For Impact Ideas

Section Index

  1. The Elevator Pitch is Dead
  2. Creativity … Eat, Move, Sleep … To Be Superman
  3. These 3 Things …
  4. Message to Garcia
  5. “If there’s something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ASK.”
  6. Maya Angelou: The Most Important Virtue
  7. Message is what people hear
  8. “If you want to change the world …”
  9. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  10. TIKKUN OLAM: REPAIR THE WORLD.
  11. NO “agony of wishing in your heart”.
  12. The Last of Human Freedoms
  13. Reflections on Memorial Day
  14. Stringing and Unstringing Your Instrument
  15. FUEL THE TORCH
  16. Make Each Day Count
  17. Quote of the Day
  18. Quote of the Day
  19. TO BE FOR IMPACT …
  20. 2014 Sales Boot Camp: ‘Early Bird’ Opportunity
  21. THE 3 HATS
  22. ROI, Part 2
  23. ROI
  24. The Dramatic Secret to Completing an Overwhelming Project–Fast
  25. 16 Leadership Lessons from A Four-Star General
  26. The New ABC’S of Selling
  27. Why Fund-Raising Is Fun
  28. BREAKING NEWS … IRS ELIMINATES 501C(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT DESIGNATION!!!
  29. THINK (Even) BIGGER!
  30. Who Is Your Ideal Prospect/Investor/Customer/Client
  31. Definition of Success
  32. The One Question You Need to Ask Yourself
  33. Shift in Emphasis
  34. Happy St. Patrick’s Day
  35. Professional, Written Follow-Up
  36. We’re looking for a Visual Communicator/Design Thinker … who wants to Change the World.
  37. Three Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!
  38. The Simple Science to Good Storytelling
  39. The Delimma of Coaching Yourself
  40. “Championships Are Won on the Bus.”
  41. “Oh, that’s the Red River?”
  42. Philanthropy 50 Announced
  43. Why Mindfulness Is the Antidote to Multitasking
  44. Busyness and the Workaholic Badge of Honor
  45. 2014 Sales Boot Camp: ‘Super Early Bird’ Opportunity
  46. This Sunday, February 9th, Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Performing on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York!
  47. POWER OF FOCUS
  48. ON FOCUS
  49. I Give You PERMISSION …
  50. Net, Net, Net Check!
  51. Begging for Change
  52. Gates Foundation Annual Letter
  53. SOME (REALLY) (IMPORTANT) STUFF
  54. Big Al on Problems
  55. CHANGE PEOPLE
  56. CHANGE (THE) RULES
  57. Make Each Day Count
  58. 2014: A Year of Change
  59. A Culture of Freedom & Responsibility (MUST READ)
  60. Building A Game-Changing Talent Strategy
  61. How To Draw An Owl
  62. 12-Point Checklist
  63. CHANGE & HIGH PERFORMANCE
  64. BE HAPPY. BE HEALTHY. BE FOR IMPACT.
  65. Nelson Mandela Just Asked
  66. 3 Big Things We Created …
  67. IMPACT … IN YOUR LIFE
  68. Meet Farnam Street. And, think.
  69. STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.
  70. What Do We Get When We Give To A Good Cause?
  71. START BEFORE YOU’RE READY
  72. Happy Thanksgiving
  73. We Don’t Need a Gettysburg Address
  74. Build Simple: Communication
  75. Good Health Is Greatest Wealth
  76. Human BE-ings … Not Human DO-ings
  77. A Salute to Veterans
  78. The Joy of Living
  79. Sales Metrics You Should Be Focusing On
  80. “From A Tiny SPARK …”
  81. Alleviating Poverty One Bracelet At A Time
  82. Be A MAKER In The Morning …
  83. Monday: The One Thing …
  84. GREAT SPIRITS
  85. Dismantling the Sales Machine
  86. THE ONE THING (EXPANDED)
  87. The Gathering in Ireland
  88. Dilbert on Goals
  89. Train Like A Champion Today
  90. BREAKING NEWS … IRS ELIMINATES 501C(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT DESIGNATION!!!
  91. For Impact Math
  92. The Visual Shift
  93. The Value of A Good Visual: Immediacy
  94. Teleseminar: For Impact 101- Changing the Funding Game (INTRO)
  95. Don’t Fix the Present, Create the Future.
  96. Forget the Mission Statement. What’s Your Mission Question?
  97. The Visit Story.
  98. Follow-Up to Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk
  99. 30 Years of Impact
  100. NO MORE ‘BORED’ MEETINGS!

The Elevator Pitch is Dead

“What’s your elevator pitch?”

The lore of the elevator pitch comes from the early days of Hollywood when one would hope to trap an executive in an elevator and ‘pitch.’ The Elevator Pitch is an enduring shorthand that represents the simplest description of what you do.

You need brevity and simplicity… but simplicity alone is not your goal! Your goal is to get the other person to say, “I get it!” or “I want to learn more!”

The Elevator Pitch is dead. What we aim for is Elevator Engagement.

We achieve our goal more effectively and efficiently if we focus on the two-way (engagement) and not the one-way (pitch). Instead of spewing for 20-60 seconds (even if succinct), think about one great question you can ask the other person to get them ENGAGED in a conversation.

At our boot camps we do an exercise to illustrate that you can actually communicate WAYYYY more in 60 seconds by simply asking one or two questions than you can by talking (however concise you may be). It works because:

  • In asking a question, you start with the other person’s construct (or gestalt!).
  • We become fully engaged when we are talking. So, the simple act of getting the other person to talk changes the level of engagement. (This is Dale Carnegie 101!)
  • If you start with a question, you immediately learn what is pertinent and non-pertinent. You can use a short amount of time on relevant information.
  • Finally, we can position our work in their words. LISTENING is one of the most powerful selling skills in the world.

Earlier this year we were helping an organization make a neuroscience pitch to a foundation. The executive director was asked to appear before the foundation board and ‘make a pitch’. We had to reprogram her default, one-way pitch, to instead starting with a question to the panel of eight. She simply asked, “Has anyone ever had experience with a stroke, or a family member that’s had a stroke?” The board chair raised his hand and then spent two minutes talking about the importance of neuroscience research. Others jumped in. They were engaged — fully.

The executive director was able to simply build on the conversation. Though she had eight slides prepared, she found she only needed to use three of them (in response to the conversation). The board said it was one of the best pitches they had ever received – that’s because she didn’t pitch; she engaged.

She was awarded the grant!

Nota bene: There are many circles (usually tied to funding communities, e.g., silicon valley and nyc / financial) where a ‘pitch-deck’ is standard affair. Don’t let the ‘pitch deck’ put you in ‘pitch mode.’ As in the neuroscience story, you should focus on engagement. And, of course, we’re partial to the one-page pitch deck!

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Creativity … Eat, Move, Sleep … To Be Superman

I’m reading 3 great books that I wanted to share with the For Impact community. Choose one, two or all three. I promise they’re well worth the time and energy.

creativity

    I first saw this in an article in Fast Company in April, which highlights my favorite takeaway from the book: THE BRAINTRUST! My guarantee: If you read what Pixar/Disney does at these BRAINTRUSTS … you will never have another ‘regular meeting‘ again!
    2. Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes. Recommendation from my great friend and business partner Nick Fellers. Tom Rath is best-selling author (How Full Is Your Bucket?, Strengths Finder 2.0, etc.) and senior scientist and advisor to Gallop. He has been managing a serious illness for more than 20 years. That alone gives his writing huge credibility. EAT MOVE SLEEP leaps into the circle of my favorite books that capture the entire message in the title and on the cover! The book is filled with nuggets that will help anybody make much better decisions in these 3 interconnected areas.This book can be skimmed, opened up to any page and nugget, and has a terrific table of contents with 30 themes that will allow you to pick and choose where you want to go.
    Note: If you have any interest in your own health and well being … this is a great place to start this summer.
    3. The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. Nick Fellers and I recommend and give each other books 2 or 3 times a week. This is another one of his discoveries that will blow your mind. Just the tagline alone should get your attention! ‘Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance’. Kotler does this by drawing on a decade of research and reporting with dozens of the top action and adventure sports athletes like Big Wave Legend Laird Hamilton, Big Mountain Snowboarder Jeremy Jones and many others.The bottom line for me is the book represents the amazing possibilities of finding FLOW.
    Kotler starts with the Godfather of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, former Chairman of the University of Chicago Department of Psychology and author of a number of great books on FLOW. Here is a great TED Talk on FLOW by M.C.
    (I bought both the book FLOW and the book CREATIVITY: THE FLOW OF PSYCHOLOGY OF DISCOVERY AND INVENTION by Csikszentmihalyi in August of 1996 in Portland at the iconic bookstore Powells. I’ve been trying to find ‘FLOW‘ ever since. Mostly hard to do, but when it happens … WOW!)
    Kotler’s stories about big wave surfers, free climbers, wing suits diving off of buildings in New York City are absolutely fascinating. Almost every story is about amazing athletes who must find FLOW … or DIE.
    This massive acceleration in performance have occurred within the world of action and adventure sports … and Kotler highlights the characteristics necessary for this kind of peak performance. Again, if you are interested at all in maxing out your potential and changing the world … this is a ‘super‘ read.
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These 3 Things …

Nick is leading a session at Eagle Creek today and tomorrow with 50 wonderful people representing some amazing organizations.

Even after all these years, it still astounds me at the power of Nick’s opening around These 3 Things:

  1. IMPACT DRIVES INCOME.  (Not the other way around).
  2. BE FOR IMPACT!  (Your Organization.   Your Team.  Yourself.)
  3. JUST ASK.  (Don’t wait for a Perfect Message, Perfect Priorities, Perfect Pitch.)

We’ve learned from doing a lot of these sessions that CHANGE takes 3 minutes and then 3 months or 3 years.

You can grasp the power of These 3 Things in 3 minutes.

How you apply it is up to you.

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Message to Garcia

I was reading an article from New York Times about Jeb Bush.  Politics aside, it was a very interesting article about his “bookishness and pragmatism”.   A voracious reader, the article talked about all the different, almost Gates-like, diversity in what he reads.

The article mentioned that while he was Florida’s Governor (1999 to 2007), new employees would find a copy of a treasured Bush book on the desk:  A MESSAGE TO GARCIA.

I love this story!  I actually have a small pamphlet printed in 1918 that highlights this 1899 essay.

Garcia-3

I am paraphrasing Hubbard’s story… but I think you will get the point.

THE STORY: When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgents… a General Garcia. He was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba – no one knew where. Mail or telegraph could not reach him… and the President had to secure his cooperation quickly.

Somebody told the President, “There’s a fellow by the name of ROWAN who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”

Andrew S. Rowan, West Point Class of 1881 was a First Lieutenant in the 19th Infantry, U.S.A. (Yes!) Because he knew the topography of Cuba, was familiar with Spanish, and had shown himself to be a brave and prudent solider, Lieutenant Rowan was selected for this mission.

In short, he took the letter, sealed it in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart and crossed from Jamaica to the southern coast of Cuba in a sailboat. He disappeared into the jungle, made his way inland to Garcia’s camp… and DELIVERED THE MESSAGE!!!

