A client called me to partner with their organization to create a strategy. The underlying driver for the process was underfunding—as is often the case.
Through-out the community listening phase, I frequently heard how previous funding efforts failed. While everyone desperately wanted to solve the challenge, they were fond of obsessing about what didn’t work instead solutions.
Over time, by helping them to reframe their thinking, the leaders understood that they had discovered hundreds of ways that didn’t work, like Edison and the light bulb. Since they were determined to succeed, we built on these lessons. Using techniques I pioneered, we generated new approaches. These approaches, a solving mindset, and work changed their organization’s revenue trajectory and increased it threefold in less than five years.
If you leave your strategy session with a clear direction to solve your critical roadblock, you’ve succeeded. If not, you created a strategy that will collect dust bunnies and, worse, breed cynicism in your supporters about future strategy efforts.
Throw it in the trash or better yet, run your proposed strategy through the three tests before you leave your strategy selection session.
1) Will we win with this strategy?
2) Is it succinct?
3) Is it an earworm, that is, can we imagine using it to make decisions?
For more about blowing up big roadblocks, watch: Not Solving the Nonprofit’s Key Roadblock
If you want to know even more about nonprofit strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help you create a dynamic strategy to help your nonprofit thrive, schedule a time for a free discovery chat here.-Karen
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