If you had just ten photos to take during a week-long trip, how would you decide when to snap one of these precious images? In the age of digital photos, we take multiple shots without consequence unless our storage capacity is limited or our battery life is at 1%. But our mindset changes when a natural or artificial limit governs our activity. Looking at a recent adventure, I have deleted at least seventy-five repetitive photos, poorly framed, out of focus, or unintentional. It cost me little but some editing time. However, I am hard-pressed to select my ten favorites from the trip, a challenge to cover the highlights and iconic moments.
A powerful outcome of design thinking is generating numerous ideas. Creativity and multiple mindsets allow for expanded horizons and innumerable pathways. There is a moment when we must select a limited course of action. A portion of strategic planning includes this moment of refinement. I refer to it as an ‘energy management plan’ since we only have so much capacity to focus our resources. If you had to select three areas of focus, what are they? If your three areas are raising more money and funds, I suggest those are the results of focusing on the work that matters.
I am handing you a virtual Polaroid camera. What images are you hoping to capture if given three photos to take of your organization’s strategic future? Do they capture the superpower of the organization where you are uniquely positioned to act or are they a wishlist of certainty (endowment, waitlist of potential board members, and everyone in the community is a member of the organization)?