I almost named my consulting practice "What Works." If there's any one maxim that I've learned over the years is that there is no one path to success in nonprofit advocacy and organizational development. You need to find the path that works for the people involved -- that matches up with their strengths, interests, and skills.
Of course, some paths are much harder than others. And there are many false paths.
When I was deciding whether to launch a consulting business, one of my former colleagues said: "well, that's what I assumed you'd always do -- you have a knack for looking at things in a non-judgmental way and just getting straight to the crux of what works."
What works is when an organization stays true to its plans, rather than lurching from crisis to opportunity. What works is for organizations to maximize the value of their relationships. Organizations work when they invest in great -- not just good -- organizational systems that give them accurate information so that they can focus on their mission.
In future editions of this e-newsletter, I'll try to throw in a story or lesson I've learned about What Works. And in the meantime, if you have one you want to share with me, I'm all ears.
|November Success Stories
I facilitated a staff retreat for Conservation Voters of New Mexico to help them generate an organizational work plan for 2010. Look for bigger and better things from CVNM in 2010.
Working for the Nevada Conservation League, I facilitated a meeting of smart growth advocates. They came together to plot a strategy (and create a coalition!) to get the Nevada Legislature to adopt a state-wide smart growth policy. With record foreclosures and water scarcity, Nevada needs some real changes to its land use policies and this group aims to generate those changes.
I spent a day in Boise with Lee Flinn of Conservation Voters for Idaho to revamp
their budget and accounting system. Okay, that doesn't sound like that much fun, but Lee said it was very useful to get their ducks in a row so they could soar in 2010. Don't underestimate the importance of having a good budget/accounting system for your organization to thrive.