Are you feeling like your nonprofit organization is stuck in the proverbial muck, making little to no progress? Maybe one or more of the scenarios below fit your situation:
Right People, Wrong Place
You have talented and committed people coming to work everyday motivated to fulfil the organization’s Mission, however they’re not producing the desired outcomes. Rather than replacing them try assessing the team assignments and reassign folks to new portfolios or projects. This approach can capitalize on hidden or under leveraged skills and experience. By shuffling resources you can give a team a chance for renewal and activate dormant strengths.
Mired in the ‘Can’t Do’s”
Your team focuses on the “can’t do’s”; rationalizing underperformance with defensive statements like: “its been done, we tried that, that’s not what we do here, we don’t have time, or there’s no money in the budget.” Calling out behaviour and initiating a self-reflective process of ‘start, stop and continue’ can move a group past the performance ruts and initiate attitude change, while holding a group to a measurable behavioural plan they developed.
Failed Evaluative Learning
The upside of living in the Information Age is that we have access to a greater range evaluative tools and processes at our finger tips. The challenge is to properly make use of the information and apply it to daily work and strategic plan executions.
Avoiding the common pitfall of not applying the information can enable the team to make wise choices and improve the overall performance.
When organization’s experience high turnover in personnel it can be easy to slip into blaming those who have been there before. Living in the past as an excuse not to move forward does little for an organization and can undermine one’s ability to bring value to the group. The organization would be better served to assess the current situation and develop a tactical plan to move it forward, rather than continually laying blame.
Unleveraged External Resources
Critically important for the small or under resourced organization is to leverage every possible external resources to its advantage. This may come in the form of sharing partner resources (eg. legal advice, donated product or space) or hiring a consultant to work through a sticky situation or strategic challenge. Recognizing that heavy lifting doesn’t always need to be made by the immediate internal teams, organizations can invite others in to bridge a talent gap, supplement mindshare or reposition the team to achieve success.
Keith D Publicover is a Charity Impact and NonProfit Management Consultant with frontline to boardroom experience. Keith has helped numerous nonprofit organizations work thru performance challenges to help elevate both Cause and impact. Keith is the Owner of Resolute Clothing Co, an e-commerce store generating financial support for vulnerable youth to access health and education services.