Thursday, March 27, 2014
We can’t figure out what to call ourselves.
I most often hear “non-profit” or “not-for-profit,” but both describe what we are NOT – not what we are FOR.
We certainly aren’t for loss – though some organizations are mistakenly managed this way!
We have tried so many alternative labels: philanthropic, independent sector, social sector, non-governmental, mission-based, charity, etc.
Part of the challenge is that we are FOR so many things.
We’re for healthy kids, for a green planet, for well-educated young people, for the arts, for cures to illnesses, for everyone being well-nourished, for the humanities, for everyone having safe affordable housing, and the list goes on and on and on.
Here’s an idea, let’s try “Mission Impact Organizations.” That’s what we are and what we are FOR. We all have that in common! No? You don’t think it would catch on?
Hmmm. Well, while it would be nice to come up with a new label for our sector, maybe we just need to make sure that each organization clearly communicates what they are here FOR. And this is communicated in our mission statements.
We need to be clear on our IMPACT (the difference we make) and AIM (for whom/what) when we state our mission. For a mission statement mini-case, check this link. Make sure that you are clear on your Mission Impact so people know what you are here FOR.
For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost. You can also check out my book, Mission Impact: Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested. And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.
Posted by Dr. Rob Sheehan at 7:43 AM
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Confidence is absolutely necessary to be a successful leader. And yet, gone too far, it can become arrogance and can lead to poor decisions – even disastrous decisions. How do we find a balance?
One way to balance this is long term versus short term confidence.
Long Term: “I am confident in . . .
. . . the importance of our mission and the impact we make.”
. . . the talents of our team.”
. . . the value of working hard together on the mission.”
Short Term: “We have a challenge/opportunity here . . .
. . . I have a few ideas, but no obvious answers”
. . . I want to hear your ideas.”
. . . if we work together we can create the best next steps.”
As leaders, we need to give up the old-fashioned, heroic notion that we need to have all of the answers. We need to be open-minded about the best direction to take in the short term while being ever confident in the long term.
Arrogance can be a huge leadership derailer. Once we think we are invulnerable, we are a step away from being proven wrong. Try backing off the temptation to be the Hero Leader and invite your team to be partners in forging the path ahead. It could provide a significant improvement for your Mission Impact.
Posted by Dr. Rob Sheehan at 6:55 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
When you are stuck in the status quo there are a lot of things you miss. Opportunities are one of them.
If you are sure that there is no better way of going about doing what you are doing, then you will for sure miss Opportunities.
If you are an expert and you know that this certain way of doing things is the right way, then you will not see Opportunities for new ways to do things.
But if you give up your arrogance (come on, I am talking to myself) that “you know the best way to do it,” then you just might have a chance at seeing a great Opportunity right at your doorstep.
One of the best ways to discover Opportunities is to set Almost Impossible Goals that you have no idea how to accomplish. By definition, once you set an Almost Impossible Goal then you need to search for an Opportunity on how to accomplish it. And if you make a commitment to that goal, then you certainly won’t give up until you discover that new way.
This is what former GE CEO Jack Welch called Bullet Train Thinking. He said that Japanese executives told their engineers that they wanted them to invent a train that would go from Tokyo to Osaka in three hours – instead of the six that it used to take. There was no “tweeking” that would get them to three hours. They had to invent an entirely new technology.
Don’t get stuck in incrementalist, status quo thinking. Check here to learn more about Almost Impossible Goals and make even more of a Mission Impact.
Posted by Dr. Rob Sheehan at 4:36 PM