Jim Collins, Manhattan, Leslie Lohman discussed on Nonprofits Are Messy: Lessons in Leadership | Fundraising | Board Development | Communications

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Lohman museum is an lgbt art. Museum in manhattan. And if i if i'm remembering this right and you'll tell me lindsey that one of the things we we. We got the group to really embrace. Is that one of their. Values was the power of being radical right and that it started its origin story was around being radical and that you define that evolves and changes over the life over decades over time it means something different but they value that and that actually having that value helped the person the the curator and the executive director make choices about what exhibits they would they would bring in. I mean that's just one example right is that they always wanted to embrace the fact that they did what they did was radical and that that was very distinctive from any other any other kind of museum that had a particular lgbt exhibit. It said that they were you know that it was all about. Lgbt art and it was all about radical just. I mean i'm oversimplifying. But that's just one example of a value and for that process. It was not easy to come to that value. You know it's it's a process of talking things out and and you know in fact. I think this works for a lot of organizations. This process involves going back to your origins and thinking about the values of the folks. That's down at your institution and thinking about how you felt about it at the very beginning now where that initial adrenaline come from. And it's often not about what you're doing at any one moment but what you're feeling why you're doing it. And and what the values are that are driving you and so that's first talking through that you know. We met with leslie lohman museum countless times before we landed on this. Yeah this word and this value about being radical and in really will serve as a guiding principle for all their strategy decisions going forward right games a a bright green light to the executive director of the curator's to everyone working on their programs about what they should be striving for and Man it was. I mean that along with so much more powerful than any anywhere with the budget. Kpi's right don't you think that that What's valuable about this This process is it forces you to confront the big questions you can't you you can't ignore them You just you just can't ignore them because well first of all you just can't ignore them but somehow another strategic planning the way it is currently designed it can. It can actually you. Could you can get away with doing it without actually really investigating. Oh you can jump into those weeds. You can you can you. Can we leave. You can read this and you can Plant more weeds and you can Develop a lot of key is around weeds. And and honestly. I think that it ends up being so rigid and And constraining and it. It also assumes that you have it reduces how nimble you can be in the future. Yeah i think that's really a good. That's a very good point but at the same. I'm thinking people are listening saying okay so i ended up with a vision. I ended up with values. I ended up with guiding principles. Is that enough. And if i am beholden and you know they really do not like thinking this way but i behold into a. I attach a copy of my strategy to the bla-bla-bla foundation. Like aren't they going to think that that's pretty abstract we maybe week so i and i understand as you and i have have talked about it a bunch of times the guiding principles become guardrails right. You make decisions about what you do during the lifespan of that plan right rider between now and the at whatever. The period of time is using those guiding principles and those values as guardrails. But the can't be that can't be all right. Well yeah me strategic. Planning can't the abandoned. I mean what would. What would dwight eisenhower say. The decisions about strategy are going to arise constantly dozens of decisions every year that need to be made and big ones. That require a lot of research a lot of expertise a lot of scenario. Planning i guess. I guess hardawy distinguishing between strategic vision and strategic planning. Is that a lot of those decisions that would fall. That would be tackled by strategic planning for example Do we want to expand into a second location in another state. those questions. Those challenges are not. Well tackled at a day-long retreat for your board and staff say that strategic that traditional strategic planning process doesn't work well to reach smart strategy decisions for your seeking to do is actually convenient gordon. Your staff in a generative process it gets everyone aligned. Cassette psyched about the future. You know strategic visiting is is a process that you want to use that. Once you're done. What's has you know what. Jim collins describes Algae in your envision a future and you have a few pages of of words that capture this And hopefully everyone is ally. Everyone is breathing this. You know everyone is feeling it. That's conversation turns to like what are the implications of this. And and that's when you start to transition yourself in district into planning like you know. Some sense of priorities will begin to emerge some sense of okay implications if we're if we're going to be if radical is going to be our core value fracture ration- of our museum for the next few years like what does that mean in terms of hiring decisions. Which is that mean. Insurance of our acquisitions also developed the sense for what opportunities and what's threats to look into and what areas of the landscape to investigate more inferring naturally your hunger hungerford degenerate strategic planning will begin to get a sense for what kinds of strategies actually need to be developed and also who should be involved in developing strategies. 'cause it's probably not the whole board all at once in what hey long retreat and and you'll allow joe allegation and you allow for more fluid conversation as the year goes on now. What if foundation ask you to attach your strategic plan like. There's something there's always something you can cobble together. But i think that what you're so let's talk about what in strategic vision what the sort of the deliverable is because one of the things that we don't just say you know when we've done this work in lindsay. Does it in her own practices. Well is you've got this vision. You've got these core. Values got these guiding principles. And you work to get all your key stakeholders aligned around it. And you actually build it out of stakeholder interviews.

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