With Fall just about upon us, thoughts naturally turn toward planning for 2014, year end board meetings, and next year’s budget. In other words, a lot of deep thinking on some  important issues. Before you default into your normal year end mindset though, why not spice up your thinking and try something new, really new. Why not free up yourself, your staff, and your board this time around to think big, different, and maybe even “edgy”.

Here’s are two ideas to keep your organization from just refreshing up last year’s plan, which may not have been all that good anyway. Take some time at this year’s budget and strategy sessions to reboot your organization.

  1. Challenge your team and your board to prepare as if you all were just now starting up the organization…brand new.
  2. Challenge them to forget about current limitations, lingering legacy issues, and sacred cows. Push them out of their comfort zone and give them permission, maybe even demand them, to think boldly, outside of the limitations of your normal processes.

Drilling down a bit, ask them to give their best answers to the following questions:

  • If we were starting our organization today, brand new, how should it be organized?
  • What should we stop doing right now?
  • What should carefully we protect?
  • What should we start doing today?
  • What services do we provide that our client population values…or, no longer values?
  • Is there someone else that does some of what we do better than we do? Should we stop doing that?
  • What skill sets are we lacking on our board, or staff, that are critical fro our success next year an how can we fill those needs right away?

This list is not complete; feel free to add your own. I guarantee these will not be boring meetings. Let me know how it goes.

Let me know what  other questions you would add. Let me hear from you.