Building Rock Star Leadership Habits:  Clarity, Focus and Productivity – Part 3

Building Rock Star Leadership Habits:  Clarity, Focus and Productivity – Part 3

by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, Leadership Coach

This post is one in a series on developing the discipline and habits of rock star leaders. This is the third post on building clarity, focus and productivity.

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The Sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” — Alexander Graham Bell 

In the last two posts, we addressed 2 of the habits leaders need in order to build clarity, focus and productivity.  They were the habits of 1) focusing on the most important goals and priorities and 2) growing, and fiercely protecting, your attention span.

These habits are critical to develop if you are to become a world class leader and achieve meaningful results for your organization. 

In this post, we will address 3 additional habits that can really help a leader achieve greater focus, clarity and productivity.

Chunk your work. 

Sometimes, when we are approaching a big project, we can find ourselves spinning our wheels.  Somehow, the project keeps stalling, or maybe it never even gets started! 

When a project is complex or otherwise looks daunting, it can discombobulate our brains and cause us to procrastinate.  In these situations, it can really help to chunk the project into bite-sized bits and, then, do those bits on a schedule.  Pretty soon, you will have built momentum and the project will be coming together as it should. 

Consider doing a project in 20 minute blocks.  Get psyched up for spending 20 very focused minutes working on this project. You will give it all you’ve got.  You won’t check email or answer your phone, you won’t look at anything else until that 20 minute alarm goes off.  Repeat until the work is done.

Spread the work around. Delegate.  As leaders, perfectionism is not our friend.  We cannot become highly effective leaders if we try to do it all ourselves.  Every successful leader must delegate work in order to be able to focus on the big goals.  And we won’t be highly effective if we just delegate the menial busy work to others; we must delegate meaningful work. 

When deciding how to spend your time, ask yourself– is this work best done by you, or could someone else do it?

Find your hacks. 

  • Many people find that meditation or regular walks in nature help them to feel calmer and happier and to get more done.
  • I also like to make lots of meals on Sunday for the week so I don’t have to prepare lunches every day or do all the meal prep of dinner when I get home from work tired and hungry.
  • What’s your best productivity and focus hack?

——————————————————————————————

Focus, clarity and productivity habits are absolutely critical for leaders to develop.  Which of these will be most valuable for you to build in at this time?

 

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit | Leave a comment

Building Rock Star Leadership Habits: Clarity, Focus and Productivity – Part 2

 by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, Leadership Coach

This post is one in a series on developing the discipline and habits of rock star leaders. This is the second post on building clarity, focus and productivity.

How you spend the time you have dictates what you achieve in life. Using your hours to work towards the outcomes you value the most will help to not only bring you success, also to sustain that feeling of fulfillment that comes from accomplishing what matters most to you.  —Tony Robbins

In the last post, we addressed 1 of the critical habits leaders need to build focus, clarity and productivity.  In this post, we will address another very important habit to develop—that of growing, and fiercely protecting, your attention span.  In these times, we cannot leave this up to chance. Our world is too highly distracting and you simply cannot be a highly effective leader if you are constantly struggling with your attention span.  How can you deal with this challenge? 

Build up your attention span, and fiercely protect it. These days, we absolutely must develop habits that minimize distractions and protect our attention spans. Too many people spend their days multi-tasking (read distracted). Multi-tasking, or otherwise working distracted, seriously reduces our leadership effectiveness, our ability to get things done, and our joy and sense of fulfillment in our work. 

  1. Protect your time as if were money. After all, time is money!  Close your door and work without interruption during the day. That “open door policy” for leaders means staff can bring any issue to your attention; it doesn’t literally mean you are sitting around all day just waiting for people to come talk to you!  Close your door, put up a Do Not Disturb sign, put an out of office message on your email.
  2. Identify and manage distractions that interfere with getting your work done. We all face more challenges than ever in this area these days. The most common?  Email and cell phone.
    • Break the habit of leaving email open and reading and responding all day. It’s too distracting and is a terrible time-suck.  What can you do to manage your email in a more disciplined manner, to free up your time, energy, focus of attention?  Some people respond to email once per day or once in the morning and once in the afternoon. 
    • Manage the distraction of the cell phone. Research shows that our cell phones distract us and interfere with our focus if they are present, even when we’re not touching them or looking at them!  What is your best strategy to manage the distraction of the cell phone?
    • Minimize clutter. A cluttered environment is proven to reduce thinking clarity and productivity for children and adults alike. What is one action that would most help you to minimize clutter and noise in your work environment?
    • Consider journaling your interruptions and distractions for a week so you know what you need to change.
  3. Rather than allowing yourself to be constantly reacting in a distracted way all day, take regular planned breaks throughout the work day to clear your head. A good routine is to do a 30 second stretch or walk to the bathroom every half hour.  Another is to engage in just 2 – 3 minutes of vigorous exercise every 3 hours.  Research shows that most people are more productive when they take regular breaks rather than working straight through for hours without breaks.

