Silos Are For Farming

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Imagine we decide to meet in Italy. We’re taking your whole team for a staff retreat (and someone else paid! Woohoo!) So, we get your team together and we say, “we’re going to Italy!”

Everyone is going to have a completely different vision of that. One person imagines arriving in the summer on a cruise ship in Venice, while another person on your team imagines a sports car and an autumn drive along the coast – and yet another imagines arriving by train in Florence and wandering among the museums and seeing the statue of David.

I imagine staying at a villa in Tuscany hearing a crazy American lady (is that me?) saying, “Ladybugs, Katherine…lots and lots of ladybugs!”

So, what’s the problem? We’re all in Italy so didn’t we hit the goal? But wait, we aren’t anywhere near the same place or time. So no, we did not hit the goal.

People Power the Plan

Even if you have a super clear goal and an awesome plan; like gas in your car, or food in your body, your plan will not run unless you are fueling it.

Your fuel? The people on your team. Harnessing the power of  staff, board, volunteers and other stakeholders toward raising lots of money for the mission seems like it would be an easy thing to do. Everyone is there for a good reason (we hope because of the mission), they want to do a kick ass job and be recognized for their contribution. And, they don’t want to be stressed out all the time. Easy, right?

Not so much.

How can you harness the power of the people to create an integrated team, heading toward the same goal and arriving at the same place at the same time?

First, it starts with the goal and being in complete agreement about where you are going and when you will get there. Like Italy.

Get together as a team and talk about the specifics. Communicate. Talk about your goal in story form – make sure you get your brain involved – releasing key chemicals and lighting up all over the place (take a look at the brain science behind stories vs bullet points here).

Next, be clear on roles and responsibilities. Who is the “project manager” for each goal? It’s probably a team effort, but the buck stops with one person who is responsible for making sure the tasks get done to hit the goal. Can’t be two people, sorry. ONE person is responsible.

Who is a contributor? You can have lots of these. Make sure they all know it and agree.

Spend some time using the easy SMARTplan template here to get your specific goals (story!), metrics, action, roles and deadlines together.

Then execute.

Plan, do, check, adjust and repeat.

Author: Aimee Sheridan

Aimee has spent the last 20 years in non-profit leadership roles; raising revenue, awareness and building community partnerships to support services that care for those in need. Aimee’s signature strength has been in working with stakeholders to create comprehensive, integrated fundraising and marketing plans. By using data driven strategies focusing and on execution toward the goals, she has been able to help organizations increase their revenue because they are working on the right activities as part of the plan.

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