Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to Write a Mission Statement That Doesn't Suck

This awesome video from Fast Company says a lot in just a few minutes.  I know I could not have said it better.

And I dont think this just applies to our mission statements.  I think you can use the ideas in this video to apply to a lot of the content, messaging and stories we write.  How many times have you written something that you think is great, only to have it edited so much that you cant even remember why you wrote it.

We try to appeal to too many audiences, make sure all of our bases are covered.  By covering all the bases, you are diluting the message.

Lets all try to be more concise and say what we mean, skip the buzz words and trying to say it all. Say what is important and end it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Steve has been hiding, sorry

Many of my regular readers (all 3 of you) may have been wondering where is Steve Heye and why hasnt he been blogging in 2010?  I miss his witty comments, deep insight and... OK lets just stop with the self flattery it will get you nowhere.

I want to apologize for my lack of blogging, I have succumbed to the fate of many NPTech staff out there, I have been buried in work, plus hiding in denial that my oldest son is graduating High School.  But as a reward to my faithful followers I will give you a peek at what I have been working on so hard.

The YMCA of Metro Chicago is launching an all new online registration system, that will hopefully reinvent the way people sign up for our programs.  We came in with the thought of "lets design this from the audience perspective" instead of mirroring our own internal structure, nomenclature and ideas.  The shift of how things are displayed, categorized and common across centers took months of conversation with our staff.  The technical aspects of coding, database integration and web development were challenging, but nothing like the cultural shifts that have started.

We had to create a translator or match maker application to "match" the classes stored in our database with the structure we created on the web.  Then we assigned the task of matching to our staff at our centers.  We had quite a few staff comment, "I never knew that my classes were displayed online that way because of the way I set up the data."  We had spent so long coming up with work-arounds in our database, that many didnt realize the implications.

But anyway, sorry for the short post, but I need to get back to work.

Oh but wait, here is your sneak peak access:

Web Address:
Username: ymca
Password: testing

I would appreciate any feedback also.   But just know that as I type changes are being made to the site based on early member feedback.