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Dreaming Strings

The beginning of a new year is a time when many of us reflect on the year that past and make resolutions for the year to come. We all have aspirational goals; dreams about the future. A future for ourselves, our loved ones, our community that we see as a better place than what or where we currently are. Aspirations keep us moving purposefully through life.

In my very first post, I talked about how Red String's origin can be found in my family and the values, traditions, and ideals that have been passed down through the generations. In so doing, my hope for Red String is to achieve something larger and more lasting. Something that would carry forward their spirit and values for generations to come.

In 2016, Boeing celebrated its 100th anniversary. For any company, staying in business for 100 years is a miraculous feat. It is estimated that only 0.008 percent of U.S. based companies make it to be over 100 years old. In the Harvard Business Review study "How Winning Organizations Last 100 Years" they identified two themes: Stability and Innovation. The Stable Core included Purpose, Stewardship, and Openness; Innovative Edge included Cultivating Relationships, Growth, and Continuous Learning. I won't delve into the details of each of these themes, but if I wanted to ensure the posterity and longevity of Red String, our aspirations, mission, values, and culture would need to encompass these concepts.

Our purpose is led by our mission, "every life deserves to be happy and meaningful". Stewardship is ensuring we remain a vibrant and viable business guided by our values. Openness is being transparent in everything we do. Networks is building and leveraging strong interpersonal relationships. Growth focuses on expanding our influence, impact and effectiveness. Continuous Learning reminds us to never stop growing our skills and knowledge. These elements, when brought together, make up who we are and what we aspire to become: our mission, values, and culture. To do this we must stay focused on three aspirational elements: Sustainability, Footprint, and Effectiveness.

Sustainability is ensuring our long-term commitment by maintaining strong financial health; building a base of stakeholders who believe and share in our mission; and continually improving our capabilities.  Footprint is expanding our impact and influence locally and globally to affect positive change.  Effectiveness is meeting or exceeding expectations of our all stakeholders, those our grants help and support, our partner charities, our fans and contributors, our volunteers, and the communities that we invest in.

These three elements are interwoven for you cannot have one without the other.  We cannot expand if we are not financially healthy and have stakeholders who believe in us.  We cannot expect our stakeholders to believe and have trust in us if we don’t meet their expectations, stay true to our values, and are committed to be there for the long-term.  We cannot commit to be there for the long-term if we are not financially healthy and don't have a base of ardent supporters and strong partner charities.  All of this is wrapped around our values of building strong relationships; to operate with purpose and commitment; to act with transparency and integrity; to always be respectful to everyone we meet; to be accountable for our actions; and to ensure our viability and posterity. 

As we take our first big steps toward fulfilling our aspirations of creating a more meaningful and impactful future, we also are working to pave the path for the next generation of leaders who will take their passion and skills for creating positive change into building a stronger, better, and more compassionate Red String.

(to be continued)

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