Innovation Rocket Fuel: Moms On A Mission

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What is the catalyst behind big positive change?  Something improved & break-through in business or the community?  I can think of a few catalysts on the surface that drive change

  • The Mad Scientist – It’s hard to keep creative thinking down for long….
  • Survival – Expenses rising faster than revenues, creating a brutal math problem with negative consequences if change does not happen fast
  • A societal need – Someone recognizes an unmet need and looks to fill it:  Hunger, housing, general welfare
  • Personal incentives (put in place by someone else):  “I help drive it, I benefit from it.”
  • Failure.  It’s been well documented that innovation comes from failure, learning from experiments that did not deliver, but new learning was captured and then applied in a different way.

I’ll introduce a more simple, yet powerful force that combines many of the above elements.


Correction:  Moms working together on a common cause, one that is deeply personal.

I’m not talking about the Mom spending power or the Mom’s influence on purchase decisions, which has been well documented.

What I AM talking about is…

The raw impact that can be made when 2+ Moms get together and decide something needs to be done.  And THEY are the ones that need to make it happen.  Because if THEY don’t do it, it will not happen.  And if it does not happen….the consequences are greater than the blood, sweat and tears that result from trying.  So with that, I introduce one of the most powerful catalysts I have witnessed for creating change:

Moms on a Mission

Melissa Todd & Kristin Barek are the spotlighted Moms on a Mission.  They are the driving forces behind bringing Best Buddies to Memphis, a cause that is certainly near and dear to my heart for its focus on social inclusion for those with intellectual disabilities.

Best Buddies Memphis

Melissa Todd & Kristin Barek, Moms on A Mission

In less than 2 years I’ve seen this organization go from idea, to start-up, to setting big goals to expand the service.  This 2 minute video details out their journey well.

Best Buddies international is a powerhouse in the charity world with unbelievable impact.  But there impact was not felt in Memphis without a local chapter. While there is certainly a NEED in every community, what separates a community from having a Best Buddies chapter are some pretty big hurdles.

I can think of 3 pretty big one’s….

  1. MONEY:  You need a $100,000+ to establish an infrastructure to deliver the great services to local schools
  2. INFRASTRUCTURE:  An office.  Phones.  A place for Mail to be sent.  Advisory boards.  Board Members.
  3. PEOPLE:  You need people to work with the schools to ultimately make the magic happen that results from inclusive, one to one friendships.  The people that deliver the end service.

Kind of sounds like starting a business.  Except in many ways it’s harder.

This kind of work is not for the faint of heart.  There’s little personal reward (financially) for making this happen.  For those that CAN benefit from the program and see the benefits first hand, they may have the motivation.  BUT, they are confronted with #1-3.

Enter the Moms on a Mission.

It takes a village to stand up an organization like this.  Corporate sponsors, individual sponsors, vendors that donate their services, supportive principles, supportive spouses and personal support networks.  Great, real world skills that make it come to life.

All of them are critical.

And none of them matter if you don’t have the champions to bring it all together, create the spark, and turn the spark into a raging inferno. In Memphis, those Champions are the MOMS ON A MISSION.  

If you want to get something done in life that requires change, find your role models that have been down that road and made it happen.  Observe, with an eagle eye.  Study them.  Talk to them.  If they need a boost or a pat on the back, give it to them.

Sometimes the people making it happen are not in obvious places.  But their impact matters, sometimes it matters more.

It is impossible to manufacture deep, emotional connections to a cause.  But if you can somehow tap into the emotion and cause of powerful, talented Moms on a Mission, look out.  Lives will be changed forever.

Have any examples of Moms on a Mission creating change in YOUR world?  Would love to hear about them with your comments below!

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