Sunday, March 12, is the day we once again “Spring Forward” and must get used to waking up an hour earlier. Even though many agree this practice of adjusting the time schedule is outdated—even antiquated—we have yet to banish it altogether. For strategic-minded leaders, this biannual event is a good reminder to schedule some time to work “on” their business and not just “in” their organization. What is the difference?
Working “in” your organization is what we are most familiar with, i.e., purposefully making the business run: creating and delivering a product or service and then providing management and administration. It’s the “what” and “how” of our work. All too often, however, the day-to-day pattern of addressing the urgent things that pop up can come at the expense of the more important tasks that get relegated to the back burner.
Working “on” your organization involves seeking and implementing strategies that impact the health and overall success of your organization: valuable innovation, tactical planning, resource allocation, business scaling, R&D and system analytics, to name a few. This is the “why” and the “how can we improve” of our work. Are we successful, and how can we make it better?
Now is the time to develop the discipline to schedule time on your calendar to work “on” your organization. Take advantage of this opportunity to review and update your programs and processes, to evaluate their effectiveness and ensure the long-term success of your team and mission.
Some ideal questions to ask yourself and your team should include:
- Is our donor data healthy and current?
- Do our teams have the training they need to identify and close gifts?
- Are we effectively communicating with our constituency?
- How compellingly are we telling our story?
- Is our current marketing strategy working?
- What about our digital strategy? Is it effective? What are our open rates?
- Are we receiving our share of planned and major gifts?
Let a Sharpe consultant create an ARC of Engagement to assist you and your team with successful wholistic strategies for working “on” your business to optimize your results for 2023. ■
Sharpe Group President & CEO