What is one way you can better build and protect your attention span?  How will that make a difference in your functioning as a leader?

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit | Leave a comment

Building Rock Star Leadership Habits: Clarity, Focus and Productivity—Part 1

by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, Leadership Coach

This post is one in a series on developing the discipline and habits of rock star leaders, and the first on building the habits of clarity, focus and productivity.

“…you cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one, and that will be enough, at least for the time being.” — Brian Tracy

As a leader, you want to achieve meaningful results and make the difference in the world that you were born to make.  This requires leadership and organizational skills. 

In particular, there are certain habits leaders need—the habits of Focus, Clarity and Productivity– in order to achieve the desired results:

  1. Focus—“choose what to bomb, in advance”
  2. Build your attention span, and fiercely protect it
  3. Chunk your work
  4. Spread the work around—delegate
  5. Find your hacks

In this post, we will address the question of FOCUS.

“Choose what to bomb, in advance,” as Jon Acuff puts it in his new book Finish.  You can’t possibly do it all, so you must prioritize.  What is most important for you to focus on?  What needs to get done?  Are you the one who needs to do it?

In these times, focus will not happen automatically and we can’t leave it up to chance. 

What habits do you need in order to increase FOCUS? 

You need to find ways to prioritize your work in order to increase focus.  

This requires that you first get very clear what your goals areWhat are your targets, your most important intended results? 

Write your goals down in order to increase clarity and accountability to your goals.  I keep a stack of varied color index cards for this purpose because they force me to write my goals in clear, to-the-point language. They’re also easy to keep in front of me—on my desk, in my notebook at meetings, etc.  Any time, I get greater clarity about my goals, I update the cards. 

Get clear about your prioritiesWhat are the top priority goals that YOU need to work on?  Do you have too many priorities?  Too many priorities is the same as no priorities!  Narrow your focus.

Check your task list against your priorities.  Does your task list reflect your most important goals?  How much of your task list is reactive versus proactive?  What needs to change here?

Audit your time. 

  • Are you spending most of your time and effort working toward achieving your most important priority goals?
  • Are there tasks that take a lot of your time, but really shouldn’t?
  • What action can you take to rectify that?
  • Do you need to say “no” more, in order to fully commit to your responsibilities?

When I worked as a nonprofit President & CEO, I developed a routine with my secretary that involved reviewing my priorities and task lists daily to ensure that I was focusing my energy where it needed to be. She was fully empowered to challenge me if, according to my priorities, I was “wasting time.”   In addition to the daily strategies we had for managing my time for the organization’s highest good, whenever we felt it necessary, we would review my priorities and do a more thorough audit, adding up how much time I was spending on each key area and identifying all the other things taking my time.  Being responsive to staff, clients and community members is important and must be allotted time; it just doesn’t work well for the executive leader to be continually reactive and to lack time for proactive planning and building for the future.  So, whether you empower someone else to hold you accountable or you manage it all with yourself, develop a routine of auditing your time. 

Focus and clarity habits are absolutely critical for leaders to develop in these times.  What have you found to be most important in building and maintaining focus?

 

Posted in nonprofit | Leave a comment

Develop Yourself as a Leader: Build Rock Star Leadership Habits

by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, Leadership Coach

I provide executive coaching to all kinds of leaders, from Presidents and CEOs to nonprofit leaders to orchestra directors to others (even to parents who want to be more successful leaders with their children).

One issue that frequently surfaces these days is that leaders tend to feel stretched thin, stressed out, and ineffective (or, at least, less effective than they want to be).  Far too many of our society’s leaders are feeling inadequate, unfulfilled and unhappy.

Sometimes we resolve these challenges by doing some planning work. We clarify the desired outcomes and identify the steps to achieving them. We develop a way of evaluating how implementation is working and a strategy for course-correcting whatever isn’t working. 

