A few years ago, I did a lot of really hard work and lost about 40 pounds. It was exhilarating to see those kind of results. I took it slow, and over a two year period changed my eating habits, exercised a little more and committed to seeing things change. (Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to keep about half those pounds off, but that’s probably a story for a different post!)
What I learned during that time period is that if we want to see real changes in our outcomes, we need to implement big changes.
Every so often I’ll get a call from a nonprofit leader who is really frustrated with the results they’re seeing, but when I start asking about what changes they’re willing to make, the phone goes silent. Crickets…
Nell Edington, in her article, How Open to Change Is Your Nonprofit, Really? highlights this issue. As she points out, “significant change is not easy. And for it to truly come to fruition it requires that the nonprofit leader must fully commit — and get her board and staff to fully commit — to creating real, lasting change.”
Nell goes on to suggest five questions to ask to help you determine if you and your organization is really ready change. Here are three of them:
- Are we willing to assess our systems and make changes where needed?
- Are we willing to engage in meaningful conversations about difficult topics to identify the right way to move forward?
- Is the vision big enough – and we excited enough by it – to convince skeptics to join us on the journey