In Hubbard’s words: “The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia. Rowan took the letter and did not ask, ‘Where is he at?’ By the eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and his statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book learning young men need nor instruction about this and that but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; and do that thing – ‘CARRY A MESSAGE TO GARCIA!’” (more…)

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“If there’s something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ASK.”

We are preparing for next week’s SALES BOOT CAMP at Eagle Creek.  I thought I’d share a picture of the orchard, garden and pool area for Eagle Creek alums and new attendees.

Eye in the sky on ECLC.

SALES is about the ASK.  The quote by W. Clement Stone is awfully simple and awfully powerful:

IF THERE’S SOMETHING TO GAIN AND NOTHING TO LOSE BY ASKING, BY ALL MEANS ASK.”

This is almost ALWAYS the case:  SOMETHING TO GAIN … and NOTHING TO LOSE.

JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.

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Maya Angelou: The Most Important Virtue

I was in Winston-Salem this past weekend at Wake Forest with Oprah, Michelle, Bill, et al.  (Full Disclosure:  They were for Maya Angelou Memorial Service.  I was there for the grandkids!)  Thanks to Shane Parrish at Farnam Street, here’s a great little blurb on Maya Angelou and a great quote:

“I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences.”

 

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Message is what people hear

What is ‘message’?

A message is not necessarily WHAT YOU SAY, it’s WHAT PEOPLE HEAR.

This is the simplest definition I can offer. It’s adapted from Words the Work.  It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear. By Frank Luntz.

If you geek-out on message, this is a terrific read.

I’ve been using this definition to make people aware of their message.

What do you want people to hear? Ultimately, I suspect it’s that you’re changing lives, saving lives or impacting lives.

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“If you want to change the world …”

Admiral William McRaven, a Navy Seal for 36 years, delivered the commencement address at the University of Texas.  If you haven’t seen it or heard it or read it … you should.  It’s been mentioned by a lot of people as one of the finest commencement talks ever.

Here’s the shorthand version of Admiral McRaven’s 10 Life Lessons from Seal Training.

Lesson No. 1:  If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

Lesson No. 2: If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

Lesson No. 3: If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

Lesson No. 4: If you want to change the world, get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Lesson No. 5: If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.

Lesson No. 6: If you want to change the world, sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

Lesson No. 7: If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

Lesson No. 8: If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

Lesson No. 9: If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

Lesson No. 10: If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

At the very end of the 10 lessons, I urge you to check out this link or others which include the actual video and the text of his talk.

Make Each Day Count.

 

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“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”   Teddy Roosevelt

I saw this quote on the wall of a yoga studio.  Obviously makes a lot of sense in that environment.  The goal is to ‘practice’ yoga with mindfulness and a focus on your own body.  It is not about competing/competition with the instructor or others in the class.

***This took me a while to understand!  When I first started, I couldn’t do any of the 26 Bikram poses, for example, and I couldn’t believe how easy people went into the poses, nor how long they could hold them.

In our For Impact world, this idea of COMPARISON or COMPETITION is a zero sum game.  We should always be looking to be the best we can be … and also looking for wonderful ways to collaborate with other people and organizations.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Joy‘ seems to me to be a much more powerful word than ‘happy‘.

Make Each Day Count.

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TIKKUN OLAM: REPAIR THE WORLD.

TIKKUN OLAM:  REPAIR THE WORLD.

I’m reading another magnificent edition of SUCCESS MAGAZINE (July 2014).  Cover story is on Michael Douglas and dealing with life’s ups and downs.

Article closes with this great Hebrew expression Tikkum Olam which Douglas says was an idea handed down from the Old Testament and means “TO REPAIR THE WORLD.” 

REPAIR THE WORLD.  CHANGE THE WORLD.  BE FOR IMPACT.

 

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NO “agony of wishing in your heart”.

I forgot to put the full Tagore quote in a post from a week ago.  If you remember, Rabindranath Tagore was the Poet Laureate of Bangledesh … and Bangledesh (formerly Bengal) has been where Holy Cross Fathers/Missionaries have worked since 1835.  It’s also where all of the proceeds from the Bengal Bouts (Notre Dame’s Boxing Tournament) goes.

I think this is a great quote to end the week and start the weekend.

“The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day. I have spent my days in stringing and unstringing my instrument. The time has not come true; the words have not been rightly set. Only there is the AGONY of WISHING in my heart.”

Let there be no “agony of wishing in your heart“.

Make Each Day Count.

 

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The Last of Human Freedoms

“When all the familiar goals in life are snatched away … what alone remains is the last of human freedoms: the ability to choose one’s ATTITUDE in a given set of circumstances.”  – Viktor Frankl

My wonderful niece, Caitlin, just sent me a note referencing MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING.

Man's Search for Meaningmsm_date

This book has been labeled “one of the 10 most influential books in America” by the Library of Congress. My copy is dated April 1996/Trip Around the World.

Viktor E. Frankl was imprisoned in concentration camps for three years during World War II.  The inside flap states that Frankl began to wonder why some of his fellow prisoners were able not only to survive the horrifying conditions, but to grow in the process.

His conclusion — that the most basic human motivation is the will to meaning — which became the basis of his groundbreaking psychological theory, logotherapy.

At FOR IMPACT, we’re always pursuing the idea of purpose and meaning.  This is one of the greatest books of all time that reinforces that ‘search’.

Frankl was very fond of quoting Nietzsche,

“He who has a WHY to live can bear with almost any HOW.”

Just another reason to always start with the WHY.

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Reflections on Memorial Day

My dad was a Marine Sergeant in the Pacific in World War II.  Quadalcanal, Iwo Jima and more.  My hero.

My brother Mike was a Marine.  Officer Candidate School then Aviation School then flew helicopters.  Also my hero.

Once got a ‘ticket’ for illegally ‘parking’ (landing) in Yosemite National Park with a helicopter full of Marines.

I can’t count the number of my Notre Dame boxers who have served their country … in all branches of the service … in the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I went through the Army ROTC program at Notre Dame in the late 60’s.  Not a ‘fun’ time to be in the military on most campuses, but Notre Dame handled it as well or better than anyone.

Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and sent to Fort Benning, Goergia, for Infantry Officer Basic School.  Also squeezed in three weeks of Airborne School, three weeks of expanded Leadership Training, and five weeks of Pathfinder School.

Life/fate is weird.  Every 2nd Lieutenant who graduated from Infantry School at Benning in the five years previous to my class went directly to Vietnam.  Ours did not.  I went on to serve as a Tactical Officer in the Officer Candidate School at Benning for two years.  Then decided to try to go back to Notre Dame to be the Boxing Coach.

It’s been 40 years.  Most of you would not have been present or actually remember the treatment of our soldiers returning from Vietnam.  A ‘political war’ in a country that was largely ‘anti-war’.

Today, we give a standing ovation to a designated military person at the beginning of every Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game.  We applaud veterans in uniform when they walk through airports.  We give up our first class seats so that they may have a more comfortable ride home to their loved ones. (more…)

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Stringing and Unstringing Your Instrument

Just got email from Garrity and the gang of Notre Dame boxers heading to Bangladesh to work in the villages with the Holy Cross Missionaries.

Reminded me of one of my very favorite quotes/poems from Rabindranath Tagore, Poet Laureate of Bangledesh.

“DONT SPEND YOUR TIME STRINGING AND UNSTRINGING YOUR INSTRUMENT!!!”

PLAY! SING! MAKE EACH DAY COUNT!

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FUEL THE TORCH

“Life is a torch … you fuel it as best you can,
and then you pass it on.”

-George Bernard Shaw

In Ireland and saw a bust of George Bernard Shaw, which reminded me of one of my favorite quotes.

Lot of powerful ideas presented in 17 words: LIFE, TORCH, SHINE, FUEL, LEGACY, etc.

Make Each Day Count.

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Make Each Day Count

” You can count the days  … or make each day count.”

I think I first read this 20 years ago on a Banana Republic postcard.

MAKE EACH DAY COUNT is really just a daily mantra/reminder to BE FOR IMPACT.

Special note: CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTH DATE.  The 19th of every month is my BIRTH DATE.  For the second May 19th in a row, I am celebrating in Ireland!  Special day and special trip because my travel companion is my grandson Keegan (12)! And I get to work with our brilliant Partner in IE , Georgina … on a project to completely change the way to tell the Story of this amazing country.

MAKE EACH DAY COUNT.

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Quote of the Day

I love quotes. I love the way they tend to capture a big thought or idea in a few words … that are memorable.

There are a lot of websites that provide you a quote of the day. We are adding a quote of the day to ForImpact.org to both support the blog and thought leadership, as well to help you THINK. Here are the first set of quotes.

“To hear is to forget.
To see is to remember.
To DO is to KNOW.”

– A Zen Proverb

“To KNOW and not to DO is not to KNOW.”
– 3rd Century Motivational Speaker

“The way to learn to DO things is to DO things.”

– Henry Ford

“I learn by going where I have to go.”
– Theodore Roethke

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TO BE FOR IMPACT …

“TO BE FOR IMPACT or NOT TO BE FOR IMPACT … THAT IS THE QUESTION.”

I thought I would paraphrase The Bard’s 450th birthday.

Shakespeare’s classic quote “To be or not to be … that is the question” becomes a different challenge when you add the words “FOR IMPACT”.

We are human BE-ings. To add incredible meaning and significance to your life: BE FOR IMPACT.

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2014 Sales Boot Camp: ‘Early Bird’ Opportunity

Join us on June 17th and 18th at Eagle Creek (our beautiful 50-acre headquarters) to explore the For Impact Point of View and Sales Process.

Our Sales Boot Camp is focused on frameworks and skill building – You will leave with the the knowledge you need to simplify your message and funding rationale and take your organization to the next level.

This one time per year opportunity is perfect for organizational alums, new hires or anyone looking to hone their individual skills – both personal and professional!

Sales Boot Camp is a high-energy, two-day session focused on:

  • How to execute against a sales process (for major gifts, campaign gifts, transformational gifts, etc)
  • How to build and maximize relationships
  • How to build and lead an effective team
  • How to ask, close and follow-up

We’re extending our Early Bird pricing – Register before May 9th to take advantage!

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THE 3 HATS

We work with some of the best Chief Development Officers/Vice Presidents of Advancement in the country. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single one of them struggles with priorities and focus and time.

I sketched out THE 3 HATS for the Chief Development Officer of a health care foundation last week. Seemed to create great clarity to his roles. I thought I’d share.

Here is the framework and visual for THE 3 HATS … ROLES of a Chief Development Officer in a For Impact organization. I believe this works for ‘smaller shops’, as well as large national organizations or universities/colleges.

THE 3 HATS

FI_The3Hats_042514

Click here to download a copy of THE 3 HATS.

The color code is obviously tied to our IMPACT drives INCOME
and ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENTTEAM DEVELOPMENT
and FUND DEVELOPMENT.

