Hey Mr. or Ms. Leader – Change or Die

When working with companies and volunteer non-profit organizations there is one thing that’s true, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. It’s referred to as business agility; how quickly can you adapt to current and future situations. How agile are you? Can you change fast enough? Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, a museum, a historical society, or a church group, if you don’t reinvent yourself and leverage these five simple tasks, you’re putting your organization in danger.

Top 5 things Organizations have to do to survive.

Bring in New Blood – Try new things

This is one of the best topics. Why do you see those staunchy old organizations always looking for volunteers? You know why? Because they’ve been doing things the same way they’ve always done things and people just don’t care anymore, so they leave. Whether you’re tired, bored, or just really don’t care anymore, it’s the board’s responsibility to ALWAYS bring in new blood.

Each generation has their way of doing things. They have things they like, and those things they don’t. Like diverse cultures, make sure your organization has a variety of age, cultural, and gender groups. If you do, you’ll always have something new to talk about. And second, they’re usually the ones that bring in others that you never thought you could engage. Just remember, it doesn’t happen by mistake. You have to commit to it. You have to challenge your organization. And you have to have commitment.

Give everyone a chance to grow into their position

Boards are in place for a reason. Committees are in place for a reason. But there has to be a separation of responsibility where the committee, typically led by a chair, gets to lead their committee in the style and fashion they deem appropriate. Committee leadership is a great way to let someone cut their teeth and become a leader. It teaches how to lead, how to listen, and how to compromise. But remember, it’s not the job of the board to stifle the Chair. Give the Chair the chance to grow into their position, hold them accountable, and let them do great things.

Learn When to Take a Break

In the non-profit world, there are reasons why bylaws typically include terms for trustees. Think of the trustees as the brains of the body. It’s the one thing that controls everything else (even the heart). But sometimes the brain gets tired and stuck in its own ways. Board of Trustees are the same. You have to move them around and give them time to do other things or they just get stale. This is why most boards enact terms. It’s not for any other reason to give someone else a chance and prevent one entity from taking hold for too long. If you’re organization is stale, it’s most likely because those at the top are the same people that have been there forever.

One of my favorites because Sometimes you just have to push!

Last Call

We could go on and on and on but we won’t. Leaders. It’s really quite simple. As a fellow consultant told me one time after a CIO said that he wanted his organization to act more like millennials do, the consultant said, “you want people to act like millennials , then go hire some millennials .” Sometimes the best way to change is to invoke change. Give it a try. Your organization depends on it.