Web Redesign: Expanded TI Mission Statement
As I work through this process of sharpening the messages on our web site, I'm consider a small expansion of the mission statement of TI.
We believe everyone – not just the talented few -- should be able to experience the joy of swimming well. Our mission is to bring that gift to as many people as possible through self-help tools and expert instruction and by supporting swimmers in making healthy choices and living well.'
The part in italics is new.
"by supporting swimmers in making healthy choices and living well. "
First reaction is that it may not add value to the mission statement; but on second thought, I feel it offers a lot of value if the intention is that TI might even aid the want-to-be swimmer by suggestions a fitness and dietary programs, which if followed, will enhance the swimming experience. It makes me curious to see if there is more than swimming instruction available through TI. A holistic approach to swimming, perhaps? An approach where the fitness of the swimmer is taken into account. Perhaps another division of the web site dedicated to "well being and fitness"?
It would be nice to have a section dedicated for videos posted by forum participants with comments and suggestions.
I find videos the most informative piece of this forum.
Just a thought.
Swim Silent and Be Well
My first impression is that it could dilute your original message. TI can offer a physical challenge and psychological sustenance, does it really need to offer what could be interpreted as condescending lifestyle advice? My guess is that a large proportion of swimmers already embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Perhaps you could issue a 'TI International Race Club' cap to each member of the new site, where there could be a page where people could post results from races and triathlon, and leave comments or let a pattern emerge of improved results from TI practice. A distinctive cap worn by swimmers would allow anybody caught in the swimmers wake to see what technique is being used and they could perhaps be future customers. It would certainly raise your profile if there was conformity in the TI community.
Prefer the original
The expansion seems like scope creep to me and a bit prescriptive (not in a good way). I agree with Janos that it may dilute your original message.
How are you defining healthy choices and living well? It sounds to me too much like how every health "authority" tries to push his/her pet idea.
How about something like:
"...Our mission statement is to bring that gift to as many people as possible. Through self-help tools, and expert instruction, to support swimmers in their healthy life choices."
You're all correct on the need to articulate that goal better. Our intention isn't to offer dietary or lifestyle advice. This would indeed be 'scope creep' and dilute our message. Rather, the point I'm seeking to embed in our mission statement is that TI is the only truly holistic swimming method. We help you reach your swimming goals in a way that help you be healthier and happier as well. Live well by swimming well.
Something more like this:
We believe swimming is the healthiest and most satisfying of all physical activities. Our mission is to help people of all ages and abilities achieve their swimming goals--and experience greater health and happiness--through intelligent, effective, and enjoyable practice.
Is this mission statement something for the new website, as I couldn't find one in the present version... Anyway, I don't know if mission statements really add much value for anyone?
[EDIT: I see the MS is on the About TI page, but I missed it as it wasn't flagged as "Mission Statement"]
On the "About TI" page at the end we've got:
Total Immersion: Swimming that Changes Your Life
which I think is rather good, short and memorable.
On another thread some time ago the forum discussed phrases, and one that apparently works well in Japan is:
Swim with grace
which, again, I think is a fabulous little phrase.
Perhaps you could combine them:
Total Immersion: Graceful Swimming that Changes Your Life
I am not sure you need to add anything to the mission statement as is.
My recommendation is: think about what you are trying to accomplish by changing the statement.
The momentum behind TI is already in the direction of "making healthy choices and living well." I see nothing added by making this explicit. As someone else wrote, it may be perceived as condescending.
You may be trying to stake out a domain for TI that can be realized only through the individual's imagination. To say this another way: yoga or meditation can provide marvelous tools for a person, but the chances for the foundational change some people achieve through these practices are not enhanced by a teacher's promoting the practices in that way. You get the significant change just by doing the practice.
I guess this turned out to be a very personal statement about how I look at my swimming practice. Indeed, it has changed much in my life, providing "flow," among other experiences, which paradoxically may have been less readily accessible to me had I approached TI with the intention of gaining them.
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