  • The Blue Hat. Should be worn as a valued member of the Senior Leadership Team of the organization! The CDO/VP of Advancement should have a ‘seat at the table’. They should be engaged with strategy, the role of philanthropy in any vision or project and contribute their talent and experience to the President and Senior Team.
    The Challenge: Balancing the ‘seat at the table’ with being drug into every meeting and serving on a multitude of committees and getting caught up in Quadrant III and IV activities (Urgent, Not Important. Not Urgent, Not Important.)
    Just say ‘NO’!
  • The Red Hat. The primary reason for being hired (most likely) was to ‘manage’ development. Should be the Senior Leader/Team Leader of Development and Advancement, with responsibility for the entire division/department or foundation. Also must take prominent leadership role with the Sales Team!
    The Challenge: Micromanaging. Personnel/bus issues. Caught up in a never-ending series of ‘meetings to discuss meetings’, etc.
    This ‘hat’ demands a rigor and discipline to do only those things that move the division/department towards its goals. Also demands having the right TALENT to support the CDO’s responsibilities.
  • The Green Hat. Must be the Chief Fundraiser/Chief Income Raiser!
    In the For Impact world, I believe this role is a very important part of the Ideal Profile of a CDO. You must have a portfolio of good prospects … and lead by example around the system, visits, follow-up, results.
    The Challenge: At the end of the day or the end of the week or the end of the month … EVERYTHING ELSE has superseded the role of actually make sure we are generating INCOME … to fund the Vision/Impact.
    The simplest way I have found to deal with this is to put on your Green Hat FIRST! Set aside hours or days that are devoted to SALES! VISITS! PRESENTATIONS! ASKS!

I believe these 3 HATS provide a great metaphor to help you set priorities and, most importantly, focus on what’s important. If you were to actually break down your week or month, you might be surprised at the percentage of time you spend wearing these different hats.

As the Old Guy/Coach … I believe the CDO and Vice President should have at least an equal balance between the 3 hats (1/3, 1/3, 1/3). Better yet, for me, I would strive for 50% Green Hat … 20% Blue Hat … and 30% Red Hat.

Providence of the 3 Hats. Check out my first 3 HAT scrawl for Steve Elder at Colorado College in May of 2004. Steve still has this framed on his desk!

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ROI, Part 2

My friend and TSG Senior Partner, Jeff Strine, pointed out a glaring fault in my ROI thinking.

Jeff is a recovering banker. In the financial world, Return-On-Investment means NET. Jeff says it’s sometimes called NET CONTRIBUTION, which makes sense in our world as well.

Here’s Jeff’s example:

  • Gross Revenue: $2M
    Revenues Generated = 2X
  • Investment/Expenses: $1M
    Cost of Raising $1 = 50%
  • Net Return: $1M
    ROI = 1X … not the 2X I used.

I didn’t want Jeff to think I’m a financial moron, but I’m guessing that the net return of $1M or 1X would be a 100% ROI.

My bottom line: Your NET RETURN/ROI should be WAY MORE than your INVESTMENT/EXPENSES.

3X. 4X. 5X.

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ROI

Note: Sorry. Been away from the ‘page’ for a bit. Back in the game. Always appreciate your feedback.

ROI. RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT. What every ‘Investor’ wants from their investment … and what every For Impact organization should want from its development/advancement/fundraising effort.

We’re doing a ton of work where this concept is completely absent or totally misunderstood.

With all due respect to the industry, I just don’t get it. An organization ‘invests’ money/resources in their development/fundraising operation (a one-person shop or 50 people in the college advancement division). I’m not sure how else you would measure productivity or success without making ROI the #1 barometer.

  • ROI is very simple to calculate. It’s a numerator/denominator math problem.
    Here’s how much money we raised (the numerator).
    Here’s how much money we spent/total expenses (denominator).
  • R (N) – TE (D) = NET, NET, NET CHECK/FUNDS to support IMPACT!
    *’Green’ people write checks to the ‘Blue’ people.
  • R (N) ÷ TE (D) = ROI and COST OF FUNDRAISING. 
    ***For example, if you are a hospital foundation raising $2M a year in ‘fundraising Revenue and your total expenses are $1M … your ROI is 2X or 100%; and your cost of fundraising is 50%.
  • There are two ways to increase your ROI and decrease your cost of fundraising:
      Increase the Numerator (Revenue)
      Decrease the Denominator (Expenses)

In our For Impact world, our own benchmarks are as follows:

  • 3X is minimum model/benchmark.
  • 4X is great.
  • 5X is something you should be very proud of.
    ***If you’re running a ‘Campaign’ within an existing development operation or as a separate initiative, I believe the cost of fundraising should be a ‘nickel‘ (five cents on the dollar). That would give you a 20X ROI.

If you are a For Impact leader, senior staff, executive director or a board member … I hope the above gives you some sense of comparison. (more…)

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The Dramatic Secret to Completing an Overwhelming Project–Fast

We have worked with the Abbey Theatre in Ireland and I have been backstage a number of times. And, I am also an infrequent but big-time lover of watching just about any Broadway play.

I thought this great article in Inc. by Kevin Daum, The Dramatic Secret to Completing an Overwhelming Project–Fast was superb. In essence, an eight-step completion process theatre pros have used, as he says, for thousands of years.

Here are the steps. Read the supporting text.

    1. Strip away the unnecessary.
    2. Plan slowly to move quickly.
    3. Grab the right team.
    4. Make a clear division of labor.
    5. Have brief but regular check-ins.
    6. Make use of elves.
    7. Build in time for testing.
    8. Accept what is good enough.
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16 Leadership Lessons from A Four-Star General

Thanks, again, for Shane Parrish at Farnam Street for turning me on to General Stanley McChrystal’s memoir: My Share of the Task.

Here are a few of the 16 Leadership Lessons with my quick application to the For Impact world:

    1. Leadership is the single biggest reason for success or failure.
    Totally agree! Not just internal leadership on funding initiatives but external leadership/champions!
    2. Leadership is difficult to measure.
    McChrystal says, “Leadership is the art of influencing others.” Not about giving an order or managing. In my world, leadership is measured by impact and results.
    4. Leaders take us to where we’d otherwise not go.
    It’s the whole ‘VISION’ thing. And, attitude.
    8. The best leaders are genuine.
    In this case, leadership is the same as sales presentations … both require absolute authenticity.
    16. Leadership is a choice.
    Here’s his quote: “A leader decides to accept responsibility for others in a way that assumes stewardship of their hopes, their dreams, and sometimes their very lives.”
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The New ABC’S of Selling

We at For Impact and The Suddes Group love Farnam Street and Shane Parrish. I really enjoy getting my Sunday compilation of articles, books and thoughts from Shane.

You’ve seen my thoughts on TO SELL IS HUMAN from Dan Pink. Shane has a very well-written take on that book and Pink’s thoughts.

The ‘New ABC’ is a reference to Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. Baldwin’s character was about ABC — Always Be Closing.

Pink talks about Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity. (I think ‘Bouyancy’ is a stretch to define the ‘B’ word but it works.)

A lot of good, good stuff in this article that will help you better understand SALES and SELLING.

“The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is, you’re a salesman, and you don’t that.”Arthur Miller in Death of A Salesman.

You’re in sales. Get over it. The Old Guy

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Why Fund-Raising Is Fun

My good friend Joe Breman (who, by the way, has his face plastered on billboards all over Grand Junction, Colorado for his work with St. Mary’s Hospital) sent me this article by Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, which ran in Sunday’s New York Times.

Here’s the article, but here’s my take:

  1. The more you give, the more you get.  Tons of support for this axiom.
  2. Success to Significance.  Drucker’s great line.  Our role as For Impact Leaders and Development/Advancement Professionals is to help people with this move from Success to Significance.
  3. Impact Drives Income.  As always, this is the key to successfully raising money/funding/income.  The greater the IMPACT … the greater the OPPORTUNITY to help people find meaning, happiness, significance.
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BREAKING NEWS … IRS ELIMINATES 501C(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT DESIGNATION!!!

  • IRS ELIMINATES 501C(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT DESIGNATION!!!
    The Internal Revenue Service has abolished their 1913 law that permits organizations to designate themselves as NOT-FOR-PROFITS.
    “This designation is contrary to all other industries, as it is the only one defined in the negative. In our usual show of logic and common sense, the IRS has eliminated this designation in the hopes that all ‘charities’ and ‘tax-exempt’ organizations will now focus on their IMPACT.” — An IRS Agent (who asked not to be identified)
  • FEDS MAKE DOING SPECIAL EVENTS (FOR FUNDRAISING PURPOSES) A FELONY!
    The Federal Government has ruled that there will be no more golf outings, galas and other special events that are not special and not events. *Signature Events and Memorable Experiences will still be allowed and encouraged.
    “This was the only way we could eliminate all of the events that were sucking up our time and energy and resources … with no real impact on our impact. Now I can blame the government when I tell our volunteers that we will no longer be holding Mostaccioli dinners or selling holes and tables for the golf outing.” — 1,840 Development Officers
  • SALES EXPERIENCE AND/OR ATTITUDE NOW REQUIRED FOR ALL SEARCHES AND ADVERTISEMENTS FOR DEVELOPMENT OR ADVANCEMENT STAFF!
    The Chronicle of Philanthropy has declared that it will no longer place adds for key Advancement or Development positions without listing a ‘Sales Requirement’.
    “While philanthropy is Greek for ‘friend of mankind’, the Editors of the Chronicle have finally come to the conclusion that all Impact organizations, and especially the Advancement/Development Teams, are in Sales. Get over it.” — Chronicle of Philanthropy Editors
  • 39 STATES BAN FEASIBILITY STUDIES! (Other 11 to soon follow.)
    States now require organizations to understand their purpose and priorities, do the math and be able to present the case and rationale for support, as well as where the funds will be used.
    *Leadership Consensus Building is still strongly encouraged and could be mandated by legislation by the end of 2014.
    “We have watched too many organizations spend huge amounts of money and time on consultants who are asked to go and present hypothetical campaigns with hypothetical priorities and asking for hypothetical gifts.” — Unidentified Governor
  • CFRE MEMBERS VOTE TO CHANGE THEIR NAME.
    By an almost unanimous vote, members designated Certified Fund Raising Executives have voted to change the name of their organization. A new name has not yet been presented, but the movement gaining the most support is to simply drop the ‘D’ in FUND!
    “I have been a CFRE since 1981 when it was founded. It has just hit me that the world has actually changed in the last 30 years. ‘Certified’ can mean crazy. ‘Fundraising’ is not the goal of any of our organizations. And ‘Executive’ implies that I am a ‘Suit’ in some ‘Office’ making (stupid) decisions.” — CFRE Member
    ***In related news, AFP will be changing their name from Association of Fundraising Professionals to Association of Forimpact Professionals, thereby still being able to use their acronym.
  • 300 THIRD SECTOR BOARD LEADERS COME TOGETHER AND DEMAND CHANGE IN VOCABULARY, NO MORE BOARD MEETINGS NO MORE COMMITTEES!!!
    Top philanthropists and community leaders came together under the auspices of the Gates, Skoll and Broad Foundations and demanded the following:
    • All For Impact Organizations must change their vocabulary! “We will no longer tolerate charities, donors, donations, solicitations, mission statements, warm fuzzy feelings, etc.”
    • No more Board Meetings! “None of us will attend Board Meetings that are bored meetings. We can read. We want to see, hear and touch the impact and results of our work.”
    • No More Committees. “The organization I’m working with has created a ‘Committee to Abolish Committees’.”
    *All of these leaders also agreed to actually THINK (bring their brain and experience) when asked to be On Board.
  • SUPREME COURT DECIDES ‘BLUE’ TEAMS AND ‘GREEN’ TEAMS MUST WORK TOGETHER!!!
    For the first time in recent memory, Supreme Court judges unanimously agreed on a ruling: Blue IMPACT TEAMS and Green SALES TEAMS must work together for the betterment of the organization. (The healthcare sector was identified as the primary example of hospital people and foundation people not talking to each other.)
    *The judges also ruled that any organization not working together and collaborating as a single unit will be declared a NFA. (Not-For-Anything)
  • CHARITY WATCH DOGS AGREE THAT COST OF FUNDRAISING EXCEEDING 95% IS IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL!!!
    Charity Watch, Charity Navigator and American Institute of Philanthropy also recommend that any cost of fundraising that exceeds 50% requires approval and sign off by every Board Member, the Senior Team and the Head of Development. Also recommend that cost above 50% be deducted from Development Staff salaries.
    “In UNCHARITABLE, I challenge this industry to re-think how it fundraises, especially around the idea that you need to spend money to make money. However, even I agree that 95¢ to raise a $1 is not good business.” — Dan Pallotta.
  • ‘JUST ASK’ IS DECLARED A GUIDING PRINCIPLE OF IMPACT SECTOR!!!
    From today forward, no one will be allowed to go on a visit without making some kind of ASK! OPPORTUNITY TO HELP must be presented on minimum of 80% of visits.
    “I do not want to be cultivated. At my grandparents’ farm, this was another word for spreading manure on plants. I do not want to be met with five times … without ever being told how I can help.” Every Busy Person on the Planet
  • ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’ PROVIDES ZERO NET DOLLARS TO HELP WITH IMPACT!
    Social media is great way for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and others to make loads of money … but creates no ‘net’ anything for 501C(3) Third Sector Organizations.
    An in-depth study by six of the leading internet research firms has confidently determined that Social Media is not the Panacea/Holy Grail/Greatest Fundraising Tool ever invented.
    Contrary to what hundreds of ‘experts’ (X = Unknown Factor in Math, ‘Spurt’ is a drip of water under pressure. Unknown drips under pressure?) tout on the internet [of course] … this is not THE way to generate huge sums of money.
    These research firms agree that, unless you are the American Red Cross using a text response for a huge, compelling disaster … there is absolutely no net income available to help with your impact (using social media as a fundraising activity).
    ***This study did show one notable exception: Bono and U2 have 13 million ‘friends’ on Facebook. That is the number determined as the minimal number of friends required to raise money through social media.

