The Goal: Put Yourself Out of Business
The concept of a nonprofit seeking to put itself out of business seems counterintuative. We work diligently to develop organizational, financial and relational structures, procedures and policies to help ensure the long-term viability of our agencies. From board development and succession planning to revenue stream diversification and the expansion of staffing, our orientation often emphasizes the "institutionalization" of effort.
But what if we approached vision fulfillment as a actual goal; in other words actually orienting our work to putting ourselves out of business. Consider the following vision statements:
A world without Alzeheimer's
A world where everyone has a decent place to live
Habitat for Humanity
All children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education
Teach for America
To be the world's leader in patient experience, clinical outcomes, research and education
But where to start?
This process begins with transformational leadership that contiually emphasizes the necessity to be visionARY; placing the vision as "top of mind" with the Board, staff, volunteers and donors. In doing so, the leadership must inculcate values throughout the organization that promote actualizing the vision. Additionally, organizational communications should be constructed to reinforce how the work of all facets of the agency are oriented to creating this future state.
What would your organization look like tomorrow if vision fulfillment was your goal today?
As always… knowledge, innovation, impact!
John Patrick Bailey, Ph.D.