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Unread 04-21-2003, 04:02 PM
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Mission Statement

(this'd be a cool sticky.)

The freelanceFIRST Mission Statement:

By providing unique resources, services, and opportunities to teams participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, FreelanceFIRST seeks to engage in a synergistic, self-sustaining effort to promote the goals of the FIRST Robotics Competition and to enrich the emerging culture of FIRST. We seek to build community by drawing upon the talents and contributions of individuals, to promote Gracious Professionalism, and to act as role models, mentors and friends to all people.

If you have suggestions for additions, ammendments, or other changes, please reply here.
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Unread 04-21-2003, 07:16 PM
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1. I don't know what "synergistic" means and chances are many other readers don't either (or maybe I'm just dumb )
2. I would change the last two words to be "FIRST enthusiasts." "All people" sounds sort of hippie-like.

Otherwise, very nice job.
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Unread 04-21-2003, 07:21 PM
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Synergy-
1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.
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Unread 04-21-2003, 11:50 PM
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I will preface this by saying I hate to be picky and I hope you don't take offense, but I think I can provide some constructive criticism. I do think you did a very good job, however, especially in concisely describing the mission of FreelanceFIRST.

By providing unique resources, services, and opportunities to teams participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition,

Perhaps we would be providing unique opportunities, but the resources and services provided are not necessarily unique (indeed, many times I imagine they would be resources and services many teams have, but because of lack of funding or whatnot other teams do not). I suggest changing "unique" to "needed."

FreelanceFIRST seeks to engage in a synergistic, self-sustaining effort to promote the goals of the FIRST Robotics Competition and to enrich the emerging culture of FIRST.

First, I would take out self-sustaining. I imagine this effort will require contributions by individuals, teams, and companies. Perhaps one day it could be self-sustaining, but I don’t think that needs to be in the mission statement. Second, FIRST has been around for 12 years now. I can see where you might argue even though FIRST has been around, its culture is only now emerging in a significant way. But even so, FreelanceFIRST might still be around far into the future, and its mission statement should be as applicable then as it is now--so I suggest taking “emerging” out of the statement. Also, I suggest changing the word "culture" to "community." There is a subtle difference in culture and community, and with the changes I make below, I think community is better suited.

We seek to build community by drawing upon the talents and contributions of individuals, to promote Gracious Professionalism, and to act as role models, mentors and friends to all people.

I would argue that a strong FIRST community has already been built. I suggest changing the word to “enrich.” One other point I have is that although it is nice to be “friends to all people,” I think the mission statement should reflect the specific goal of FreelanceFIRST, and that is enriching the FIRST community. So, I suggest changing “all people” to “everyone in FIRST.” Also, with the change I made above, I suggest changing the structure of the list to indicate things we do to "enrich the community." That is, change it to "We seek to enrich the community by drawing upon the talents and contributions of individuals, by promoting Gracious Professionalism, and by acting as role models, mentors, and friends, to everyone in FIRST."

With all my suggestions incorporated, the statement would be:
By providing needed resources, services, and opportunities to teams participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, FreelanceFIRST seeks to engage in a synergistic effort to promote the goals of the FIRST Robotics Competition and to enrich the FIRST community. We seek to enrich the community by drawing upon the talents and contributions of individuals, by promoting Gracious Professionalism, and by acting as role models, mentors, and friends, to everyone in FIRST.

Thanks for taking the time to write this in the first place!
Stephen
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Unread 04-22-2003, 11:05 AM
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It sounds good but you might add something about it being independant from any team and the fact its all non-profit.
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Unread 04-22-2003, 11:33 AM
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Adding a statement about how all students are welcome to contribute to the program, not just college bound kids who don't have any teams to mentor.
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Unread 04-23-2003, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by srawls
Perhaps we would be providing unique opportunities, but the resources and services provided are not necessarily unique (indeed, many times I imagine they would be resources and services many teams have, but because of lack of funding or whatnot other teams do not). I suggest changing "unique" to "needed."
...here are my concerns about using language like, "needed," ...

What if it's not? While I firmly believe that this can be an amazingly useful resource to many teams, I've been wrong before. I'm hesitant to say this is "needed" because it's a bit more pompous and arrogant than we can afford to be at this juncture, or, so I think. Though, maybe "unique" isn't the best word, either.

Quote:
First, I would take out self-sustaining. I imagine this effort will require contributions by individuals, teams, and companies. Perhaps one day it could be self-sustaining, but I don’t think that needs to be in the mission statement.
...by self-sustaining, I was trying to imply that this effort would ensure its own existence by contributing to teams, which, in turn, would donate their own resources back to the effort in some capacity. Maybe it's unclear as is, and it could be entirely unnecessary.

