Do you have a way of alerting the team when encountering an obstacle or situation that might significantly disrupt the journey? American football teams use a code word to change plays at the line of scrimmage. One board I served used the word “Omaha” in the email’s subject line, a phrase borrowed from former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Board members understood an Omaha communication required immediate attention and response. This technique was used cautiously, but it was reassuring to the Executive Director and Board Chair that the board would be responsive as quickly as possible when needed.

Multiple Voices

Unless we are hooked-up to an old fashion party-line where one landline served multiple parties, it is unlikely we are hearing all communications and perspectives. One of the great joys is meeting another person who sees the world in a profoundly different manner and alters our world view. It may be as simple suggestion that changes a subtle routine or it might be as grand as reformatting a universal truth.

The mindset that we have heard it all is limiting. If we gather with like-minded people to discuss new ways if thinking, we miss insights that individuals with weak ties to our cause might offer.

Sometimes we need to look at our inputs before we can adjust our output.


If we are not meaningfully connected to individuals who want to hear from us, then even our most remarkable stories are lost in transmission. Daily, we delete inspired content in order to manage our inbox. Then we turn around and send out unsolicited requests for others to engage with us. We believe that if we have your contact information you might be ready to act on our behalf. What if we created a community of individuals who could signal us That they were willing to hear our stories? Consider our own habits. Which messages do we read the moment they are received? How did those senders create trust and permission to interact with you? What if we did the work that matters to create engagement with those that might want to hear from us?