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Showing posts from January, 2014

That's Just the Way We've Done it Around Here

MAKING CHANGE IS TOUGH.  EVEN THE TINIEST OF CHANGES CAN OFTEN MEET THE LARGEST OF HURDLES. I recall meeting some serious resistance when I suggested that a nominating committee take an inventory of board member skills and attributes in an effort to help it think more holistically about filling existing gaps.  I thought that was a pretty easy one, but some members of the nominating committee didn't think it was a good idea at all and refused to participate.  

Or the time an organization decided not to seek external input for its planning because it didn't want to raise stakeholder expectations beyond what it felt it could deliver.  Or the many times the hard won work of a strategic planning process fell by the wayside as organizational attention was lured away by yet another new, shiny object.  

All of my examples of change have the potential to raise fear, mistrust, or anxiety about any new approach or philosophy.  And that's the typical reaction of many (myself included fr…

Forward Guidance for Nonprofits: Where is it Taking You?

THE TERM 'FORWARD GUIDANCE' IS USED BY central banks to influence market expectations about the future levels of interest rates.  Banks do this by forecasting where markets will go and communicating their forecasts to businesses, governments, and the public.  I can see I've really grabbed your attention now.  But wait -- I'm going somewhere with this concept that has related, but not necessarily financial, applicability to the nonprofit sector.

I'm intrigued by the phrase, which I admit I hadn't heard until recently.  I'm also intrigued with the idea of 'forward guidance' -- of articulating how something will turn out or could turn out based upon agreed-upon indicators, is (or should be) one critical component of planning for a sector as much as for individual organizational planning. 

As the chart above from the banking industry illustrates, forward guidance is a combination of calendar-based indicators and trends and outcome-based indicators and tre…