In the 21st century, we are increasingly and rightly interrogating the social responsibilities of our projects and work cultures. But these conversations often lose sight of the main way our projects produce social good: through good work on our mission. Many projects and companies find that they need a principled way to put aside work on larger social problems and focus on the particular mission that they are best equipped to accomplish.
Mission focus is the operational principle that your project’s social responsibility is the effective and focused execution of its mission. Mission focus means putting aside activities and conversations within project spaces, even good and important ones, that are out of scope for the project. Mission focus doesn’t mean being apolitical; it means being political about the mission. This mission is what you came together to accomplish, and this mission is what you’re fighting for in your work on the project.
Laser focus on great missions creates real, lasting progress in the world.
The Mission Protocol is based on the following principles:
Mission focus is required to achieve difficult goals: It’s hard to build something sustainable and truly excellent if the project is frequently distracted by issues or events peripheral to the mission.
Mission focus produces social good: Working in a single direction on a strong, well-considered mission is the best way to make a socially positive impact.
Mission focus is not apolitical or neutral: Missions can and should take a firm political stance, but only when furthering the specific goals of the project and not those outside its stated scope.
Mission focus creates a safe and inclusive project environment: Collaboration and trust occur best when project members come together under and share a common mission.
Projects and organizations are full of diverse opinions, individuals, and areas of engagement. However, what brings everyone together is the pursuit of a goal that is bigger than any single individual. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We know that we can only reach our potential and fulfill our mission if we focus on the task at hand.
“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.” —Grace Hopper
Adopt the Mission Protocol Code of Conduct
You can adopt the Mission Protocol by adding a copy of the latest version to your source code repository.
Note: You will need to modify two portions of this document in order to fully adopt the Mission Protocol Code of Conduct. First, a mission statement to define and guide the project, and second, a contact email to ensure violations can be reported.
If your project includes a README, you may want to add a badge like this one using the code below.
Insert the Mission Protocol badge into your Markdown README by adding the code below:
The Mission Protocol Code of Conduct is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License, which requires attribution. Learn more about the CC BY 4.0 License here.
- Brian Armstrong’s statement of philosophy
- Contributor Covenant
- Django Code of Conduct
- Citizen Code of Conduct