Nonprofit organizations are a lot more like businesses than one might think. There really is a bottom line, for example. It is achieving the results the organization is funded for and achieving the financial results that are set by the board annually.
Don't give up because life is different or harder than you expected. Just alter your expectations and plans as needed and expect that to be part of the process. After all, it's not so much about reaching the finish line as it is a matter of developing your skills and abilities and doing your best.
Place one goal in each month to make your plan digestible and realistic. Then identify the exact steps to achieve the goal for the current month: What steps do you need to take each week to ensure you reach your end-month goal?
If you choose to see your venture through its transformation from a growing start-up to a professionally managed firm, prepare yourself for a second, equally important, and potentially more challenging transformation.
The Catholic Church last lasted nearly two millennia, principally by part by eschewing strategic planning. "We have enough dogma already," a Vatican spokesman explained. "We call strategic planning 'Satan's snare.' Anyone caught engaging in it is punished on the breaking wheel."
If there's no substance and fire in your vision for the future, how will you infuse those qualities into the rest of your strategic plan? Here's a no-nonsense summary of the elements that you can use as a guide when you develop your strategic plan.
You don't have to be a futurist to see tomorrow's hottest new technology and innovation trends before they hit -- just willing to click a bit further than "Best of CES" round-ups that focus on jaw-dropping products alone.
You've just developed a new strategic plan for your company. You're pleased about it. And so are the other people on the planning team. So far so good. But now you face the next and most critical challenge: How do you get the rest of the company on board?
Here's a simple, clear system of nomenclature that has always worked for us and our clients. It will demystify terms, eliminate confusion, and allow you to spend your valuable time concentrating on substance, not semantics.
Going about it the right way and being serious about the result can buy you a critical organization asset: an articulated framework of ideas that rationalizes everything you do and results in greater focus and synergy across your entire enterprise.
Building a coalition of the passionate and idealistic people within the organization is not enough -- in fact, it can be detrimental if people see your cadre as a band of zealots rather than committed and dedicated business professionals.
Virtually every American arts organization is dealing with the residual effects of several years of deep recession, but many of my international Fellows are dealing with far more difficult and dangerous situations.