Our shared purpose and vision
Dreaming of Alpha Sigma Alpha’s future is truly one of the greatest roles of national council. We are responsible for ensuring our beloved sorority is strong, vibrant and well positioned for today & the years ahead. This requires long-term financial planning, forecasting, organizational assessment, and a great deal of policy work. While that work is necessary, and I must admit I love the data deep-dives, strategic planning is what gives us the space to dream. As your elected leaders you have entrusted us to craft and assess the sorority’s strategic plan; the roadmap that guides us into the future.
In 2018 we launched a four-year strategic plan, which the sorority is currently operating. Beginning in 2020 we began our work to write the next plan. Yes, you read that right. Just two years into the four-year plan we begin the cycle of creating the next one. In 2020 National President Kelly McGinnis Beck asked me to lead up the effort. I was honored, excited and even though I have experience, I was a little nervous. My admiration and love for Alpha Sigma Alpha knows no bounds, so to have this responsibility and privilege means the world to me. It also means that the expectations are great.
My first question to the national council was what is our north star? What guides us in crafting Alpha Sigma Alpha’s future? We all agreed that the ultimate north star is our Ritual. We then discussed the role vision and mission statements have in guiding strategic plans. Did you know Alpha Sigma Alpha didn’t have a vision statement until 2000, and the first mission statement was adopted just a few years prior. We decided it was time to reflect on our current value proposition statements – do they capture our founding aspirations?, are they relevant to members and potential members?, do they convey to others what we aspire to be as a sorority and as individuals? We identified that our purpose and mission statements were similar and ultimately could be combined to capture our daily ambitions more easily.
Exploration occurred through member listening sessions, social media questions and conversations with volunteers and members. We sought to understand what words inspire members, what words connect members to Alpha Sigma Alpha, and how our Ritual could be outwardly reflected. As a national council we studied the ritual book, we read the wording in our original charter, we looked through historical documents – not for inspiration but with the intent to encapsulate vision and purpose statements that connected future members to our founders.
We continued to come back to the Phoenix Degree which not includes our purpose, that ritual also articulates actions of an Alpha Sigma Alpha. The wording is timeless. You could argue the wording is needed more today than ever before. Alpha Sigma Alpha’s newly revised purpose is:
to cultivate friendships among members who are known for
their character and concern for others.
That sentence, simple, yet powerful, provides us with our purpose.
Writing the vision statement was a bit more challenging, we were inspired by the wording in our original charter and after conversations with members we felt strongly that the Sorority and members have the ability to influence the world. A vision is something you can never achieve, yet constantly strive towards – Alpha Sigma Alpha’s newly revised vision is:
to elevate the influence of women in the world.
I am proud to share that these two statements will guide us into the future, these statements will challenge us as individual members and serve as guideposts for national council. The summer of 2022 we will unveil a new strategic plan, one that captures the dreams of our founders and current members. Stay tuned!
Amber Shaverdi Huston, HH