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- 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 If I assume After Vaccine Thinking, I may act with outdated techniques that are no longer relevant.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.
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.
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.
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.
What if we framed our boundaries as the conditions under which we would say ‘yes’? The boundary mindset is often thought of as the edge we reach where we say ‘no’. How might flipping our perspective change the way we encounter and interact with boundaries?Would it be more expansive and liberating?
The fundamental expectation is that all members of the social sector are aligned towards Lawful Good. The reality is not everyone is utilizing the same magnetic north. It may be worth considering who is influencing your journey? How might your actions be impacted by the True Neutrals or Chaotic Good? How might we think differently and temporarily adopt the world view of those employing a different scorecard?
Disney Parks have Extra Hour, a benefit for guests staying on property at a Disney hotel. The program provides an opportunity to enter the park early and enjoy access to certain amenities and restaurants before the general public. It is perk for those who have patronized Disney with their lodging selection.
What if we provide ‘extra hour’ opportunities for our greatest fans? This is different than a donor appreciation event or a membership line for quick entry into a programs. It is a behind the scenes glimpse at the work that matters. A chance to have a generative conversation about a strategic question our cause is trying to answer. A candid talk by a program director about the challenges of producing remarkable work for our patrons. An unscripted presentation from our headline speaker, just for this small but essential group.
Online commerce and social networks have made almost any item available upon a click or swipe of our electronic devices. What we cannot buy is remarkable moments; the gathering of a group of people to create a special moment. An extra hour, a behind the scenes, a first look, and chance to provide guidance. What if we were known for our magic moments? What if we shared the early version of our work with those that cared enough to be lifetime members?
To gain a useful perspective, we might benefit by standing back from the heart of our focal point. Even if we climb the highest spire in the center of the mountain range, we may miss the opportunity to assess how each peak and valley are connected.
When working with consulting clients, the ideas that resonate the strongest are the concepts that the client develops, not points that I share. My greatest contribution is to get the team to the right vantage point and encourage them assess the landscape. Creating a mindset that starting from the observation deck is actually the work that matters before one can start the climb.