Our purpose, mission, vision and values redefined
The recommendations of the Society’s Strategic Options Review have been accepted by Council and bring valuable focus to our work
During 2020, the Society undertook a Strategic Options Review to ‘consider our future direction and specifically the relevance of our science and membership programmes’ (see article by President Mike Daly, Geoscientist 30 (7), 16-19, 2020). The review, which was carried out with generous pro bono support from a leading international management consultancy, concluded in September 2020 with the acceptance of its final recommendations by Council. A brief summary of these recommendations was published by Megan O’Donnell and Richard Hughes (Geoscientist 30 (11), 8-9, 2020), and, in future issues of Geoscientist, we will report on other strategic initiatives taken in response to the review.
A key short-term recommendation was to redefine the Society’s purpose. To this end a ‘task and finish’ group was convened, and the scope of the work was expanded to consider also the Society’s mission, values and vision (the Society had not previously developed either mission or vision statements). The task and finish group’s work over a 15-month period took into consideration inputs and feedback from the Society’s staff, trustees, Regional and Specialist Groups. Its recommendations were approved by Council in late September 2021, and the final, approved statements are figured here.
At this time of great change within our profession, unprecedented scrutiny from sometimes critical external parties, and with the Society facing a major challenge around its continued occupancy of Burlington House, the need for clarity of purpose is more important than ever. The final statements set out what the Society seeks to achieve through its broad portfolio of activities (our mission), what drives us and why we want to perform our mission (our purpose), our desired future state (our vision), and the behaviours and standards we seek to demonstrate in achieving our goals (values).
Our values are aspirational, and there is work to be done in ensuring we are able to consistently achieve their required standards. Collectively, I believe the statements bring valuable focus to the Society’s mission and purpose, clarity on the societal impacts we seek to achieve, and set out an engaging vision of a future-focused, inclusive, and vibrant Earth science community. I hope you agree.
Richard Hughes, Executive Secretary