I met with a client the other day that has been firmly committed to pursuing one strategy for over two years. In discussing their dedicated commitment to the initiative and the lack of results in obtaining the outcome we uncovered an option that was a complete paradim shift and may delivered their intended outcome almost immediately. By being an outsider to the organization and knowing little about the long history and complexities of the processes and procedures that had taken place to date, I was able to ask a couple questions and immediately offer some ‘what if’ suggestions. The client scurried away to evaluate taking immediate action and considering its feasability. Suddenly, one could see all the energy and sense of purpose come back into the eyes of the organization’s representatives. They were ready to get work and finally breach the mental and planning log-jam that had held their organization and mission hostage.
- Be bold enough to reach outside your organization and to consult with individuals who you believe offer a unique and meaningful view point. An offer to buy an ‘outsider’ cup of coffee can allow for amazing results.
- Consider an alternate mode of planning or decision making. I posted a copy of a presentation on strategic planning that provides and overview of different models. (See the Strategic Planning Overview Presentation on the side bar)
- Meet with other nonprofit organizations and discuss opportunities to collaborate, consider overlaps and efficiencies.
- Ask staff, board, donors, volunteers what your organization should do if it could do anything. Consider the opportunities and evaluate how it differs from what you currently do well.
- Network with a couple organizations and hire a consultant to facilitate a group planning session. Each group may plan specifically for their organization but then has a larger group of peers to report back to and test some of their key ideas. Organizations can enjoy the economy of sharing the expense of a shared consultant but also spend time customizing their plan to specifically fit their organization.