Sometimes we identify barriers to effective implementation of a project or program, and find ways to develop solutions. 

Sometimes we discover that there are personnel issues that must be addressed in order to get organizational functioning “unstuck.”

And, as we advance in the coaching process, we often realize that there are key ways that the leader themselves could develop greater effectiveness. Some have bad habits that get in the way of doing their best work and, once we address those, the leader frees up all kinds of energy and becomes much more effective again. 

Most leaders can benefit from developing stronger good habits in order to become the best leaders they can be. If you want to become the best leader you can be, achieve excellent business/ organizational results and still enjoy life, you want to develop the following habits:

  1. Maintaining good self-awareness and managing your own emotional state and reactions (one half of emotional intelligence)
  2. Maintaining good awareness of others and managing relationships well (the other half of emotional intelligence)
  3. Self-development—the discipline to continually learn and develop oneself
  4. Self-care—the discipline to maintain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and fitness
  5. Clarity, time management and productivity—the discipline to sustain focus toward results
  6. Strengths focus—the discipline to focus more on strengths and what is working more than what’s wrong, “front side” energy, notice and celebrate achievements and success, 7:1 principle
  7. Integrity—the discipline to be true to your word—both to others and to yourself
  8. Proactive, responsive, holding a positive attitude toward challenge

This post is the first in a series on developing the discipline and habits of rock star leaders. 

Let me know what you have learned about the important habits of highly effective leaders!

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit | Leave a comment

Master Organizational Culture

I help leaders convert seriously problematic cultures to energized and focused cultures that allow the organizations to fulfill their missions. 

Does your organization attract and retain the best leaders and employees?

Do people in your organization tend to support each other’s success?

Does your organization function so that systems and practices support the best work and the best results?

Does your organization reflect the cohesion, focus and skills to effectively move the organization forward and achieve meaningful results?

Organizational culture can make a massive difference in how well you can achieve your goals as an organization.

 

Get in touch and let’s talk about how I can help you build a thriving organizational culture to achieve your mission.

drginny@masteringmission.com

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit, Organizational Leadership, Planning | Leave a comment

Master Outcomes and Impact

Do you need to strengthen your outcomes planning or implementation?

Do you have effective mechanisms for evaluating whether your strategies and activities are indeed producing the desired impact?

Does everyone involved with your mission have a shared vision about desired impact?

I can help you to:

  • Achieve clear agreement between leaders about the organization’s direction
  • Reduce wasted time with leaders rehashing the same arguments and spinning their wheels
  • Reconsider whether your strategies and activities produce the desired impact
  • Identify indicators of successful impact that are most meaningful to key stakeholders
  • Produce a logic model that serves three important purposes—
    • Facilitate effective leadership and decision-making
    • Increase the likelihood of your organization achieving real, meaningful impact
    • Provide supporters and funders with a clear sense of what you do, how you do it, and what difference you make

Get in touch and let’s talk about how I can help you with outcomes evaluation!

drginny@masteringmission.com    or     720-254-1466

 

Posted in Leadership, nonprofit, Organizational Leadership, Planning, Program Evaluation, Theory of Change, Vision | Leave a comment

Use Planning to build Leadership Capacity

Use Planning to Build Leadership Capacity

Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, Leadership Advancement Coach

There are various ways to build leadership capacity in your organization.  You can bring in trainers or leadership coaches, or both, and these can be invaluable.  You can bring in a facilitator for your leadership meetings for a period of time, to facilitate meetings with an emphasis on developing the leadership capacity of the whole team of leaders. And another way to build the capacity of your leadership team is to use planning specifically to strengthen capacity of your leaders.

Members of the charter school Board of Directors felt meetings had become too contentious. Several directors had left over the past year because they felt the organization was going in a direction they didn’t like, or didn’t understand. Pretty soon, it became clear that there were some fundamental differences of opinion among board members about the organization’s focus and priorities. Once the group set aside time for a thoughtful planning process, they began to dive into these differences of opinion and discuss them at length.

Taking the time outside of their monthly board meeting to do a deeper dive into the issues, they were able to work through disagreements and confusions to achieve clear agreement about the organization’s mission. From that point, they began once again working effectively together to govern the organization.  Many reported a great freeing up of energy.  Their experience on the board became more rewarding than ever.

Conflict and Communication Issues. When you sense that certain members of your leadership team are not communicating effectively, you may initially may want to ignore it and hope it goes away.  Instead consider that this may present a good opportunity for advancement and freeing up energy among leaders.  

