Mission statements

Every time I give a talk about our research and our mission, I make some kind of change. So in some sense the talk is a kind of evolving creature, growing a tentacle here, losing one there.

To do this, I generally go by the energy I get from the audience. Sometimes I feel that I have glossed over something important, and need to add a bit of connecting tissue. At other times I feel that I’ve belabored something inessential, which distracts — and therefore detracts — from the main points.

It’s a constant process of editing, and it feels very productive. Not just because it’s good to get out our message, but because for me it’s an essential part of understanding our message.

I suspect this is true for all of us: You don’t fully understand your own mission until you are able to clearly explain it to others. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing more satisfying than understanding your own mission.

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