Does your board just show up for the monthly or quarterly meetings, or not even show up because they just can’t quite make it that day? It’s the nature of the non-profit board, particularly if you have a BORED BOARD. It’s not from a lack of desire, it’s from a lack of passionate engagement. Remember that your board is a key element of your team and reaches influencers that the rest of your staff can’t. So it’s imperative that they join your staff in becoming the best advocates for your organization.
For those of you who may not be familiar with it, my formula, P(assion)+S(trategy)+A(ction)=E(ngagement), addresses the three imperative pieces of engaging those within and outside of your organization. The beauty of P+S+A=E™ is that it is really functional for enrolling everyone and it’s a fantastic opportunity to keep your board and staff fully involved as you solidly establish your organization’s brand throughout your target community.
People – staff, board and others – love to be a part of successful efforts. Everyone loves a winner and loves to be considered a part of a winning team. In fact, I talk briefly about being a part of successful efforts in my keynote speech, “Everything I Know About Teamwork, I Learned in Prison”. I know that this is not a new idea, but it is a true idea. We’ve heard the phrase, “rats abandoning a sinking ship”. You don’t hear, “rats abandoning a ship that’s won the battle and is sailing to the next port”. It’s fun to be a part of a winning team.
How do you have the winning team? Here are 6
- Start with an imPassioned TEAM! Be sure that everyone involved wants to be a part of the team and strive to accomplish the mission.
- Fuel the passion of your team with a great Strategy, so everyone is acting toward the same goal.
- Take visible Actions toward implementing your strategy.
- This will immediately increase Engagement in your target community. Remember P+S+A=E™!
- Pick low-hanging fruit to accomplish initially. Don’t climb Mt. Everest if it’s your first climb! Climb a hill, then a larger hill, then a mountain and, eventually if Everest is your goal, you might reach it. Accomplish a few of your smaller mission goals through your strategy and, perhaps, a few of your funding goals. Conquer larger obstacles and achieve greater goals over time, as engagement builds.
- As you achieve, let people know about it – Positively Publicize! Talk about it, write about it and continue to share all successes.
Winning teams do this in sports, the arts and businesses of all kinds. Everybody will tell you how great their most recent winning game, opening movie, new showing at the downtown gallery is.
Give your boards get the chance to be the incredible advocates that they want to be. Not only are they helping an effort about which they’re passionate, but it’s successfully helping others. At least theoretically, most board members believe in and have some passion about the organization, which is why they are on the board. Staff members, too, share a passion for the mission and become amazing ambassadors when they’re part of the success. It’s the combined efforts of your team that exponentially increases the excitement generated by putting P+S+A=E™ into play and having remarkable successes.
Momentum created by successful actions fuels engagement, creating more momentum which feeds upon itself. Attitudes change with success and suddenly board meetings are full and active. An active board changes the organization by accelerating success and dramatically increasing the opportunity for better fund-raising. The momentum of internal change promotes excitement and engagement in the target community, as well. It’s that big-picture growth that we all think about because we know that it will be better to accomplish the mission.
So, get your board on board with successful efforts and stride toward accomplishing goals. Your board gains confidence, your staff gains momentum and you all gain from the great opportunities that those team and organizational achievements bring!
© by Dan Adkins / Strategystix, LLC / Coaching Strategies for the 21st Century