Failing to address miscommunication may lead to disruption in organizational functioning. Departmental leaders may find workarounds for system malfunctions to the point that they become practically invisible; however, front-line staff will often be left struggling to try to cope with these organizational glitches, and may end up feeling that their leaders have let them down by failing to address them.

It is important not to assume that conflicts between leaders are simply personality conflicts, as this is often not the case. Often, there are real underlying organizational problems inherent in these conflicts.  You need to determine as a leader when the organization will benefit from identifying and resolving those challenges. You can use a planning process to surface the issues that need to be resolved and get the team working through steps to solving such roadblocks in the best way to support the mission of the organization. This process can unleash tremendous organizational energy.

Indecision. A good opportunity for a planning process occurs when your leadership team is having difficulty making critical decisions in a timely way.  Many of the executive leaders I work with prefer as much consensus-based decision-making as possible; however, they find that they fall back on autocratic decision-making more than they would like when their leadership team gets stuck in a loop when making certain critical decisions. Recognize such conflicts as an opportunity for your organization. Take the opportunity to introduce constructive disruption by implementing a planning process in which you can surface points of agreement and disagreement and, ultimately, move forward toward a decision that everyone can support.

Role Confusion.  Have you ever had another leader in your organization giving direction to staff you supervise and felt “this is not helpful?!”  It is not unusual for different organizational leaders to give somewhat conflicting directions, but this can become a serious cause of organizational dysfunction or even chaos, and may need to be addressed.  This reflects another leadership challenge that may indicate the need for a planning process. 

I remember being surprised, as a young manager, when I discovered that this kind of confusion was generally not cleared up by a quick conversation in which I would simply tell the other leader, “that’s my responsibility, stay out of it.”  Often, a more thorough discussion was needed to wade through the complexity of different leaders’ responsibilities and authorities.  

When you use planning intentionally to implement organizational change, surface and resolve misunderstandings and obstacles, mine differences of opinion or clear up role confusion, your leadership team becomes empowered and can function in a more aligned way.  The team can learn to make better decisions together. And the experience of solving complex problems together is something your leadership team will always have to fall back on when confronted with a crisis.

When you thoughtfully plan for organizational advancement, you can achieve a point of departure for your organization, and your leadership team can strengthen communications and pick up great forward momentum. When this happens, your organization can achieve more positive results in all areas — client outcomes, staff recruitment and retention, customer service, productivity, and financial. 

Planning can strengthen your leadership team’s functioning and release great energy for your organization.  Have you used planning in this way?

 

Planning conversations related to conflict, role confusion and communication problems can often be most effectively achieved with use of a facilitator from outside the organization. Please get in touch if I can help you use planning conversations to build leadership capacity and move your organization forward.

drginny@masteringmission.com  or 720-254-1466

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit, Organizational Leadership, Planning | 2 Comments

Use Planning to build Leadership Alignment

by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, Mission-Based Leader’s Coach

The mental health organization was notified by the insurance company that  intensive services would no longer be authorized for more than a 90 day period, though program staff strongly believed that one year of services was an absolute minimum necessary for achieving their goals. Through a thoughtful planning process, with a variety of interested parties, it became clear that everyone believed that 90 days of intensive services could make a big difference for these clients— if only they changed their intended outcomes. Rather than trying to achieve “stability” among the child and youth clients with mental illness,  which never seemed to occur anyway, they would now work to achieve “capacity and confidence” in the youth’s parents to manage the ups and downs of their child’s mental illness and minimize crises. Program staff and clients went from panic to resolve to the achievement of meaningful measurable outcomes, all because of a thoughtful planning process. 

Mission-based leaders work to make a positive difference in the world, improving the health, education and welfare of people in their communities, often in regulation-heavy, resource-scarce environments. It is my pleasure and my honor to support mission-based leaders doing such important, life-changing work, and the primary way I help them achieve their missions is through strengthening their leaders.

I do leadership coaching work with mission-based leaders and this is often powerfully beneficial for both the individual leader and their organization. But it has become more and more clear to me that the greatest organizational momentum and impact derives from the functioning of the leadership team. Of course, the central figure (CEO, board chairperson, or other team leader) influences the leadership team’s functioning; but I notice that the strength of the leadership teams often varies, even with the same central figure. This is important because organizational functioning follows leadership team functioning: when leadership team functioning is high, the organization has great momentum, moving forward firing on all cylinders and, when leadership team functioning becomes rocky, organizational functioning slows down.

