To have the desired impact we want, nonprofit organizations face significant changes in the days ahead. It’s more important now than ever to leave the safety of the comfortable and conservative to venture into risky waters. As the old adage suggests, “Anyone can captain a ship in the harbor, but it takes a skillful captain to find success on the high seas.”
It’s time for organizations to embrace developing new strategies and skills to be equipped and ready for the larger opportunities often hidden in the crises we face. Today, models and mindsets must also expand beyond traditional norms to attract the talent and resources that will make a difference.
Recently, a young leader of an organization I worked with decided shortly after getting a Masters in Social Work from a very prestigious university that to really achieve their desired results they would need to leave the safety of a secure job. Instead, they put together a more flexible menu of part-time opportunities to allow caring for a family member, pursuing personal goals in the entertainment industry, and building the team of a nonprofit for creative expression.
While this kind of risk-taking may not guarantee success, it does ensure there will at least be the opportunity to build something new and different. In this industry too many organizations practice imitation (based on evidence and research) and too few find support and encouragement for innovation (which may either expose a great new idea or end in failure). Do you think it’s time to choose between the safety of the predictable and the excitement of the unknown?
Please send me your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your voice will shape the next stage of this conversation.