How we approach a problem or an opportunity matters and impacts the outcome.
What once directed water to an arid agricultural region now provides recreational users a unique pathway to explore a vibrant river canyon. The irrigation ditch could have been left in disrepair after its lifespan; however, somebody adopted a creative mindset, and now it lives a celebrated second life.
What have you repurposed? What might be ready for another life?
We Know What You Mean
We know what you mean if we have encountered a similar sign and route cues before. The scenario get complicated when the symbols are new to us. How might we set others up for success, even when those of us in the know already comprehend the intention behind the sign.
The direction from which we approach an obstacle impacts how we attempt to make sense of the problem. If we are committed to measuring success using data, numerical metrics are essential to our evaluation process. If we believe in the power of stories, then a compelling narrative is vital. If we seek intended impact as the ultimate symbol of success, we might be more committed to reaching the destination than visiting all the waypoints. Endurance and relevance might be our superpowers if we want to remain in the conversation.
How might we recognize that our approach to an obstacle is one of many mindsets in which it can be solved.
Being of Service
The movie Groundhog Day carries an undercurrent theme of service. In the repetition of the same day, the protagonist learns to position themselves throughout the community where they are uniquely positioned to serve. Be it catching a kid falling from a tree, changing a flat tire on a car, or purchasing life insurance from an eager associate.
We can all be of service. Some of our actions are actionable and measurable, and some of our work resides in the liminal or serving clients who cannot express their appreciation through social media. But we can all be of service.
‘Therefore’ and ‘But’ Makes A Story
What horizon line has our focus? The houses sitting on the closest ridge? The mountains in the mid-ground? Is it the sunset taking place in the background? Depending on our mindset and the intended impact of our journey, one of these horizon lines might be more appropriate than the others. Is our expedition team aligned around the same horizon line? It might impact the supplies we procure in advance, the team we assemble, and the speed with which we proceed.
Sometimes, to access a suitable location for our causes to prosper and grow, we must dig in and create a pathway. How might our work be both visible and revealing?
The Long Game
As Writers on the Range reported, four dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and California are scheduled to be removed starting this summer. The process to reach this action has taken 50 years, and the effort has been passed to new generations of activists and stakeholders. Throughout the journey, a sense of belief remained. If the work is worth doing, it is worth enduring the timeline to reach the intended impact.
Trends for 2023 and Beyond
What are the three trends that you believe will have the biggest impact on the social sector in the next year? Looking for a proposed list, check out the Nonprofit AF blog.