The best way to raise the most amount of INCOME to fund your VISION is the ‘old fashioned’ way … human contact!

APRIL FOOLS … the ONION … or a BRAVE NEW WORLD? YOU GET TO DECIDE.

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THINK (Even) BIGGER!

We are working with some amazing organizations right now. And, with every one of them, we are asking pretty much the same question:

What would happen if you THINK (even) BIGGER?

Three pieces of yeast:

    1. “Let’s make a dent in the universe.”  Steve Jobs’ famous line.  Goes really well with his comment to John Sculley when he was trying to get Sculley to move from Pepsi to Apple.  “Do you want to sell sugar water the rest of your life … or do you want to change the world?” What is your “dent in the universe”?
    2. What would you do with $1M?  Here’s a great summarized/paraphrased story from the Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich.
    CIRCA 1930’s – A minister decided to do a sermon entitled, “What I Would Do With A Million Dollars.” He worked very hard on writing out his vision, his mission, his goals … and most importantly, an action plan to make his dreams a reality. He practiced his sermon for days, visualizing the impact he would have on the congregation. Sunday arrived. He forgot his notes, but gave his sermon with a passion and enthusiasm that is seldom encountered. Totally drained, he stood on the steps outside the church after the service. The first person to greet him was Philip D. Armour, a wealthy Chicago industrialist. Mr. Armour handed the minister a check for $1 million. And thus was born the Armour Institute … which became Illinois Institute of Technology.
    What would you do with $1M?
    3. THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG. I just saw somebody’s list of the 10 best books, and this was on it. (Copyright 1959 and 1965) My copy is November 1975. Note: Price/Investment: $1.95!
thinkbig
    Dr. Schwartz talks about a ‘Big Thinker’s’ vocabulary, talks about focusing on large issues and not trivial details.
    Here’s a great line from the preface: ” … success is determined not so much by the size of one’s brain as it is by the size of one’s thinking.”

FWIW

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Who Is Your Ideal Prospect/Investor/Customer/Client

I’m absolutely stunned, amazed and flabbergasted that so very few organizations and sales teams actually take the time to define what their ‘IDEAL PROSPECT’ looks like!  (This is just as true in the ‘FOR PROFIT’ world as it is in the ‘NOT FOR PROFIT’ sector.)

The IDEAL PROFILE is one of the most powerful TOOLS that we use during our IDENTIFICATION PROCESS.

Don’t blow by this one. It has created many, many ‘MILLION DOLLAR’ prospects… and INVESTORS.

Here’s the concept: if you can actually come up with a PROFILE of your BEST PROSPECT/ INVESTOR (Customer/Client) … then you simply have to MATCH this IDEAL PROFILE with REAL PEOPLE!

In essence, this IDEAL PROFILE would be a simple ‘list’ of absolute best characteristics of your PERFECT (IDEAL) PROSPECT.   In the For Impact world, this might include:

  • Unlimited Capacity
  • Commitment To The Cause (Kids, Education, Health Care, Cancer, Workforce Development, Disadvantaged, Etc.)
  • Engaged In The Case (Your Organization, Your Solution)
  • Geographically Impacted
  • Interest/Connection To The Priorities, Programs Or Projects

Note: You can come up with more than one ‘ideal’ profile. For example, for a Campaign, for a transformational gift, for a legacy commitment, for President’s circle etc. (more…)

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Definition of Success

PearlsBeforeSwine

I’m not a big Huffington Post reader.  However, Arianna Huffington came out with her latest book, THRIVE: THE THIRD METRIC FOR REDEFINING SUCCESS AND CREATING A LIFE OF WELL-BEING, WISDOM AND WONDER.

A recent column by Cal Thomas reviewed her book and mentioned that she had re-thought the meaning of a good life and found it to be something quite different than how it is portrayed by pop culture.

“The pursuit of money and power (she writes) didn’t satisfy after she acquired a considerable amount of each.”  

“There are still millions desperately looking for the next promotion, the next million-dollar payday that they believe will satisfy their longing to feel better about themselves, or silence their dissatisfaction.”

Thomas shared one sentence that reinforced so much of my own thinking on success, wealth, etc.

“Have you noticed that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success?”

______________________

Here’s my thoughts on the DEFINITION OF SUCCESS from 25 Wishes.

Remember, “WEALTH IS THE ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT WE VALUE.”

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The One Question You Need to Ask Yourself

Read a great article form Inc. over the weekend.

The One Question You Need to Ask Yourself by Lauren Leader-Chivee (advocate, speaker and thought leader on women’s issues and founding partner at Hewlett Chivée Partners).

The one question you need to ask yourself: 

WHAT IS THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO HAVE ON THE WORLD?

Wow, talk about great support for our driving mantra of BE FOR IMPACT!  Lauren says she was blessed to know an extraordinary entrepreneur and leader named Maynard Webb Jr.  Webb is an investor, former top tech executive, thought leader and chairman of Yahoo’s board of directors, as well as on the boards at Visa and Salesforce.com.

Lauren says that during a mentoring session where she was “rattling off a litany of business ideas, job options, challenges and questions … and sharing struggles with fundraising, networking and brand and reputation building” … he listened and stopped her cold and asked the one critical question:

WHAT IS THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO HAVE ON THE WORLD?

Pretty darn good question.

tgs_bday_2014 

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Shift in Emphasis

I was reading a commentary by E. J. Dion titled the The Pope’s New Path is Hard to Ignore.

‘Religion’ aside, I find it really fascinating that the new Pope has changed the entire conversation of the Church by re-focusing on the ‘good‘ that it can do with the poor, the underserved, youth, etc. … rather than on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, etc.

As Dion points out, “(The Pope) has not altered Church doctrine, but his shifting emphasis has been breathtaking.”

Think about what this means as you decide what STORY you are telling or what MESSAGE you are framing.

Shift your emphasis for greater results.

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Professional, Written Follow-Up

As always, VOCABULARY is critical for clarity and execution.

Big, big, big part of FOLLOW-UP are the actual call notes/visit notes/note to self.

Write it (for yourself).
File it (for posterity).
Share it (for support).

In our world, the action (vocabulary) is simple:

  • CALL REPORT
    • This is internal (only). It’s meant for the internal team.
    • Can be in shorthand, organization jargon/team vocabulary, etc.
    • Can be posted somewhere (again) internally.  (For TSG, it’s HighRise).
    • Or, could simply be shared with selected group on team or project.
  • MEMO FOR THE RECORD (MFR)
    • Meant to be shared both internally and externally.
    • Should be able to be shared with Senior Leadership, Natural Partners and certainly attached to the Prospect’s ‘Record’/database.
    • A simple outline could include:
      • An Overview/Summary
      • Discovery/What We Learned
      • Flow of the Visit
      • Specific Quotes from the Prospect
      • Action Steps

Note: This was a big topic of our ‘HANGOUT’ last Friday for The Suddes Group Team.  Thought I’d share the vocabulary and differences between a Call Report and a Memo for the Record.
______________________________________________

Special Note:  Here is a great Guide on Follow-Up for you to download.

As a reminder, here are the three parts to the follow-up. (more…)

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We’re looking for a Visual Communicator/Design Thinker … who wants to Change the World.

For Impact readers: We’re using our ideal-profile approach to help find design talent.

I would love nothing more than to find someone within our own community.  Thanks for reading and sharing this.

– Nick

——————–

Who do you know who has these three things?

  1. Insane graphic-design talent. (This person’s doodles belong in the Smithsonian.)
  2. A super-hero-like power to simplify complex ideas. (The person could summarize the bible on the back of a business card with a few sketches.)
  3. An infectious JOY for making a difference in the lives of others.

What is visual communication to us?

Think master of whitespace, symbols, icons and infographics… a typography, simplicity, wizard. (Less: Branding, Marketing, Retail.)

What is design thinking? This is where creativity and motivation are brought to bear on a ‘problem’, and the ‘solution’ is replicable and scalable. (If you know who Roger Martin, John Maeda and John Medina are [without Google] … we will interview you immediately.)

Can you help us find this person? He or she is critical to helping us scale our impact. He or she is critical to helping us package and share the lessons we’ve learned from working with 5000 organizations around the world and raising over $2 Billion for causes that range from freeing child soldiers to ending homelessness to advancing treatments for cancer.

We (For Impact | The Suddes Group) are a small social enterprise that does amazing work working directly with and for the top social entrepreneurs and philanthropists on the planet.

