Every company and leader says they are client-centered and are there to provide services that help them. And, most of the time, the services do. But, have you taken a close look at your clients lately? When was the last time you evaluated your current service offerings? Are they the same you have always offered? Does you client still need-or value-those services? And, how would you go about getting those critical market intelligence updates?

We decided to learn if our services were still on the mark. At an all day Board/staff retreat our nonprofit will be hearing from two local experts on the plight of those we serve-families and individuals in need of basic services.

One expert is knowledgeable in the demographics of our area and will give us her projections on what our service community will look like over the next 5 years. The other expert will hone in on the profile of the clients we serve. Who are they; what are their critical needs to become self-sufficient; what the major challenges they face are. Questions like that.

With this hard data, we will break into several small groups and try to paint a high-level picture of our future environment. Afterward, we will reform as a whole and draw meaningful conclusions.

With this information we will take another look at ourselves and prepare our organization for the needs of our future clients. Offering them what we think they need is too costly and may miss the mark entirely. This may even have implications on how we are organized-who knows!