It’s Today…Make It Matter for Tomorrow
If your strategy is a 4% decline in “this sucks,” then don’t complain when you hit your goal.
Strategic Brand Portfolio was presented at The Salvation Army National Social Service Conference in 2014. The ideas that are following combine knowledge and experience that recognize that the strategy of an organization has to reflect the brand. If the brand of the organization is brave, trustworthy, uplifting, passionate, and compassionate, then the strategy should reflect those strengths. A strategy that is dull, does not acknowledge the realities of the day, and does not have the courage to change the future, is not a strategy I will be involved in. Neither should you. If your strategy is a 4% decline in “this sucks,” then don’t be surprised when things don’t change.
A Strategic Brand Portfolio – is a two system approach. It is best to start with an opposable mind. Admit that you do not know the future and consider multiple options as being possible, true, and worthwhile. This is actually quite difficult work. You need multiple budget scenarios, program summary pages, a willingness to be “indecisive” and a dogged determination to learn with growth. I recommend a discovery driven growth model.
A two system approach first takes time to bring forth truth of where you stand, research what is on the horizon, and plan accordingly. This is “Normal Operations” in our planning. The second system approach is to look into the future and determine what would the service, program, or policy look like if you could do it create it new or improved. This is the “Progress Approach.” The first is a realistic, manageable, safe approach from where you are. The second is an innovative, creative, solution based approach that you vision forward. You must fully respect both systems. Due the work of both systems. Assign personnel to both systems.
TRUE WORD OF WARNING – If you do the work of a two system approach, change will happen at a significant pace, control is shared in both internal networks and external social networks, and you may have to admit that which you do not know, yet. You must manage both the local learning environment and the expectations of the hierarchy. From Accelerate:
The network and the hierarchy must be inseparable, with a constant flow of
information and activity between them—an approach that works in part because the volunteers in the network all work within the hierarchy.
Strategic Brand Portfolio – Connect your Mission – Vision – Brand with Strategy. Be bold. Keep Moving in the Direction of Goodness. Create a Big Audacious Harry Goal. Here are a few of ours:
- for homeless services – Everyone’s Home
- for addiction & recovery – Life Recovery
- for youth programs – Social Mobility in A Global Community
- for food pantry – A Menu in Every Cupboard
- for family housing – Social momentum for the family
Visions are Calls to Action. Make them attractive as promotions and I believe they should preach. Vision is that which you are going to measure. From the list above; how many people moved from homelessness to housing, experience life restoration, have confidence and experience in social mobility, has food stability increased, have the parents achieve generational indicators? Each program then has a Program Operating Plan. A strategy down to the detail of execution. (I will post program development material in a Change by Design series.)
A Portfolio Starts with Courage – A courageous statement that you fighting forward to necessary change. An acknowledgement of what you do not know, what you do not have, and how others can help allows community collective impact. It is amazing what I learned when I admitted I didn’t know everything. (I will post later about moving from unknown unknowns, to known unknowns, to known knowns.)
A Different Future is the measure of success. When that which you visioned, invested, tested, experienced, proved, and improved is ready to become the part of the “Normal Operations” there is a moment of achievement. It is like the moment of the sunset on the Gulf Coast of Florida. A moment of awe with awareness that tomorrow is a new day. A different future.
So let’s start. Send me a vision for what you would like to see. Prepare a review of where you are. Let’s change the future together for the progress of humanity.
If not you? If not now? ……