Business gurus often urge executives to ensure the company they’ve been entrusted to lead is “mission-oriented” or “mission-focused,” and that the organization’s mission should drive progress and establish values.
“A mission statement is not something you write overnight,” said famed organizational thinker Stephen Covey. “But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything.”
If experts like Covey turned their attention to communications cooperatives like HCTC, I believe they would be pleased to see that the mission of our cooperative remains such a focus of what we do daily. At HCTC, our mission is “To be the premier provider of modern telecommunications and broadband services throughout our region.”
With October being National Cooperative Month, it’s an important time to celebrate that mission and our unique legacy as a cooperative. HCTC was founded more than half a century ago by local people who wanted to bring a modern communications network to our area. These bold, forward-thinking people were not telecommunications experts or even the sort of business gurus I mentioned earlier. They were, however, people dedicated to our community. People determined to open opportunities for their friends, families and neighbors. People committed to building the foundation that our region needed to thrive.
The convictions they held when they formed our cooperative live on today as the foundation of our mission. And taking a page from the business experts, we use that mission to drive our progress and establish our values.
Another favorite idea among the business experts is that businesses must continually move forward to avoid falling behind. I think there’s a lot of truth to this, but I also think it’s important to let the Cooperative’s mission drive that progress.
Delivering the best possible communications and broadband service to residents in our region is what drives us to work hard every day. This is why we continue to invest heavily in our net-work construction efforts to push fiber closer to all of our customers.
At the same time, it’s also important for our mission to provide perspective for our progress. If we overextend our resources, we put our future in jeopardy. And if our future is put into question, so are the communications and broadband services on which many in our community rely.
Rest assured that as we move forward, we do so with our mission in mind.
A cooperative telco has a different set of values than a publicly-traded company like the big corporate providers that dominate our industry. Those providers exist to improve their stock-holders’ position and are driven by Wall Street’s quarterly performance measurements. This is why, in most cases, those big, corporate providers only build and upgrade service in profitable metropolitan markets. That profit-driven mission defines their values as a company.
HCTC is different. Since our cooperative was founded to improve the quality of life in the areas we serve, we are focused on bettering our community. This means taking care of our customers and employees, providing world-class services that enable our customers to stand on equal footing with those living in metropolitan areas and to empower the residents of the communities we serve to compete on a global stage. This means we value the relationships our cooperative has with other organizations. And above all, it means we value the opportunity to continue meeting your communications and broadband needs today and in the future.