Most people have heard the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
During the recent Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference, however, Jenna Taylor of the Shriners Hospital for Children and Gilman Sullivan of Blackbaud warned that change is so constant that inflexibility and failure to adapt can have dire consequences for any organization. Those consequences can be so dire that Sullivan offered a new definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting … the same result.
The need to be aware of and prepared for change is so prevalent that nonprofit leaders must be ready to control change, reduce barriers, involve the stakeholders and lead. Doing that requires the following:
- Communications. Start with “Asking.” Don’t assume. Find out what people don’t know. Set up a communications team and provide executive guidance.
- Involvement. This means stakeholders. Provide conduits.
- Leadership. Set up an executive guidance team. These people will own the project, so give expectations and hopes and help them with messaging. Provide them with two to three talking points periodically. Remember technology implementation. Attendance at training is an absolute to get credentials. Use of the implemented solution should go as a goal into every employee’s performance review.
- Sharing. Preparation: plan, team selection, resources. Be flexible.