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Showing posts from August, 2012

Strategic Execution

I'M GOING TO CHANGE MY APPROACH TO CLIENTS who come to me for strategic planning services.  Instead of me assuming that the process of building a plan is the most important part of planning (and of utmost importance to the client), I'm going to start by questioning the organization's ability and commitment to executing the plan once it's finally adopted.  My experience has been -- and I know this goes for other planning consultants, too -- the wheels fall off the plan when the organization actually has to implement what it says it wants to do.  Even when we spend hours creating detailed work plans it never ceases to amaze me that they are poorly used or not used at all.

It's often not for lack of desire that organizations fail to follow through on implementation.  How many of you have heard or said, "We think this is important, but...." followed by the list of what stands in the way of execution.  Top responses:  no time, no money, no interest; stuff chang…

The Marathon that is Board Service

OKAY, I'VE BEEN OVERTAKEN BY THE 2012 OLYMPICS, hence the title for this post.  As I watched the men's marathon today I couldn't help draw some parallels between the long race and my own relatively new service on a nonprofit board.  People who know me know that I'd have trouble running up and down my driveway, but this comparison helps me grasp what I've been feeling lately about living up to my board's expectations even when it was hard for me to do so.

Respect:  The first parallel has to do with why any one of us decides to join a board.  Jason Karp writes about marathoning, "Tackling 26.2 miles is a long way to run. Respect the distance and prepare for it. Confidence comes from being prepared."  Most of us take on board work because we believe we bring some talent to the table -- we have a passion for the cause, our knowledge and skills complement and strengthen those offered by others, and/or we provide access to needed networks and funds.  We agre…