Two-in-One

Do we need flexibility or are we committed to a specific approach? If versatility is necessary, then best to carry a Swiss Army knife. If we are certain, then a flat head screw driver will work. But if drop the screw into a tight space the tweezers on the knife would be helpful. Or, if we need to read small print the mini-magnifying glass could be handy. At a certain point, even the Swiss Army knife cannot possess all the options. So, how certain are we that we have the right tool for the job? A specially designed instrument can be a powerful resource. A pair of alpine downhill skis will get us to the bottom of a ski hill fast. However, if we need to ascend the mountain afterwards, the skis are a major liability. Unless we have an alpine touring setup with climbing skins and a binding that transitions to climbing mode.

Specialized equipment or multi-tools? A good question to ask before we launch on our next adventure.

Perspective

If we have confidence in the future, we can rely on data and numbers to guide our decision-making. If the future is ambiguous, we are better served by employing creativity and wayfinding. Numbers become irrelevant if we do not posses a map and the destination is uncertain. Fantasy sports leagues work because we can agree on what to measure and how to determine the winner. Predicting what to track in a box score for 2021 is less certain. Based on the number of trips I had pre-booked in 2020, prior to the pandemic, I was was planning the wrong course of action. The reality of the world I encountered required a pivot to a new perspective.

How are you planning for 2021? Are you using a fixed mindset and goals linked to data? Are you approaching it with an open-mindset with flexible goals? Are your objectives tangible or experience based? Are you employing a scorecard or a human-centered approach?

We can be presented with new scenarios in seconds. Our focus shifts to a new reality, with different rules, and altered outcomes. In the words of Don Cheadle’s character Cash in the movie Family Man, “Well, you’re working on a new deal now baby.”

AVT

AVT- After Vaccine Thinking. What is the cost of waiting until after we and our constituents receive the vaccine to resume ‘normal’ operations? What opportunities might we miss by not considering fundamental changes to way we deliver our services? Is the idea of adapt or be irrelevant more relevant in a pandemic? How much growth has happened organically, even if we adopted a survival posture?

February 2020, I flew between Denver and Boise. The passenger seated next to me sat down and coughed ceaseless for the entire flight. My strategy was to offer a cough drop, which was declined. My secondary defense was to keep my face pointed towards the window, direct the vented forced air flow between us, and washed my hands when I got off the plane. Since COVID, I posses a far more robust strategy of germ fighting techniques. I am far more prepared to respond in an environment which includes an unhealthy seat mate. If I assume After Vaccine Thinking, I may act with outdated techniques that are no longer relevant.

What pandemic influenced conversations matter for your cause? Why not assemble those questions and create room to scaffold a response? After Vaccine Thinking is going to be encounter the present day sooner than we realize.

Navigating Our Mindset

What is the results when you have more answers than questions? Does it change when you have more questions than answers? Encountering a moment with a fixed or open mindset might be the greatest variable determining how we proceed. We might navigate terrain we never considered when we ask the right questions and seek new answers.

Avocado Resources

Some resources are like avocados. When ripe they are best used in real-time or the window of usefulness slams close. A few avocado resources encountered this week includes new board member orientation, matching funds on deadline, task force initiative, new member engagement, and gala giving opportunity. For further context, if we prioritize board orientation we communicate expectations, amplify organizational culture, and set new board members up for success. The same implications apply for the other experienced referenced, act now or the resource becomes exponentially less valuable.

Planning Might Change Our Destination

When take time to plan, we are better prepared to navigate the terrain we encounter. We can ford every stream we approach or discover that a bridge exists along the route. If we are on foot, the outcome of using the bridge is we move a little faster and keep our feet dry. If we are running a railroad, the impact is the difference between reaching the end of the line and continuing our journey.

Scott Young has an engaging article about the power of planning, published in the SmartBrief on Leadership Newsletter. I encourage you to check out both resources.