Cutting Through the Vision Clutter: Ready, Aim, Fire!
|(My son experiencing a bit of Vision Clutter.)|
If this sounds familiar, you have Vision Clutter. The good news is that it's treatable with a review period I call "Ready, Aim, Fire!" It is a valuable exercise when things seem bogged down and hopeless. Too many organizations mistake "effort" with "progress." Just because you're moving doesn't mean you're heading in the right direction! Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden said it best: "Don't mistake activity for achievement."
First, focus on the WHY of your organization. Strip it back down to the core. What is the fuel that drives your work? You joined your organization to make a real difference, right? Remind yourself, clearly, why you have stepped up to answer this call.
Second, focus on HOW your organization is branded and structured. Remember that your Brand is a promise! People expect specific things when interacting with your organization and it needs to be simple, consistent and approachable. Is everyone on your staff in the right role? Do they have things on their plate that should be someone else's responsibility? What about your volunteers - do they have a choice in how they represent your brand? A common problem with turning to "volunteer power" is turning power over to the volunteers. If you allow your brand to be represented poorly through their actions (however good the intentions may be), you will confuse and lose the support of potential supporters. If you have a clear branding process, your volunteers will become the lifeblood of your organization. Invest in a branding expert that will give you the right framework so you can tap into volunteer communities properly. It will make all the difference!
Third, focus on WHAT tools or technology you need to help your organization move in the right direction. There are thousands of low-cost tools (many are free) you can employ to improve communications, social media outreach, internal processes and more. Do your research and don't rely on one person's pet technology just because they're comfortable with it.
One of my former business ventures was selling products online. We discovered that simply updating the product catalog was eating up too much time for our team, so we found a better system that automated the process. It freed our team to focus on B2B selling and we doubled our profits before the year was out. Basically, the status quo was slowly dragging us down; by locating the choke point it made all the difference.
People engage with your charity because you give them the tools and encouragement to step into a role they strongly identify with and enjoy. If they are attracted to your WHY (the reason you exist), and you provide them a clear HOW (branding) as well as a strong WHAT (tools, processes), they will help take you to greater heights.
This process should be repeated even when things seem like they're going well. By the time you recognize the symptoms of Vision Clutter, you will have much more work to do!