A Strategic Perspective
Everything in an organization should start with core values that lead to vision and mission. This is not an exaggeration. These are the drivers of effort and set the guidelines for how effort will function. They are the heart of the “deep why”. So many organizations fall short of their goals, because they do not operate from the “deep why” – the primary reason people are attracted to the cause.
The structure of the organization is just as important. Developing a structure that provides the maximum time for people to focus on their primary KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), allows an organization to achieve the best return on their efforts. As an example, if we look at a producing position, what percentage of the time is a fundraiser actually in front of donors and potential donors? This is a KPI. If the fundraiser is spending most of their time in a donor management system, or in internal meetings, the chance for new donations to be developed is significantly reduced. Creating a structure where these producing positions are free to focus the majority of their efforts on their KPI’s is critical to personal, team, and organizational success.
Process is another key lever for success. Process does not necessarily mean “the way we have always done it”. While that may be acceptable, a clearly defined set of processes directly related to your strategic and tactical objectives is what is called a “liberating structure”. It provides clear guidelines on how to do something, and if done correctly is aligned with the core values, vision, and mission. This thoughtful design allows for people within the organization to engage with shared goals and work in a synergistic manner. Ever wonder why some organizations seem to have all the luck? It probably isn’t luck at all but a series of carefully considered processes aligning every individual toward the same goals.
Then we come to people – the most important aspect of any organization. Getting the right people in the right places, doing the right things is the key to building a successful and sustainable effort. The hiring process is the gateway to your organization. I’ll say it again: choosing the right fit when in the search and selection process is the most important people decision you can make. There are many ways to source candidates, but it is incumbent upon you as the hiring manager to make the right selection. The focus of this article is to provide insight on a better way to approach the selection process, then how to build your team for long-term sustainable success. A quick note: hiring a new team member is only the beginning! If you truly want to build a cohesive and productive team, onboarding and development of your team members is critical.
In the for-profit world, I spend much of my time helping organizations build a sustainable, competitive advantage through their people. This is not much different than the non-profit world where finding quality candidates that fit your culture can be a challenge. When you do find these people, developing them and retaining them is key to creating a “Best in Class” producing team. A revolving door for team members coming and leaving is not conducive to being “Best in Class”. So, where do we focus next?
Read Evaluating Your Situation to continue this blog series