary, just earnest conversations with yourself, your mate or prospective mate required.).
It may make you temporarily unpopular to take away the thunder of someone else or burst the bubble encasing an exciting idea or program but remember, it is your duty to keep your organization or group focused and adherent to their stated mission.