We are also a Design firm where we help with:

  • Business Models
  • Sales Strategies
  • 1,000-Day Action Plans
  • Engagement Tools
  • Experiences
  • Teams
  • Boards and more

There are over 1.8 Million ‘nonprofits’ in the US alone; we need someone with the talent, smarts and commitment to help us SCALE OUR IMPACT … to offer to global-change agents the encouragement, motivation, resources — in print — when where we can’t be in person.

Some more details:

  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Travel: Occasional – we have offices in Colorado Springs, San Diego and Dublin, Ireland.
  • Examples: Types of things we need help with.
  • Experience: Not as important as talent and attitude.
  • Team player: A given. We function like a S.E.A.L. team. Except, instead of being a demolition expert this person will have a different tool set.
  • Status: Looking for talent. Would like to test a project (to see how this person fits on the team) and then dive in full-time with great benefits including health and lifestyle – work from anywhere and unlimited vacation days. (We’re all so motivated to do what we do that ‘work’ is never the issue.)

Email: nfellers@forimpact.org
Referral bonus: Everlasting good karma.

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Three Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!

Thanks to Dan Kirsch at the Grinspoon Foundation for turning me on to influenceatwork.com.  Here is the blog/article by Steve Martin, co-author and presenter at INFLUENCE AT WORKThree Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!

Reason #1:  People are more likely say ‘yes’ than you think.  Love that Martin cites actual studies.  My experience is more anecdotal than scientific … yet backed up by over 6,000 visits/presentations … and thousands and thousands and thousands of ASKS in my life.

***JUST ASK is a life principle, not just a sales or business mantra.

In my world, most people actually want to say ‘yes‘ to a legitimate, fair and rational request.

Reason #2:  Asking doesn’t weaken your power, it boosts it.

At The Suddes Group, we have an internal mantra of ACT or ASK.  If you know what needs to be done, do it.  If you’re not sure or need help or want someone else’s counsel …  ASK.

***Again, not just sales.  “I’ve had a long couple of days.  Could you upgrade my room?”  “I know my son’s tuition is due.  Would it be possible to spread that over six months instead of one payment?”  “Since this is a trip around the world in 23 days, including 9 all-night flights or trains, could we make all the reservations in business class/first class?”

BTW, the answer to all three of these questions was “YES“.

Reason #3. You’ll actually feel better if you ask.  Martin makes a great point about the difference between rejection and regret.  Personally, I much prefer ‘rejection’ (or, better put, someone simply saying no to the request) … than to look back for weeks, months or years, with regret, wondering what would have happened if I had only asked.  

JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.

Special, Special, Special Note to All Leaders in the For Impact World.

BIG/HUGE LESSON FROM THE FIELD.

We are doing a ton of work right now in healthcare and with healthcare foundations.

We spend a lot of time talking about about goals, increasing philanthropic revenue, staffing, major gifts vs.  special events and much more.

The proverbial lightbulb went off when we started talking about ROI!

Return-On-Investment is a ridiculously simple concept for an advancement/development operation.  It is especially relevant for a hospital foundation.

What is our ROI?

  • At 1X right now, it’s no wonder the hospital CEO won’t take our calls.
  • AT 2X, we’re generating revenue for the hospital, but our cost of fundraising is 50%!
  • At 3X, we become part of the conversation at the proverbial table.
  • At 5X (20% cost of fundraising), we are a integral and critical part of the business model.

There are two simple ways to dramatically change ROIReduce the denominator (cut expenses) and increase the numerator (raise more money).

The ROI conversation allows for a much more meaningful discussion about expenses, people, slots, what should be a foundation expense and what should be a hospital expense, etc.

Increasing philanthropic revenue is a function of ‘major gifts’, visits and presentations.

Then, the key to ROI is simple:

 JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.  JUST ASK.

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The Simple Science to Good Storytelling

If you are a daily/weekly ‘user’ … this may feel repetitive.  Bear with me.

I can state unequivocally that rarely a day goes by without some reference/focus/coaching around the Power of STORY.

Here is a short ‘story’ on ‘story’ from Fast Company and Harvey Deutschendorf (speaker and author).  The Simple Story of Science to Good Storytelling:  Listening to a compelling story activates different parts of the brain, and luckily putting together a good tale isn’t always that difficult.

He reminds us that stories were the first and only way to actually share information, dreams, to entertain, inspire and to connect.  His five big points:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Always keep the audience in mind.
  3. Use as an opportunity to share something of yourself.
  4. Don’t take  yourself too seriously.
  5. Share some sincerely felt emotions.

I believe much of those five points can be captured in a word:  AUTHENTICITY.

We are working with one of the largest healthcare systems in the country.  Their ‘STORYLINE’ is captured in their original ‘Tagline’:  THE SPIRIT OF INNOVATION.   A LEGACY OF CARE.  The original ‘FOUNDING’ story by a group of religious sisters is so compelling that it leads into everything that they are trying to do TODAY. (more…)

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The Delimma of Coaching Yourself

I’m always looking for good content to aggregate for the For Impact tribe.

Here’s a really great article from 99u (Insights on Making Ideas Happen) titled The Future of Self-Improvement: The Dilemma of Coaching Yourself. Author and researcher, Joshua Foer, talks about the ‘OK Plateau’ where we gained enough skill for our needs … and then stop pushing ourselves.

He identified these four principles that he saw experts (masters in my words) use to keep learning:

  1. Experts tend to operate outside their comfort zone and study themselves failing.
  2. Experts will try to walk in the shoes of someone who’s more competent than them.
  3. Experts crave and thrive on immediate and constant feedback.
  4. Experts treat what they do like a science. They collect data, they analyze data, they create theories, and they test them.

Read about Bill Bradley and his unparalleled work ethic and practice schedule!!!

Then, read and re-read the notes from Atul Gawande, a best-selling author and highly accomplished surgeon, as he talks about the struggle with self-improvement if you already feel like you’re at the top of your game.

Spoiler Alert: Gawande makes an exceptionally strong case for OUTSIDE COACHING/EXTERNAL COACH who can help make the Quantum Leap to mastery.

Every top athlete and top sports performer (think Olympics, golf, tennis, etc.) has an EXTERNAL COACH that pushes, cajoles, challenges, observes, provides feedback and much more.

Who is your EXTERNAL COACH???

Or, are you happy at the ‘OK Plateau’?

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“Championships Are Won on the Bus.”

“One of the great players in the NBA told me that championships are not won on the court.  They are won on the BUS.” 

Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO

What a great follow-up to Jim Collins’ BUS analogy.  (On.  Off.  Right Seats.)

Championships are won on the ‘BUS’.  Team chemistry.  Working together.  Even dreaded ‘team building’.  (Which, by the way, does not have to be an artificial exercise using three sticks, four leafs and some moss … to build a boat that will hold three people.)

The idea of team-bonding (on the Bus) certainly makes for more productivity, and more fun.

Note:  Our top BUS guy is our Senior Partner Steve Elder.  Team Leader/Sales Manager/Uber Coach who totally gets the whole BUS/TALENT thing.  I remember Steve telling me once that the ideal team for a project would fit in a minivan.  I think his point was if your project has more than 6-8 people … probably doomed from start.

“CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE WON ON THE BUS.”

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“Oh, that’s the Red River?”

A short, fun story on forgiveness not permission. Zeb Pike was an American Brigadier General and Explorer. There’s a pretty big mountain in Colorado named after him.

The story goes that Pike was exploring the southern portion of the Louisiana Territory. The Red River was the boundary between the U.S. and Spanish/Mexican Territory. He was ‘exploring’ on the ‘wrong’ side of the Red River. He was captured by the Spanish while wondering around in what is present-day Colorado. Pike supposed response to his capture was:

“Oh, that’s the Red River?”

Pike’s accounting of the region drove the U.S. to secure Colorado and even California.

Personal Note: What I love about this story is that we have our Zeb Pike. Robb Pike is a Partner and Senior Coach with The Suddes Group. He has the same kind of adventurer/explorer attitude as his ancestor. Robb is always aggressively and positively pushing boundaries. And when called on it, answers (in his own way), “Oh, that’s the Red River?”

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Philanthropy 50 Announced

CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY just published Top Philanthropists for 2013.

Here’s the article and the list.

My quick takeaways:

  • For Impact orgs and development officers need to stop using the excuse of the ‘economy’. Gifts by living donors in 2013 equaled almost as much as the previous two years combined.
  • 97/3. 3% of your organization’s constituent/family/prospects will contribute/invest 97% of the money you raise.
    I believe that if every For Impact leader, social entrepreneur and development professional focused on that 3% … the third sector could triple the amount of investment it receives.
  • Just reading these stories should provide great optimism and inspiration. If you are a development professional, a valued board champion or CEO/Executive Director/leader in the third sector … you should take the time to read this.

Special Note: I just wrote out a huge rant about ‘FOUNDATIONS’. Then I tore it up. Life is too short.

However, I would pose this question:

Is anybody else bothered by the fact that the 10 most generous donors gave a total of $4B … and 5 of those donors gave $2.4M to FOUNDATIONS, not to actual IMPACT ORGANIZATIONS???

  • #1: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan made an almost $1B commitment to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
  • #2: George Mitchell’s bequest was to the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.
  • #5: John and Laura Arnold gave $235M to their foundation.
  • #9: Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki. $219M to their foundation.
  • #10: Jeffrey Carlton’s bequest of $212M to a trust that will eventually become his charitable foundation.

Compare that to Philip and Penelope Knight who gave $500M to impact Oregon Health and Science. Or, Michael Bloomberg who actually gave away $452M directly to Arts, Education, Environment and Public Health ‘Nonprofits’. Charles Johnson pledged $250M to Yale to actually build something (2 new residential colleges). Pierre and Pam Omidyar gave $225M directly to four organizations.

I’m not the brightest guy around. Obviously, I’m missing something. I just don’t understand putting huge sums of money into a ‘FOUNDATION’ … which then gives away 5% interest off the corpus.

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Why Mindfulness Is the Antidote to Multitasking

I saw this over the weekend. My (last?) thought on last week’s theme of FOCUS.

“Research into success indicates that we’re expanding our skills the most when we’re deeply immersed in a difficult, demanding task–the feeling of FLOW you get from constructing a new algorithm, perfecting a pitch deck, or prototyping a product.

But that feeling of FLOW can only happen when we’ve fully invested our attention.”

Here’s the article in Fast Company, Why Mindfulness is the Antidote to Multitasking. I’ve captured the guts in the quote above.