I often use planning processes to build leadership alignment. What better way to build alignment than to define and resolve challenges together? By the time the planning process is complete, members of the leadership team are generally much clearer about where they’re headed and they ought to feel much more united in their work towards that focus.It is in doing great work together that dynamic leadership teams are forged. They bond in the achievement of the mission, partly through the work of solving complex problems together.

It is important to recognize that planning is not just about the annual strategic planning retreat. Planning processes occur all the time; whether in a very organized way or quickly, on-the-fly.  The question is how thoughtful and effective those processes are.  I suggest that the need to plan  presents an opportunity to strengthen your leadership team.

Coping with Change. Mission-based leaders frequently must respond to changing funding or regulatory environments, and they want to respond in a way that ensures both the best, uninterrupted service delivery and the most responsible fiscal management. When you confront such challenges and gather your best minds to consider and plan the best approaches for handling this environmental shift, your leadership team develops invaluable capacity to solve problems together.

Solving problems together creates alignment between leaders.  It’s wonderful to discover that,  having spent a lot of time working to resolve problems together, the leadership team has built great capacity for resolving crises that arise in the course of doing your mission-based work. When your organization confronts a crucial moment, the capacity to resolve a crisis for the benefit of the organization and its mission will be there. Many things will change in the life of your leadership team, but the feeling “we can solve problems together!” will be an invaluable touchstone to fall back on when they confront the inevitable challenges of leading a mission-based organization.

In the next post, I will identify three other situations that expose opportunities for using planning to strengthen leadership alignment and capacity.

The intensive services team described above became a much more effective team by working through a crisis. Can you recall a moment when your leadership team built alignment through solving problems?

Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, the Mission-Based Leaders Coach

 

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit, Organizational Leadership, Planning | Leave a comment

Mission-Based Leaders must Avoid a Scarcity Mentality

by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, the Mission-Based Leader’s Coach

A scarcity mindset can doom an organization—in at least 3 ways.  Mission-based leaders, such as Program Directors, Executive Directors, Operations Directors, and Board members, must guard against perpetuating such a mindset, as it is almost guaranteed to hold back the mission-based organization from fulfilling its mission.

    1. A scarcity mindset may translate to failing to hire enough staff to get the job done. The Head Start program that combined the Operations Director position with the Compliance, Quality Assurance, and federal grant management responsibilities discovered that the entire program took on a compliance emphasis rather than emphasizing excellent care. They could never achieve the excellence and impact focus they sought as long as they combined the two positions. It’s a balancing act to figure out when to add positions, but it is important to be thinking ahead about it.
    2.  Often, a scarcity mindset translates to hiring the most inexperienced and unskilled staff. After all, momentum leads us in that direction. Those are the people applying for the jobs and it’s easier on the budget. But that is generally a poor strategy and often produces poor results. The accountant hired at 25% below market rates was only able to get half of the job done, resulting in serious losses to the organization. Some of these losses involved revenues that weren’t collected and some involved waste and inefficiency. When the executive director took the risk of hiring a more experienced accountant and paying the (nonprofit) market rate, the board of directors was concerned about the rising costs. However, once accounts receivable were well-managed, income increased dramatically, and it became much less common to tap into the line of credit in order to meet payroll. Ultimately, paying more for a more qualified employee paid off for the organization.
    3. A scarcity mindset may result in failing to invest in key elements of business success, and may hold the organization back. Often, when starting up a mission-based business, there is little funding to invest in important functions. Founders of nonprofit organizations are often happy if they can hire one part-time staff person to take on some of the day-to-day work of getting the organization going. However, mission-based leaders must continue to adapt to lead their organizations forward. If your organization continues to function without investing in important business functions, such as professional accounting services or marketing, it can never fulfill its potential.

It used to be that charitable organizations were evaluated for how much they minimized their administrative costs. Donors gave more to organizations that had the smallest administrative expenses.  Although we may understand that donors are wary about organizations in which the CEOs are paid unusually high wages, it is not wise to insist that mission-based organizations, any more than any business, spend as little as possible on administration. Somebody needs to lead the organization and somebody needs to manage payroll and receivables.  It is also important to get an annual audit of your financials, etc.  When you try to hire the cheapest personnel in these roles, you generally can’t hire the most skilled professionals. This can hold the organization back from achieving its mission.

