Many organizations find themselves doing “things” because they have always been done or because there is no one else in the community to do them. In other words, they take on tasks or projects because someone needs to do them, or maybe because there are much-needed dollars attached to the project. But, today, I want you to think about what your organization is good at.
What does your organization do really well?
When we take an honest look at the array of services and programs offered by our organization, we may find that we are doing some things that we are doing adequately, but not greatly. For instance, I can make updates to my website but I am not really great at it—it takes me a long time and does not always look as good as it could— so, I need to have someone else do that for me. Your organization may find itself in the same situation—doing things that it can do but not necessarily in the best way possible. As organizations that represent Christ, our organizations should be doing everything with excellence—this means not half-heartedly, or because there is no one else to do it. The individuals that your organization is serving deserve the very best.
Has your organization assessed itself to identify its strengths and how it best serves? Pulling together a team and asking some questions can help the organization to identify everything it does, everyone who it serves, AND what it does the best. Note, it is not a bad thing when you discover that you are doing things that you are not doing the best—it only becomes a bad thing when you hang onto these things. Find ways to transition services and projects outside of your area of excellence to other organizations that are better suited.
The questions to ask:
- Is there any evidence that we are good at ______? What do our outcome measures tell us? What do our client/participant surveys tell us?
- Are there people in our organization that are highly gifted in this area?
- Does the service “fit” with our mission?
Ultimately, the responses to these questions will lead to more discussion amongst team members. It is important to ensure that when these questions are asked that a safe-environment is created so that no one feels like they are being singled out or that fingers are being pointed at them.
Now that you have identified what you are doing that you are GREAT at, and those things that you do but that you aren’t necessarily great at, it is time to determine what you can do in the future. Using your strengths, begin to look at what you could/should be doing to fulfill your mission. And, at the same time, what skills and strengths do people within your organization have that are not being used to their fullest potential.
Ultimately, in our lives and in the life of our nonprofit, we have to make choices. There are a lot of things we can do, but those things are not necessarily the things that we do better than others — the things we are really good at. Today, make a choice to serve and give in ways that align with what your organization is best at.