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Busyness and the Workaholic Badge of Honor

To close out this week’s thoughts on FOCUS:

  • “71% of people believe they would become more productive if they FOCUSED more on top priorities at the expense of lower priorities.”  (However) “Over half of the same group believe they would simultaneously lose respect from their peers and their boss.” 
    This comes from Nick Tasler, HBR blogger, author and CEO of Global Consulting and Training Company in IT’S TIME TO PUT YOUR STRATEGY ON A DIET. He opens with David Packard’s quip: “More companies die from overeating than starvation.”  Tasler has four lessons that are certainly worth the read.
  • “The essence of strategy is choosing what NOT to do?”  This comes from Michael Porter, strategy guru of all gurus.  Again, this becomes a huge part of FOCUS … deciding what NOT to do!
  • And, finally, a terrific article from the New York Times on THE ‘BUSY’ TRAP.  This wonderful post by Tim Kreider is so good that I sent it to my family.  Urge you to take a moment from your “crazy busy” day/schedule to read this.  It’s geared towards parenting and children … but huge application to our professional lives.
    Here’s the last line:
    “LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE BUSY.”
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2014 Sales Boot Camp: ‘Super Early Bird’ Opportunity

Join us on June 17th and 18th at Eagle Creek (our beautiful 50-acre headquarters) to explore the For Impact Point of View and Sales Process. 

Our Sales Boot Camp is focused on frameworks and skill building – You will leave with the the knowledge you need to simplify your message and funding rationale and take your organization to the next level.

This one time per year opportunity is perfect for organizational alums, new hires or anyone looking to hone their individual skills –  a great personal and professional development opportunity!

Sales Boot Camp is a high-energy, two-day session focused on:

  • How to execute against a sales process (for major gifts, campaign gifts, transformational gifts, etc)
  • How to build and maximize relationships
  • How to build and lead an effective team
  • How to ask, close and follow-up

Register before February 18th to take advantage of Super Early Bird Pricing!

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This Sunday, February 9th, Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Performing on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York!

I was one of the estimated 73 million Americans who tuned in to watch the show. It was the Fab Four’s first visit to the United States.

No real point to this post … except that it’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years.

Special Note: I also remember there was a guy on the show that night spinning six plates on sticks. I sometimes use that as a great example of time to balance our lives. Still not sure how he did it.

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POWER OF FOCUS

Yesterday, Microsoft announced Satya Nadella as its next CEO, the third in the company’s history. Almost every article I have read on this so far mentioned that his primary and immediate objective is around FOCUS.  (For Microsoft, it looks like it means mobile and cloud … to “empower people to do amazing things”.

Here is his first letter to the all of the employees if you haven’t seen it.  Gotta love this quote: “I am here because we have unparalleled capability to make an IMPACT.”

When Steve Jobs went back to Apple after the Sculley disaster, his primary objective was also around FOCUS.  He cut 29 products to 4!  (Should have been 3, but still …)

When Larry Page returned to the top job at Google in 2011, he said, “Ever since taking over as CEO, I have FOCUSED much of my energy on increasing Google’s VELOCITY and EXECUTION.”  Again, a simple focus.

Jim Collins explains the Power of Focus with his ‘hedgehog’ concept.  In GOOD TO GREAT, his idea of FOCUS is doing one thing and doing it well.  He uses the parable of the clever, devious fox and the simple hedgehog.  Fox keeps coming up with new ideas to eat the hedgehog, but the hedgehog always responds with the same thing:  Rolling into a thorny ball.

Peter Drucker and Tom Peters have both used the term ‘monomaniacs with a mission’ to explain the success of single-minded and focused individuals. They both talk about individuals and small groups who through extreme focus, resolve and passion have had an impact way out of proportion to their size.

FOCUS.  FOCUS.  FOCUS.

Here are 3 books that can be a great resource to help you with this challenge of FOCUS.

  • THE POWER OF FOCUS.  Great book by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (of Chicken Soup fame) and Les Hewitt.
    Simple summary:  The #1 reason that stops people from getting what they want is a LACK OF FOCUS.  People who FOCUS on what they want, prosper.  Those who don’t, struggle.
    Special Note.  Some really, really, really great stuff in here on ASK for what you want.
  • SOAR WITH YOUR STRENGTHS.  There have been a ton of great books out lately on FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS.  This was my first exposure to this concept in 1992 by Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson.  Clifton was the Founder and Chairman of SRI Gallop.  The books lead off with the greatest story ever about FOCUSING ON STRENGTHS, called Animal School.  Best and simplest nugget:  Pick one strength and pursue it.
    Note:  Shane Parrish in Farnam Street blog mentioned Warren Buffet’s Mental Model around Circle of Competence.  Basically, Buffet says that if you stay in your Circle of Competence (what you know), you will achieve success.
  • THE ONE THING.  Great book by Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Keller Williams Realty, largest real estate company in the United States.  Simple summary is focusing on the ONE THING creates huge exponential success.

FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS.

 

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ON FOCUS

Synchronicity or serendipity?

Just reading my ROTMAN MANAGEMENT, (the Magazine of Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto). The Winter 2014 edition is all about METACOGNITION … or ‘THINKING ABOUT THINKING’.

There was a great Thought Leader interview with Daniel Goleman who just published FOCUS: THE HIDDEN DRIVER OF EXCELLENCE.

Here is the article link. Some really good stuff on the importance of FOCUS.

Then, today, got my January book notes from Jim Mahoney at Battle for Kids. Yep. The book is: Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence!

Here are Jim’s wonderful book notes.

FOCUS is being like a laser … not a blow torch or a flame thrower.

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I Give You PERMISSION …

Note:  I was with five different groups this week … speaking, training, coaching.  At every gathering, somebody or multi-bodies came up and said, “Thank you for giving me PERMISSION for _________.”  That triggered this post.

I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO …

  • PERMISSION to THINK BIG.
  • PERMISSION to SIMPLIFY.
  • PERMISSION to JUST ASK.
  • PERMISSION to ACT (NOW).
  • PERMISSION to DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT.
  • And, I give you PERMISSION to BE FOR IMPACT!

I also give you PERMISSION to use all of our FRAMEWORKS, IDEAS, NUGGETS … to help you FUND THE VISION of your organization.

FWIW.  I also give you PERMISSION to take care of YOURSELF!  Family.  Personal and Professional Development.  Taking your ‘birthdate’ off every month.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Many of you have a Social Entrepreneur mindset:  You ask for FORGIVENESS not PERMISSION … now you can have both.

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Net, Net, Net Check!

I had a truly energizing session with 500+ members and board members of the Northwest Development Officers Association.

These are my ‘PEEPS‘! As I told them, I have been in development and fundraising for 40 years. I LOVE sharing ideas and nuggets and challenging development professionals.

Half the room raised their hands with under two years development experience! The other half had 20+ years give or take.

Even with this incredibly diverse audience, I think almost everyone ‘got‘ the whole
IMPACT DRIVES INCOME thing. (Just sayin’ … what’s not to get?)

What I wish I would have said, as I shared the Controlling Insight, the challenge to BE FOR IMPACT and the 9 Guiding Principles, was the following:

“The #1 goal (job) of the Green people (development, advancement, etc.) is to write a net, net, net check to the Blue people (the organization/cause).”

What is a ‘net, net, net check’ you say? It’s a real estate term. It means after ALL expenses, including the personnel, entire operating budget, etc. (thus the triple net) … it’s the check that development writes to save lives, transform lives, change lives.

I know a lot of organizations where the ROI is ridiculously small when it comes to cost of fundraising. In my crazy ideal world, that number would be 5¢ on the dollar … not 50¢ or 75¢ or 95¢.

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Begging for Change

On way to Seattle to speak with 500 Development/Advancement Officers.  Synopsis … Pike Street Market – Robb Pike, a Suddes Group rock star – Robb’s friend Robert Egger.

There is no way for me to pull together some radical, transformational ideas around CHANGE without talking about Robert Egger’s wonderful book called, Begging For Change (Harper, 2004).

Egger is a living, fire-breathing Social Entrepreneur who ran the D.C. Central Kitchen. Twenty years ago, he asked a simple question:

“Why aren’t there more RESULTS from 84 million people contributing $200 billion to good causes?” (Figures, 1988)

Today that question has grown to 100 million people and $385 billion. Egger’s answer reinforces the IMPACT drives INCOME insights, epiphany and point of view.

“Non profits must STOP CHASING MONEY…
and START focusing on the TRUE WORK AT HAND …
CHANGES that could RADICALLY TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES!!!”

He goes on to say that “most non profits have veered away from their original missions and are now caught up in the maddening cycle of chasing after (begging) for money …

I’ve shared the podium with Robert, and heard how he challenged audiences to call a “National Time Out”… so that everyone around the country could ask themselves what the hell they’ve been doing and why.

(I wish I could just give you this book, however that is not very feasible, so go to Amazon and order a copy for yourself. Just read the prologue, the intro, the epilogue and Robert’s Rules and you’ll be WOW’d.) (more…)

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Gates Foundation Annual Letter

Bill and Melinda Gates published their annual letter yesterday, framed around 3 MYTHS.

“By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same.”
– Bill Gates    

Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “The exercise of writing forces you to have logic and critical reasoning.”

That ties very nicely to one of my many mantras, “Write it down. It will happen.”

3 MYTHS … that Block Progress for the Poor.

If you live in (or anywhere near) the FOR IMPACT WORLD … you ought to read this message.

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SOME (REALLY) (IMPORTANT) STUFF

Synchronicity. Serendipity. Spooky.

I LOVE Tom Peter’s ‘stuff’. I’ve been following him for over 30 years, every since his mega-hit IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE. I think I’ve got all of his books and pamphlets that he’s ever written.

I’m up at Notre Dame (at boxing) … and I’m reading PROJECT 04: SNAPSHOTS OF EXCELLENCE IN UNSTABLE TIMES. Ten years old. Still ridiculously relevant.

“It is the foremost task – and responsibility – of our generation to RE-IMAGINE our enterprises and institutions, public and private.”

T.P. goes on to make/reinforce a ton of cutting-edge thinking around TALENT … DESIGN … WOMEN … PASSION … CHAOS/VOLATILITY/CHANGE … and much more.

I went to tompeters.com to see if PROJECT 04 was still in print. Instead, I see an amazing 104-page PDF on SOME (REALLY) (IMPORTANT) STUFF, which he posted on the 13th of January on the way to New Zealand.

Save this link somewhere for when you have time to go through all the slides/pages. It will definitely cause to THINK!

  • Do good work.
  • People development, training at very top of the heap.
  • Thank you. Acknowledge. Appreciate.
  • Listen up.
  • Radical, personal development.
  • (My favorite) READ. READ. READ.

Special Note: Yes, it’s a lot of ‘stuff’. But, I promise that you will take away one BIG nugget that will change the way you think.

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Big Al on Problems

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Tim Kight’s terrific insight states this in another way: “Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results they are getting.”

If you’re really, really interested in thinking differently, solving problems, a different design, change … I encourage you to check out the new GUIDEBOOK: ON CHANGE.

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CHANGE (THE) RULES

We are less than 3 weeks into 2014. Perfect time to think about our IMPACT, our GOALS and things we want to CHANGE for the better (in our organizations, our teams and our lives).

CHANGE (THE) RULES is a little play on words. In this generations lexicon, to RULE is a good thing. CHANGE DOES RULE.

At the same time, in order to really CHANGE something (yourself, your organization, the world), you also to have CHANGE THE RULES.

Paul Arden, in his wonderful book, IT’S NOT HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IT’S HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO BE, speaks for a multitude of entrepreneurs and change agents when he says,

“You can’t solve the problem if you’re playing by the RULES.”

I believe it’s much stronger than that: THERE ARE NO RULES!!! (But, there are a lot of problems.)

