Several years ago, in a meeting at his office in ‘Hastings On Hudson’, Seth Godin challenged me with a great point that I have pondered and applied to business challenges on a weekly (if not daily) basis; he challenge me to discover the relationship between perceived value and scarcity. “Once something is no longer scarce, it’s value plummets”.
“once something is no longer scarce, it’s value plummets”.
From this concept, I developed a simple daily reminder; where availability begins - scarcity must be rediscovered. This is a real challenge for many missional organizations. Once the mission becomes commonplace, or the market is flooded with competition (yes we should use the word competition), the mission is perceived as less valuable in the marketplace. Suddenly, that which was once scarce now becomes widely available and commonplace.
Understand, the innate value of the mission rarely needs to change. If the mission is valid, it should be non-negotiable. And therein lies the challenge for most missional organizations. Unfortunately, a noble mission is no guarantee of success.
“a noble mission is no guarantee of success”
Here are your two options for when you find yourself in this situation (and notice I said ‘when’)...
OPTION 1 - Maintain your current engaged stakeholders by attempting to keep them distracted from any competing voices. While this might be possible, it's not probable and certainly unsustainable - at least not past the lifetimes of your current stakeholders. Ultimately the mission will die along with it's stakeholders (including you).
OPTION 2 - Continually rebrand the mission with methods that are in-vogue, or at minimum trending upward. The mission remains sacred, however the methods continually evolve, and are updated. Determine to accomplish your mission by those methods perceived as scarce. It gives you the exclusive entree, and once you've repeated the cycle a few times, you'll be really good at it.
Just to be exceptionally clear, I am recommending Option 2.