Instead of leading from a scarcity mindset, lead from an excellence mindset. You will protect the organization’s resources better when you focus on recruiting and retaining the Best—the Most Likely to Succeed rather than the Least Expensive  —employee.  It tends to be smarter to seek staff with the talents, intelligence, and work ethic to get the job done – and to get it done well. (More on how to hire the best in previous blog posts at www.managingmission.com)

As a mission-based leader in these constantly shifting times, one often finds that new skills, new people, or new positions are needed to make the organization function optimally.  Yet, it can be difficult to make time as needed for the analysis and planning these kinds of decisions require, and we often end up making such decisions in a reactive way, after things have reached a boiling point.  When you are leading a mission-based organization, it is advisable to take some time each year to evaluate whether now is the time to invest in moving your organization forward. Answer questions such as:

  • How clear and aligned is our leadership about our mission and vision?
  • How clear are our organizational goals?
  • What are strengths and weaknesses in implementing our programs, services, and change efforts?
  • What are the greatest opportunities at this time for better strengthening our future or fulfilling our mission?

If there are opportunities to take your organization seriously forward, be thoughtful about the planning process. Consider investing some time and money in a professionally-led strategic planning process. This is another time to avoid a scarcity mindset. It is not sensible to devote 7 hours of 10 leaders’ time to a planning process that is not effectively led or productive. If you can devote that much of the organization’s leadership time to a process, devote some fiscal resources to ensuring that time is well-used for taking the organization decisively forward.

Have you seen first-hand how a scarcity mindset can hold an organization back from fulfilling its potential?

Posted in Leadership, Management, Organizational Leadership | Leave a comment

Getting Smart about Planning

What is INTELLIGENT PLANNING?

by Dr. Ginny Trierweiler, the Mission-Based Leader’s Coach

Planning processes are not one-size-fits-all. Maybe you are planning to complete a successful grant proposal over the next 5 weeks, or to hire a new Vice President for your Pediatrics Department, or to discover an opportunity to move your organization decisively forward so it can gain substantially greater support in the coming year.

Planning must fit the current circumstances and organizational needs. When your leadership team engages in an intelligent planning process, you can address exactly what your team needs to address. The process should be intelligent in at least 3 ways:

  1. Identify a specific purpose for planning at this time. What will be different when planning is done? Without such a purpose, you are likely to have a nice retreat day that doesn’t make a real difference for the organization.
  2. Allot adequate time for planning. A situation assessment is always an important part of a planning process. You need to know where to start and where to end up!   You may be able to complete your planning goals in an hour, or you may need a 6 month process with a formal assessment, an initial retreat, and a decision-making retreat. Determine what you intend to accomplish and get realistic about how much time it will take to think things through, gather information, and discuss details enough to make actionable decisions. Implementation won’t work if decisions are rushed and there is a lack of reality basis or buy-in to the decisions.
  3. Engage a skilled facilitator to guide the planning process. It may not be necessary to do this for every planning process; however, it can be helpful for most if not all. A facilitator who functions outside your organization’s power dynamics can more effectively lead an objective, participatory process.
    1. Select a facilitator who thinks and communicates clearly so they can guide your planning process toward a well-considered, coherent and implementable plan.
    2. Select a facilitator with strong interview and assessment skills, so they can ascertain quite effectively the optimal focus and process to achieve the planning goals.
    3. Select a facilitator with very leadership and meeting facilitation skills. It is important that the facilitator conveys respect and high regard for everyone involved and for the mission of the organization. For real change to occur, the facilitator must build trust with everyone involved and have their permission to challenge assumptions and interrupt processes that seem to interfere with achieving the planning goals.
    4. Consider selecting a facilitator with intimate knowledge of organizations like yours; this facilitates quicker trust and progress through the process.

Strategic planning processes can be a waste of time, especially if you don’t give them enough time, if you skip key parts of the process, or you fail to obtain a facilitator with the leadership skills to guide your leadership team through the tough spots, where there is often a wealth of opportunity. If you are going to devote substantial organizational resources to planning, use an intelligent planning process!

What would you add to this description of ways to have a planning process that makes a real positive difference?

 

Get in touch to talk about how a facilitated planning process can help you!

gt headshot pretty smile 2013

 

Posted in Leadership, Management, nonprofit, Organizational Leadership, Planning | Leave a comment