Category Archives: planning

Beware of the “Ediface Complex”

C. Northcote Parkinson was the author of Parkinson’s Law back before business books became everyday fare. One of his memorable ideas was the “ediface complex” which said that a sure sign of organizational decline, no matter what other factors seemed to indicate, was the construction of a grand new headquarters.

Are you planning a capital campaign? Why? How will the resulting ediface strengthen your true mission? Be honest, now.

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The 3 Questions

Challenge: Spend time in every staff meeting for the next year working on your answers to these three questions:

  1. How has God called us to serve?
  2. Who has God called us to serve?
  3. How will we know when we are serving according to God’s will for our ministry?

Thoughtful, detailed answers to these questions for your church or ministry will get to the heart of what you are supposed to be doing, who you are being called to reach, and how you will know when you are succeeding in God’s will. Continue reading The 3 Questions

Planning basics

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 (NRSV)

An empty planning template can be a scary thing. All that white space. How should I know what’s going to work or not work during the next 12-14 months?

I like starting with the end in mind, which I think is the second habit of highly effective people (7 Habits). Start planning by visualizing the report you would like to give at the end of the planning period. It’s a year from now. You’re being interviewed. What would you like to say? After all, “Where there is no vision (of the end result), the people perish….” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).

Planning is creating the roadmap for getting there, now that you’ve seen what “there” looks and sounds like.

Work backwards from the end, the goal. All the way back to the very next step.

Finally, commit your work to the Lord and tell others about your plan. Help them to see that same vision you started with. Repeat until everyone knows.

Technology: Handle with Care

dibbleThere is nothing easier than getting involved and over-involved with today’s easy-to-use technologies. And nothing potentially so damaging for your ministry. Take this from someone who has built, sold, marketed and used software technologies for more than 30 years. They can be a great blessing, or a life-threatening curse. Continue reading Technology: Handle with Care

Planning

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 (NRSV)

An empty planning template can be a scary thing. All that white space. How should I know what’s going to work or not work during the next 12-14 months?

I like starting with the end in mind, which I think is Stephen Covey’s second habit of highly effective people. Start planning by visualizing the report you would like to give at the end of the planning period. It’s December 2012. You’re being interviewed. What would you like to say? After all, “Where there is no vision (of the end result), the people perish….” (Proverbs 29:18).

Planning is how you will get there, now that you’ve seen what “there” looks and sounds like.

Work backwards from the end, the goal. All the way back to the next steps.

Finally, commit your work to the Lord and tell others about your plan. Help them to see that same vision you started with. Repeat until everyone knows.

More details to follow.

Think Twice, It’s NOT Alright

A recent study indicates that fundraising works better if preceded by effective planning and surrounded by solid management. Sounds obvious when you say it like this, but what wasn’t obvious is that survey data showed that donations and grants earmarked for building fundraising capacity do not show as good a return as money aimed at good management. This is worth a thought or two….

The Limited Returns on Fundraising Support for Nonprofits | Stanford Social Innovation Review.