As always, my goal is to motivate you to TAKE ACTION.

With that in mind, I am sharing with you the ARTIST’S PROOF of CHANGE (THE) RULES.

These For Impact Guides are where we share our thoughts, ideas and experiences … in nugget form … aggregated on specific topic. This one is ON CHANGE … FOR DIFFERENT RESULTS.

Special Note to ‘Tribe’. Please read or download or use … and then get me your FEEDBACK! I’m actually ‘open sourcing’ the document to the thousands of people in our For Impact Family. Please, please, please take a moment and let me know if you find a typo, a misspelling, or a mis-thought. Better yet, tell me how the CONTENT will help you … or where we might be able to strengthen it.

THANKS!

Special, Special Note: Here is the DEDICATION for Change (The) Rules … shamelessly and admiringly borrowed/stolen from Apple’s THINK DIFFERENT campaign. If you are one of the following … you need to read Change (The) Rules.

 

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

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Make Each Day Count

Average life expectancy in the United States is 28,725 days.

You can count the days … or make each day count.

Personal Note: With a birthday coming up in March, I will have almost exactly 5,000 days left. I better get crankin’!

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2014: A Year of Change

I know.  You’re tired of talk about the New Year, resolutions, changing your life, diet, physique, relationships, etc.

I’m definitely not trying to cut into Oprah or Dr. Phil but …

I do want to talk to you about what CHANGE means to me … and how that might have the greatest IMPACT on you, your team or your organization.

“EVERY organization is PERFECTLY DESIGNED to get the RESULTS they are getting.” 

I know you’ve seen this Tim Kight epiphany before.  It’s one of the best ways to think about DIFFERENT RESULTS means DIFFERENT DESIGN (CHANGE).

As every parent or grandparent knows, the only person who really, really likes ‘CHANGE’ is a wet baby.

Here are three quotes to help you begin the PROCESS.

    1. “BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world.”  – Gandhi
    Gandhi’s eponymous quote is on everything from T-shirts to coffee mugs to bumper stickers.
    CHANGE is up to us.
    Some people can actively CHANGE ‘THE’ WORLD. All of us can CHANGE ‘OUR’ WORLD (our impact, our income, our health, our relationships, our lives).
    2. “Social Entrepreneurs CHANGE the PERFORMANCE CAPACITY of SOCIETY.”  – Peter Drucker
    Mr. Drucker was THE management guru and acknowledged thought leader in the field of leadership and organizational development.
    Here’s a perfect example of his clear and challenging thinking. Don’t just ‘CHANGE’ something, CHANGE something BIG!!!  (e.g. “The PERFORMANCE CAPACITY of SOCIETY!!!”)
    3. “Stop BEGGING for change. Start begging for CHANGE.”   – Robert Egger
    Bob Egger’s wonderful book title and even more wonderful content provides a catchy, pithy way to talk about radical transformation, creative destruction and Quantum Leap innovation.

Adapt or Die.  Change or Die.  Change to Live. 

As we begin the year 2014 (which, regardless of the Chinese, I am calling THE YEAR OF THE EAGLE … and ALL ABOUT VISION … FOCUS … SOAR), I am encouraging our team and your team to think about what it actually means to CHANGEFOR IMPACT.

Here are 6 stories on CHANGE … and a small action/activity to help turn your SACRED COWS into HAMBURGER!

  • GREAT BARRIER REEF
    Have you ever visited the Great Barrier Reef in Australia?
    On the inner (leeward) side of the reef, there are NO waves, NO turbulence, NO ‘CHANGE’ … and NO LIFE!
    All of the colorful fish, the beautiful coral and the amazing plants are on the ocean (windward) side of the reef… where they are hammered every day with crashing waves, intense turbulence and ‘CHANGE.’
  • “IL SOLE NO MUOVE”
    Forty years before Copernicus revolutionized the world view, Leonardo da Vinci said, “THE SUN DOES NOT MOVE.” Both these dudes were born on a flat, unmoving planet in the center of the universe, around which the ‘SUN CIRCLED’.
    A century after their deaths, that same planet was a rotating sphere orbiting around the sun somewhere in a universe too vast to even have a center! The church tried to suppress this as heresy. The best ‘THINKERS’ of the times thought this concept absurd.
    The planet/solar system did not ‘CHANGE’ but, the paradigm for understanding it had been turned inside out.
  • BABIES BORN IN CHAOS
    Steven Pressfield (currently my favorite author) states that the creative act is primitive.
    “Babies are born in blood and chaos; stars and gravity come into being amid the release of massive primordial cataclysms.
    The hospital room may be spotless and sterile, but the birth itself will always take place amid CHAOS, PAIN and BLOOD.”
  • ITALY & SWITZERLAND
    In the 15th Century, Italy was immersed in chaos, war, bloodshed, terror… and ‘CHANGE.’
    It produced da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi… and the RENAISSANCE.
    Around the same time, SWITZERLAND experienced hundreds of years of peace, consistency, sustainability and no, none, nada, nil ‘CHANGE.’
    It produced the CUCKOO CLOCK.
  • MONKEY NUTS and BERRIES
    My good friend, Jim Mahoney (Battelle for Kids), tells this wonderful story:
    It’s pretty easy to catch monkeys in the jungle. You just carve out the inside of a coconut with a small hole in the top, fill the coconut with NUTS and BERRIES, and attach the coconut to a stake or a tree.
    The monkey comes along, sticks its hand inside the coconut, and grabs a handful of nuts and berries. The monkey will be there when you get back. Guaranteed.WHY? Because it will NOT let go of the NUTS and BERRIES … and can’t get it’s FIST out of the coconut.
  • SACRED COWS
    Here’s My Own Short Final Story On Change:
    I won a trip around the world (long story, long trip). While visiting India, I actually saw those famous ‘sacred cows,’ and learned that once they got too old or useless, they were shipped across a neighboring border and turned into HAMBURGER!

ALERT: 

Tomorrow we will release the Artist’s Proof of a new Guidebook, CHANGE (THE) RULES. Watch for it!

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A Culture of Freedom & Responsibility (MUST READ)

This is not a short post! It’s not 140 characters to be tweeted nor is it designed for ADHD, fast-twitch consumption.

Encouragement.  Hopefully, I and we have built some trust within our ‘Tribe’.  If so, what follows could be one of the most thought-provoking pieces you’ve read in a long time.If you are a For Impact Leader, Chief Whatever, Executive Director, Member of the Senior Team, Vice President/Team Leader of the Advancement/Development Office, or an aspiring Social Entrepreneur … I truly believe this is a must read.

This month’s HBR talked about a “A Great Place To Work”.  Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix and now a consultant, wrote How Netflix Reinvented HR.  FWIW, I think that is a terrible name for this powerful article on culture, talent, counter-intuitive/radical practices and more.  Take the time to read the article.  Patty and Reed Hastings, the Founder and CEO of Netflix, shared two over-arching principles:

  1. “Hire only ‘A’ Players.  Excellent colleagues trump everything else.”
  2. “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package.”  As they say, this blunt statement underscores their hunger for excellence.

They then shared their five tenets for a true culture of freedom and responsibility:

  1. “Hire, reward and tolerate only fully formed adults.”  (If this were your ‘only’ hiring practice … it would change the game.)
  2. “Tell the truth about performance.”  (They eliminated all formal reviews!  “Too ritualistic and too infrequent.”  Their alternative:  “Have conversations about performance as an organic part of their work!”)
  3. “Managers own the job of creating great teams.”  (Netflix told all their ‘managers’ that building a great team was their most important task!  They were not measured on whether excellent coaches or mentors or got their paperwork done on time.  “Great teams accomplish great work, and recruiting the right team was the top priority.”)
  4. “Leaders own the job of creating the company culture.”  (Read Patty’s example about action not matching values.)
  5. “Good talent managers think like business people and innovators first and like HR people last.”  (For me, “business people and innovators” could be summarized as ENTREPRENEURS.  Think like an Entrepreneur makes for a truly astounding, creative and and innovative culture.)

Pay attention!  What follows has been called one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley.  It’s been viewed more than 5 million times on the web!

*Even with all the reading that Nick and I do, somehow we missed this.  It has had a huge IMPACT on our little company … and I am confident that you will find some real gems and nuggets within these 127 slides titled Reference Guide on Our (Netflix) FREEDOM & RESPONSIBILITY CULTURE.

Here are things that jumped out/literally leaped off the page for me:

  • The real company values, as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted or let go.
  • A great workplace is stunning colleagues.
  • The Keeper Test:  Which of my people, if they told me they were leaving for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep?
  • Our model is to increase employee freedom as we grow, rather than limit it, to continue to attract and nourish innovative people.  (Check out the Complexity/Performance charts!)
  • Netflix policy for expensing, entertainment, gifts and travel:  “Act in Netflix best interest.”  (5 words long!)
  • CONTEXT … NOT CONTROL.  (This is a truly exceptional nugget that could change your entire organization.)
  • Highly aligned, loosely coupled (vs. a tightly coupled monolith or independent silos) is dependent upon high-performance people and good context.  Goal is to be big and fast and flexible.

If that’s not enough to get you to download the ‘slides’, you probably won’t get it anyway.

***One of their 9 behaviors and skills is IMPACT! These are the VALUES that drive hiring and talent:

  • JUDGMENT
  • COMMUNICATION
  • CURIOSITY
  • INNOVATION
  • COURAGE
  • PASSION
  • HONESTY
  • SELFLESSNESS
  • IMPACT

In their world, IMPACT means:

  • You accomplish amazing amount of important work.
  • You demonstrate consistently strong performance so colleagues can rely upon you.
  • You focus on great results rather than on process
  • You exhibit bias-to-action and avoid analysis paralysis.

WHEW!  I urge you to print out everything and take some solo time to digest and think.  Then, get your Senior Team or colleagues together and see if you can’t take some of the above and create an amazing CULTURE OF FREEDOM & RESPONSIBILITY.

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Building A Game-Changing Talent Strategy

HBR’s January/February issue talked about “A Great Place to Work” and featured IDEO, BlackRock and Netflix. Here is the link to the initial article Building A Game-Changing Talent Strategy.

Here’s my shorthand to help encourage you to read these articles if you are in any kind of Leadership position in a For Impact organization.

  • Game-changing organizations are purpose-drivenperformance-oriented … and principles-led.
  • Great comments about investing in professional development and training.
  • “Committed leaders and gifted HR managers create an organizational climate of SPIRIT and ENERGY – a magnet for the very best professionals.”
  • The game-changing organizations focused on talents four inherent tensions:
      Support both strategic and operational superiority.
      Are globally scaled yet locally relevant.
      Foster collective culture yet enable high potentials to thrive as individuals.
      Policies endure yet are agile and open to revitalization.

At the end of the article, there are 12 statements that you should look at and answer if you really want to have a GAME-CHANGING TALENT STRATEGY!

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How To Draw An Owl

I got the following from Seth Godin’s daily blog. If you don’t know Seth, look up prolific writer in whatever dictionary you use and his picture will be there. I get a blog from every day.

