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Posts Tagged 'Strategic Planning'

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Building a Proactive Life Plan

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“When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight, not for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us thinking, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them. And that men will say, as they look upon them and the labor and wrought substance, “See! This our fathers did for us.” Audels Carpenters & Builders Guild, Vol. 1, 1923 Review the Blueprints Over the holidays, I saw a re-run of the PBS special “Building the Great Cathedrals”. This program focuses on the design and construction of several of the greatest Gothic and Medieval cathedrals in Europe. It also highlights the problems a few of them experience in maintaining structural integrity. Clearly these magnificent structures weren’t meant for temporary use or “present delight”. I happened to catch this program just as I was reflecting on the pa ...

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Devil in the Details

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“If we did all the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~Thomas Edison As we anticipate the coming year, many organizations use the month of October to develop the action plans for 2015. So once again we take the leadership team off-site for a time to re-affirm the vision, mission, and goals, and attempt to map the path for the coming year. But how do you maintain that enthusiasm and energy throughout the year? You start with a strategic plan. But what exactly is that? While your vision and mission answers the questions “what” and “why,” an effective strategic plan weighs in on the “how” and the “when.” God of Amazing Details I would like to take exception with the common mantra, “the devil is in the details.” Actually, we serve a God of amazing details. We can see that by just taking a short look around us. If God pays attention to detail, how much more important is it for us to do so, especially in strategic planning. But you say “I’m a big picture guy, those t ...

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Soaring with Capital Campaigns

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As your vision continues to grow you become more and more excited to you see new opportunities develop for your ministry. Then your financial team speaks aloud what you fear most: “This is going to require a lot of money.” (Or in other words, “You need to start a Capital Campaign.”) William E. Heller, the brilliant Sales Manager for General Motor’s Chevy division from 1933 to 1945, observed: “What the future holds for us depends on what we hold for the future. Hard working ‘todays’ make high winning ‘tomorrows.’” Now, let me pose a few questions. These questions will help guide you to a place where you view capital development as a valuable fulfillment of stewardship for your ministry and supporters. What have we done well in the past? “Count Your Blessings” was one of my daughter’s favorite bedtime songs when she was little. “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, we’ll see what God has done.” After singing the song we would recall our big and the small blessings befor ...

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Are You Building an Organization of Value?

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“Human Resource transformation efforts that focus exclusively on improving HR are bound to fail.”   -David Urlich, University of Michigan Ross School of Business In workshops with HR professionals around the country, David Urlich begins by asking the question “What is the biggest challenge you face in your job today?” He would hear responses ranging from ‘getting HR practices right’ to ‘relating to leadership’ to ‘managing the increased personal demands of the job’. Mr. Urlich relates that heads would all nod until he would say, “These answers are all wrong.” “HR professionals should be at least as concerned with the outcomes of activities – the value they create – as with the activities themselves.” Creating and Maintaining an Organization of Value From working with a number of ministries as well as public agencies and private sector companies, I have found that Organizations of Value all share five distinct practices, with clear purposes for each practice: Practice: Forge a strong and distinct ...

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Missed Opportunity or the Real Challenge?

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As we move through these slower days of summer, we know the responsibilities pressing on us. Yet it seems that the ability to move things along or to just simply “get stuff done” is just beyond our grasp. Thinking about this reminded me of watching my Granddad on his farm at the breakfast table as he would quietly “mix a portion” of butter and sorghum, waiting for Grandma’s biscuits to come out of the oven. “But Granddad, the biscuits aren’t here yet!” I would cry. But sure enough, there was something amazing about the combination of those fresh, hot biscuits and the “portion” when it all came together. Thinking about my Granddad’s forethought in preparing for a simple culinary treat, while things were quiet at the table (and I was just watching), reminded me of something Dr. Charles Stanley said: “Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and a downward spiral begins.” What are the opportunities that you are missing—maybe it’s the donors you could be building relationships with, or the knowledge y ...

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“Well, it’s summer—nothing gets done now.”

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“SUMMER SLUMP” also known as “The Doldrums,” “The Sargasso Sea,” or “The Horse Latitudes” (more about this one in a bit). It has arrived! We all have so much to do now, yet it seems that we only think: · “School is out.” · “Let’s go to the beach.” · “Disney admission prices skyrocketed.” · “I feel so peaceful in the mountains.” At this point, it appears that everybody throws all of their energy into their desired vacations and summer activities BUT the important tasks get a half-hearted side glance. If you think like me, you’re already feeling a bit guilty about what needs to get done (but you know it won’t), and what everyone really wants to be doing in these summer months. As I think about the slow days that are ahead, the words of a Pink Floyd song come to mind: Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town Waiting for someone or something to show you the way BUT, I am also ...

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Raising Your Focus From the Snakes at Your Feet.

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Winston Churchill once said “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” As a ministry grows, the leadership faces a multitude of changing priorities. All too often we become caught up in the details of day-to-day events, causing the focus of our vision to become a bit fuzzy. At this point we stop planning and resort to worrying. In essence, it is like trying to just shoot the snakes closest to your feet. The Listener-Supported Radio Development Outlook Study uncovered an interesting response to leadership vision and its effects on the operation. When asked to finish the sentence: “Your station has a vision statement that is…” (and given six possible ways to finish it), four out of five of the successful stations who responded had a clear vision or a positive reaction to that vision. However, over a third of struggling stations had no vision or felt confused about the vision. So, how do you stay focused on your vision instead of allowing daily events to distract you? Make Better Use of ...

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    About Jamie
    “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

    As a life-long student of management principles, I enjoy finding those sparks that bring light to a dark situation. It is my hope that this “lampstand” will provide you a bit of light.

    With a diverse background in media, corporate communications, and public sector employee training, I assist ministries in keeping their operation true to their vision, mission and goals.

    You can find out how Advocace can assist your organization or contact me here.
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