Time stands still for no men and time certainly has passed since the Greeter concept was first conceived in the early 1990s. The Global Greeter Network Foundation is always calibrating its policies and processes to see if they are still relevant and up to date. In light of this, we reassessed the foundations Vision and Mission and developed relevant objectives and strategies to get where we want to go...
We currently have our "one size fits all" Core Values which are a great set of guiding principles that are particularly relevant when it comes to the interaction between Visitors and Greeters. These values have worked well for the Greeter concept in the past but as the foundation is rapidly growing, these core values do not precisely hit the mark on a foundation level. This is because the Foundation must take a helicopter view of the Greeter concept and primarily deals with Greeters and Destination Managers. So we thought it was time to seriously start thinking about what the GGN Foundation stands for...
After long deliberation, the Foundation's board decided to put forward the following Vision:
"To make the world a better place; one Greet at the time..."
This vision is based on blue-sky thinking and underpinned by the fact that every Greet facilitates a positive interaction between people from different cultures, lifestyles, religious backgrounds or age and therefore creates understanding, empathy and mutual trust and respect.
So then we though; what do we need to do as a "not for profit" Foundation to achieve this vision. The obvious answer is growth. If one Greet makes the world a better place then naturally 100 Greets will be even better...
So the GGN Foundation's mission is to:
- Expanding the number of Greeter destinations around the world and developing better support systems,
- Ensure the Greet experience is safe and pleasant by standardising processes and meeting global quality control standards,
- Seek partnerships with organisations that can assist in adding value to the Greeter concept, and
- Creating an inspiring working environment where the values that apply to the Greeter concept also apply to our staff and stakeholders.
The Foundation's Values
We talked about "Core Values" and how these have served Greeters well over the past decades. However, because these core values are Visitor - Greeter focused, we needed to establish some values that are more "Foundation" focused. We came up with the following four values the GGN Foundation sees as extremely important:
We strongly believe that the Greeter concept will make the world a better place; one Greet at the time… Greeters and visitors don't wait for a better world to come along but they make the effort to create one.
Greeters and Visitors come from all 4 corners of the world and they represent diversity not just in cultural background but also of different ages, gender or race. Diversity leads to inclusion which makes greeters and visitors feel valued and respected.
Since we are all a reflection of our community improving the world starts with us. Great opportunities to improve the world seldom come around but small once surround us every day. These small acts multiplied by many will change the world.
Don’t forget to have a good time and you will be the reason someone smiles today.
We then decided to develop some objectives to achieve our mission and we set out some strategies to manage these objectives. These objectives and strategies are available for those wanting more details but needless to say, they all work towards realising our vision.
In order to maximise the uptake of the GGN's core values, we thought is was time to re-assess these as well. You may say; "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" and you may be right. However, after a lot of feedback from a younger demographic among both Visitors and Greeter, it was suggested to modernise the terminology and making it more relevant to its purpose. Which in essence is a promise by a Greeter to adhere to certain values and standards.
So we though, if this a more a promise; lets call it "The Greeter Promise". As you will see, the core values are very much incorporated into the promise. However, it all comes back to our shared vision. Making the world a better place; one Greet at the time.
The Greeter’s promise
As a Greeter, I promise to make the world a better place; one Greet at the time, by:
- Offering a friendly face for those visiting my area,
- Welcoming individuals or small groups of up to six people,
- Volunteering and not to charge for the Greet experience,
- Welcoming visitors without any kind of discrimination,
- Supporting sustainable tourism,
- Respecting natural and man-made environments,
- Bringing both cultural and economical enrichment to my community,
- Create a lasting positive image of my area, and
- Encouraging a mutually enriching opportunity for cultural exchange and bringing people together.
So, there we are... Some proposals that we would love your comments on irrespective if you are a Visitor, a Greeter or a Destination Manager.