Quote:
Second, FIRST has been around for 12 years now. I can see where you might argue even though FIRST has been around, its culture is only now emerging in a significant way. But even so, FreelanceFIRST might still be around far into the future, and its mission statement should be as applicable then as it is now--so I suggest taking “emerging” out of the statement. Also, I suggest changing the word "culture" to "community." There is a subtle difference in culture and community, and with the changes I make below, I think community is better suited.
Agreed.

Quote:
One other point I have is that although it is nice to be “friends to all people,” I think the mission statement should reflect the specific goal of FreelanceFIRST, and that is enriching the FIRST community. So, I suggest changing “all people” to “everyone in FIRST.”
FIRST is only the beginning, and, in the same vein as your previous argument, I don't want the Mission Statement to be so severely limiting. This 'clause,' if you will, indicates the potential for much more varied involvement in programs in the future.

Quote:
By providing needed resources, services, and opportunities to teams participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, FreelanceFIRST seeks to engage in a synergistic effort to promote the goals of the FIRST Robotics Competition and to enrich the FIRST community. We seek to enrich the community by drawing upon the talents and contributions of individuals, by promoting Gracious Professionalism, and by acting as role models, mentors, and friends, to everyone in FIRST.
Aside from what I mentioned previously, the only other thing I dislike about this is the use of the word 'enrich' twice. That's easily fixed, though.
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Unread 04-23-2003, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M. Krass
...here are my concerns about using language like, "needed," ...

What if it's not? While I firmly believe that this can be an amazingly useful resource to many teams, I've been wrong before. I'm hesitant to say this is "needed" because it's a bit more pompous and arrogant than we can afford to be at this juncture, or, so I think. Though, maybe "unique" isn't the best word, either.
What if the first sentence were changed to be:

By providing resources, services, and opportunities to be utilized by teams participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, FreelanceFIRST seeks to engage in a synergistic effort to promote the goals of the FIRST Robotics Competition and to enrich the FIRST community.

indieFan
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Unread 04-23-2003, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
...here are my concerns about using language like, "needed," ...

What if it's not? While I firmly believe that this can be an amazingly useful resource to many teams, I've been wrong before. I'm hesitant to say this is "needed" because it's a bit more pompous and arrogant than we can afford to be at this juncture, or, so I think. Though, maybe "unique" isn't the best word, either.
Ok, I see your point. Also, the services we provide may be helpful, but that doesn’t necessarily make them needed either. I’m open to suggestions for a better word.

Quote:
...by self-sustaining, I was trying to imply that this effort would ensure its own existence by contributing to teams, which, in turn, would donate their own resources back to the effort in some capacity. Maybe it's unclear as is, and it could be entirely unnecessary.
I see what you mean now, however, I don’t know if the mission statement is the best place for it. Maybe we could have a page on the website which describes FreelanceFIRST in more detail than the mission statement, and we could put this there?

Quote:
FIRST is only the beginning, and, in the same vein as your previous argument, I don't want the Mission Statement to be so severely limiting. This 'clause,' if you will, indicates the potential for much more varied involvement in programs in the future.
Hrmm … perhaps this is a case of differing views of what FreelanceFIRST is (and if that is the case, then that is exactly why we write a mission statement in the first place). I always got the impression that FreelanceFIRST would cater to FIRST teams, and focus all its efforts on that. I don’t mean to say I wouldn’t like to help everyone, but I think FreelanceFIRST could better do its job if it focuses on only FIRST teams (I’ve seen too many projects become bloated and unmanageable by trying to accomplish too much). Of course, I certainly don’t hold any weight in making decisions, so if you want FreelanceFIRST to eventually expand and be involved with other programs in the future, I don’t have a problem with keeping in “all people.”


Quote:
Aside from what I mentioned previously, the only other thing I dislike about this is the use of the word 'enrich' twice. That's easily fixed, though.
This is the only point of yours I disagree on. I don’t quite understand why everyone hates to use a word more than once—if it is the right word, then it should be used. I like how now it ends one sentence with “FreelanceFIRST seeks to … enrich the FIRST community,” and starts the next sentence explaining exactly how: “We seek to enrich the community by …” But, I'm flexible on this--if you have a better word, by all means use it.

Stephen
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Unread 04-23-2003, 08:02 PM
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As a devoted Dilbert fan, I must say that I hate mission statements. Freelance FIRST, however, is a great idea.
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Unread 04-23-2003, 08:24 PM
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As a mission statement is supposed to convey more of a message than to be an actual desricption, i feel that this i a very good statment. I commend you on it and on the whole idea of FreelanceFIRST. This will surely be one of the factors that will shape and help FIRST itself to grow in the future.
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Unread 05-19-2003, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
by self-sustaining, I was trying to imply that this effort would ensure its own existence by contributing to teams, which, in turn, would donate their own resources back to the effort in some capacity. Maybe it's unclear as is, and it could be entirely unnecessary.
Perhaps, then, 'reciprocal' would be the word you are looking for? It seems to describe the situation adequately.
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