Where Organizations Get Stuck and How Outside Help Can Free You
Sometimes I get stuck in my own head. Faced with a problem, I work through not less than five paths to a possible solution, and in the end, I’m more uncertain of the way forward than when I began. Can you relate?
I’ve learned in my years as a business owner that consulting trusted friends and advisors is one way to get “unstuck.” The answer could be right in front of me, but if I’m examining a challenge alone, my singular thinking, unique biases, and even best intentions can cloud my view.
My practice thrives when I bring diverse ideas to the table. I have found I can more effectively and efficiently reach a conclusion about any number of burning business questions when I seek new and different perspectives.
The power of outside help
The same is true of enlisting outside help when reimagining what’s possible for your agency, be it culture change, strategy planning, or talent engagement. In our work with nonprofit leaders, my organization development consulting firm Brighter Strategies operates with a strategic management philosophy. This means we believe that no program, process, or initiative should occur on its own, but rather as part of a larger whole—one that is thoughtfully planned and strategically aligned with broader organization goals.
When it comes to your organization’s people, planning, process, and performance pain points, it is possible to get unstuck. Here’s how.
Your people are your organization’s most valuable asset
Perhaps your greatest challenge centers around your people. Are you trying to increase employee engagement and productivity across the organization? Have you identified teams that could benefit from communication skills and collaboration training? Consider a strategic approach to human resources management that focuses on building strong employee relationships throughout your organization so that all people are working in concert to achieve your mission.
A failure to plan is a plan to fail
A strong talent base is a start. A detailed plan of action is necessary for your people to meet your organization’s goals. What is your blueprint for success? Do you have a defined vision and executable plan that supports your culture, history, and values, while helping you realize a meaningful impact in the community? Especially in today’s business environment where change is constant, it’s important to include forecasting in your planning efforts. Using a systems approach, you can connect the dots of your organization’s principles and priorities and set the direction for a sustainable plan.
Do more with less through efficient processes
A good plan ensures your organization is effectively moving toward its vision. Good processes help you reach your goals more efficiently. Dig into your agency’s internal systems—are they smoothly operating, or are there some blockages that need to be re-mapped? Process evaluation must be ongoing and can be executed in the form of organizational assessments, program measurement, and change management. Most importantly, agencies that have healthy processes identify metrics and track data to monitor their holistic efficiency.
Drive success with performance management
High-performing organizations have two things in common: They continually evaluate how they’re doing, and they make informed decisions to guide their daily operations. The purpose of performance management in an organization is to ensure that business goals are effectively (via a great plan) and efficiently (via strong processes) being met and the agency is aligning its resources (engaged people) to these priorities. Hallmarks of a strong performance culture include candid communication, trust and risk taking, openness, and a growth mindset.
Getting unstuck often requires taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Consider which component of your organization’s broader system needs a reboot, and how that upgrade will affect other facets. And if you ever find you need some outside insight, we’re always here help.