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Change is constant August 26th, 2014

Written by Banu Raghuraman (@banudesigns)

The opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of Endeavour.

We are always striving to become better at what we do. With NFPs, there are more challenge with limitations on funds and manpower. How do we overcome the limitations and improve? We caught up with Steven Ayer to get his thoughts.

Click here for Steven Ayer’s bio.

How do individuals at both management and non-management levels within an NFP identify and implement good strategies?

At the management level…

Constant stream of communication – formal and informal – should be ever present. When you identify new strategies, you should get feedback from many people for maximum effectiveness. You should involve and inform every stakeholder so that they feel engaged and support the changes in a constructive way. They should feel motivated to work through the process.

You should have proper and rigorous processes in place to analyze and see which strategies should be implemented. Assessments should still continue after implementation. Prioritization should also take into account the current level of resources and availability.

At the non-management level…

Often at the lower levels, you have more latitude on day- to- day decisions. You may not have the time or resources to implement the ideas, since you are already donning multiple hats, but you might suggest or recommend new ideas. However, there may be times when external consultants may be hired to resolve the situation.

With external consultants…

Sometimes external consultants reduce costs by minimizing or eliminating stakeholder engagement, as they focus on quickly making changes. This disrupts the feedback process, so some groundwork has to be completed in stakeholder engagement prior to bringing in external consultants.

What are some ways to test new ideas and their impacts, especially when resources and time are tight?

What I really like to do is research and small scale tests. Strategies should always be assessed with a smaller audience; however, if the test audience is too small, the results found can be misleading.

Instead, we can review publications and research for information and knowledge sharing, to see how various strategies may work. The research may not be exact, but it will have a large audience and analogous results, which gives us access to the best available resources.

We can also use students and interns to complete literature reviews, do business environment assessments, and carry out rigourous research. Such level of detail may be difficult for senior executives to complete; however, student engagement should assist in the initiation of ground work.

We welcome you to share your thoughts through comments below or @EndeavourVCN.

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