Business gurus often urge executives to ensure the  companythey’ve been entrusted to lead is “mission-oriented” or “mission-focused,” and that the organization’s mission should drive progress and establish values.

“A mission statement is not something you write overnight,” said famed organizational thinker Stephen Covey. “But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything.”

If experts like Covey turned their attention to communications cooperatives like NCTC, I believe they would be pleased to see that the original founding mission of our cooperative remains such a focus of what we do daily.

With October being National Cooperative Month, it’s an important time to celebrate that founding mission and our unique legacy as a cooperative.

NCTC was founded in 1951 by local people who wanted to bring a modern communications network to our area. These bold, forward-thinking people were not telecommunications experts — they were people dedicated to our community. People determined to open opportunities for their friends, families and neighbors. People committed to building the foundation our region needed to thrive.

The convictions they held when they formed our cooperative live on today as the foundation of our mission. And taking a page from the business experts, we use that mission to drive our progress and establish our values.


Another favorite idea among the business gurus is that businesses must continually move forward to avoid falling behind. I think there’s a lot of truth to this, but I also think it’s important to let the cooperative’s mission drive that progress.

Delivering the best possible communications service to residents in our region is what drives us to work hard every day.

It’s also important for that mission to provide perspective for our progress. If we overextend our resources, we put our future in jeopardy. And if our future is put into question, so are the communications services on which many in our community rely.

Rest assured that as we move forward, we do so with our mission in mind.


A telco cooperative has a different set of values than a publicly traded company like the big corporate providers that dominate our industry. Those providers exist to enrich their stockholders and are driven by Wall Street’s quarterly performance measurements. This is why, in most cases, those big, corporate providers only build and upgrade service in profitable metropolitan markets. That profit-driven mission defines their values as a company.

NCTC is different. Since our cooperative was founded to improve the quality of life in the areas we serve, we are focused on bettering our community. This means taking care of our customers and employees. This means we value the relationships our cooperative has with other organizations. And above all, it means we value the opportunity to continue meeting your communications needs today and in the future. 

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