With total and highly complimentary attribution … here’s the beginning of his post on HOW TO DRAW AN OWL.

The problem with most business and leadership advice is that it’s a little like this:

HowToDrawOwl

The two circles aren’t the point. Getting the two circles right is a good idea, but lots of people manage that part. No, the difficult part is learning to see what an owl looks like. Drawing an owl involves thousands of small decisions, each based on the answer to just one question, “what does the owl look like?” If you can’t see it (in your mind, not with your eyes), you can’t draw it.

WOW! “If you can’t see it … in your mind … you can’t draw it.”

In the For Impact world, I think this is a beautiful example of the need for both VISION and FOCUS.

What does the ‘owl’ look like? You can’t just draw two circles, and then say “Okay, draw the owl.” You’ve got to lay out the VISION as clearly as possible … with great STORY LINES to help people ‘see it in their mind‘.

Then comes FOCUS. When you’re ready to finally draw the owl, there has to be enough detail and enough of a picture in the mind to actually be able to fill in the ‘final’ drawing.

We used this wonderful analogy yesterday to talk about ‘What does a name-changing, health care philanthropy organization look like?’

We are going to use this with our Suddes Group coaches and clients to help people get from ‘two circles‘ to the ‘finished product‘ … by trying to be as clear as possible around what the ‘owl’ looks like.

Note: If you’re part of the Tribe, you know how important vocabulary and common language is for an elite team. This is just another great vocabulary word to help shorthand results!

What does the owl look like?

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CHANGE & HIGH PERFORMANCE

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a great holiday season with family, friends and some solo time.

2014 can be a great year for all of us.

Three thoughts to start off the New Year.

    1. ON CHANGE! Darwin said, “Adapt or Die.” Alan Deutschman wrote Change or Die”. 2014 can be your Year of Change. Here are some quotes to get you going.
    *I will be feeding you a lot more stuff in the next week on this topic of CHANGE.
    2. HIGH PERFORMANCE. Nick and I are on our way to Colorado to spend some time with one of the most cutting-edge and innovative health care organizations in the world. Topic tomorrow with their leadership is all about High Performance Talent.
    ***Pay particular attention to Tony Schwartz’s thoughts on routines and rituals and systems.
    3. YOU RUN YOUR ORGANIZATION. YOUR ORGANIZATION DOESN’T RUN YOU. I’m going to be sharing more thoughts this year directed towards YOU … as a person and the CEO of Me, Inc. This will be our Gold section around Personal Development.
    You run your life. Life doesn’t run you.
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BE HAPPY. BE HEALTHY. BE FOR IMPACT.

This will be my last post and last WOW email for 2013. And, it’s not about your organization, your team, fundraising or sales. It’s about YOU. It 2014, we’ll be organizing all of our content, resources and support under BlueRedGreenGold. This represents Organizational Development (Blue), Team Development (Red), Fund Development (Green) and Personal Development (Gold). I want to close out 2013 with some GOLD. BE HAPPY. BE HEALTHY. BE FOR IMPACT. BE HAPPY. Check out this great link to 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy by Belle Beth Cooper via Jeff Haden. Shorthand:

    1. Exercise.
    2. Sleep more.
    3. Spend more time with friends and family.
    4. Get outside more.
    5. Help others(!)
    6. Practicing smiling.
    7. Plan a trip.
    8. Meditate.
    9. Move closer to work.
    10. Practice gratitude.

A lot of great links in this article! One more resource for some reading on happiness over the holidays might be The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven. *I’m learning to be much more productive in my old age. My good friend Jim Mahoney of Battelle for Kids has done a terrific job of Book Notes on Niven’s book. Here’s the summary. Happy people have:

  • Humor/Positivity/Fun
  • Friendship
  • Purpose and Meaning

BONUS READING: Jim Rohn’s 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness: Power Ideas from America’s Foremost Business Philosopher. One of my favorite authors, Rohn says the 7 strategies are:

    1. Unleash the power of goals.
    2. Seek knowledge.
    3. Learn how to change.
    4. Control your finances.
    5. Master time.
    6. Surround yourself with winners.
    7. Learn the art of living well!

? DON’T WORRY … BE HAPPY.

BE HEALTHY. There was a sign in one of the original athletic clubs I built many years ago that I will never forget: “HEALTH IS THE GREATEST WEALTH.” I’m not going to encourage you to make ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, but here are three great resources to read or skim over the holidays regarding your health.

      • Aging Well by George Vaillant. Again, I don’t need to summarize. You can all use Google or Bing. Vaillant is the one who summarized the groundbreaking study of five decades of Harvard graduates.
      • Brain Rules by John Medina. The reason I included it here is because it’s one of Nick’s favorite books and a HEALTHY BRAIN means everything!

BE FOR IMPACT. This is our commitment to help you in 2014 and beyond.

Here are my initial year-end thoughts on BE FOR IMPACT. I would love your feedback.

Have a wonderful holiday and end of the year.

Look for some great stuff ON CHANGE on January 6th.

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Nelson Mandela Just Asked

A good friend of mine in Ireland (who, by the way, runs a fantastic anti-bullying program there) sent me an article from the Irish Times.

Article is written by Bono on his “friend Nelson Mandela”. Here’s the opening of the article:

    “He could charm the birds off the trees – and cash right out of wallets. He told me once how Margaret Thatcher had personally donated £20,000 to his foundation.
    “How did you do that?” I gasped. The Iron Lady, who was famously frugal, kept a tight grip on her purse.
    “I asked,” he said with a laugh. “You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask.”

JUST ASK! We can now add Nelson Mandela to the list!

    “If you don’t ASK, you don’t get.” Gandhi
    The Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive.”
    In Hebrew, it’s “Rak B’vakaysh!! ONLY ASK!”
    “You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask.” Nelson Mandela
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3 Big Things We Created …

We had almost everybody to Eagle Creek last week for year-end review, 2014 goals and planning and some serious celebration!

As I was listening to the team talk about impact that we have had in 2013, I was reminded of the power of our thinking, models and frameworks.

Three of the really big things that resonated most with clients and in our trainings were actually things that we (kind of) invented:

    1. MASTER PROSPECT LIST. Top-down, descending order of importance, rating based primarily on Capacity and Relationship, not ‘siloed’ into individual or corporate or foundation or whatever and more.
    In all the sales trainings I’ve attended over the years and all the sales books I’ve read … I’ve not seen anyone use this concept of the MPL to drive Prioritization and Strategy with prospects.
    2. PREDISPOSITION. Again, this is a term that we coined (pun intended) to raise a lot more money. Professionals in the For Impact world do not make ‘cold calls‘. We predispose before any contact with our best prospects and before every visit. Professionals know they have 30 minutes, on average, for the Presentation of the Opportunity. Anything and everything that we can do before that presentation to help the prospect make a decision is invaluable.
    ***The three parts to our Sales Process are of equal importance: PREPARATION/PREDISPOSITION … PRESENTATION … FOLLOW-UP.
    3. THE ENGAGEMENT TOOL. This one-page PRESENTATION FLOW, at altitude, has become an absolutely indispensable part of our client and coaching success.

Special Note: We are committed in 2014 to continue bringing you as many ideas and frameworks and nuggets as we can to help you make an even greater IMPACT. Stay tuned for re-designed ForImpact.org to better serve as a resource.

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IMPACT … IN YOUR LIFE

Jason H., a For Impact Tribe Member, shared the following graphic from Anna Vital.

impact
Click to see full size version.

Makes a great point. Your personal life, starting something that matters, a lot more.

***Still trying to figure out how we at For Impact can IMPACT 198,000,000 people!

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Meet Farnam Street. And, think.

I’m excited to share with you the crown jewel of the Internet.

Meet Farnam Street: (Seeking wisdom by mastering the best of what other people have figured out).

It’s not really a blog.  It’s more like a feed of incredible tools to help you THINK.

Farnam Street is run by Shane Parrish.  I know three people who read as much as he does: Charlie Munger, Bill Gates, and Tom Suddes.

For Impact | The Suddes Group is sponsoring Farnam Street. We’re really proud of this partnership because we feel like it gives us a chance to invest in the sharing of ancient wisdom and modern thinking – in the form of digestible nuggets.

The Suddes Group has been working ‘in the field’ since 1983, delivering funding results for organizations. We have been packaging and sharing our thinking via For Impact (website, training, publishing) since 2000.

Clients tell us again and again, “We chose to work with you for your clear thinking, simple approach, and transformational results.” I don’t need to hire a branding consultant to see the value in more statements like that.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, that’s why so few people engage in it.” – Henry Ford

So brand-building, partnerships… all that’s great.  On a more meta level I believe, simply, Shane and Farnam Street are providing tons of value to the universe. That’s impact.
We’re FOR  IMPACT. I’ll invest in that.

Thanks, Shane.

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STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.

I thought this would be a good follow-up to Seth Godin’s thoughts on STORY.

Everything you do should be built around a STORY!

STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.

The POWER of STORYTELLING is a given. It goes back, literally, to the beginning of humankind! STORIES are, without question, the most meaningful way to communicate any (and I mean ANY) MESSAGE!

Here’s a simple test: Ask any of your Volunteer Leaders or Board Members (or even key staff) if they would rather:

ASK THEIR FRIENDS FOR MONEY

OR

SHARE THE STORY –> PRESENT THE STORY!

STORY helps with the Open, Dialogue, Conversation, and much more. Building, telling, sharing your STORY is ALL you need to do. And I mean that pretty literally.

In our For Impact world, ‘SHARE THE STORY’ is about:

  1. AUTHENTICITY
  2. DIALOGUE
  3. STORIES … Your Story. Their Story. Org Story.

(more…)

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START BEFORE YOU’RE READY

I was re-reading for the umpteenth time DO THE WORK by one of my favorite authors Steven Pressfield. Heading down to Wake Forest University to be with their outstanding Advancement Team for some coaching/training.

There is a huge amount both wisdom and motivation in this DTW nugget:

START BEFORE YOU’RE READY.

DON’T PREPARE. BEGIN.

“Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.”

“The enemy is resistance.”

“The enemy is our chattering brain, which if we give it so much as a nanosecond will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

That quote is one of the reasons that Steven Pressfield is one of the most impactful writers/thinkers in the world. He puts a name on the nugget. He captures in very few words the essence of the problem. Then, gives simple solution. START BEFORE YOU’RE READY.

DON’T PREPARE. BEGIN.

ENGAGE, THEN PLAN.

ACT NOW.

DON’T MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOUR PROSPECTS.

Pressfield quotes W. H. Murray who quotes Goethe with one of my favorite inspirational quotes:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

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Happy Thanksgiving

Every year I try to share a Thanksgiving Message with our For Impact | The Suddes Group community.

As I re-read my last four or five years of Thanksgiving messages, I was thinking about the timeless nature of these thoughts.

Three things to think about this Thanksgiving and into the holiday season.

    1.“WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”
    For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
    Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
    Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
    Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!
    Bob and Melinda Blanchard, in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE, have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
    My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive … family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc. … and, some that are not … a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
    Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not about ‘money’. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
    Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness … I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
    Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
    In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best lines was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
    Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
    The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… and enjoy your ‘WEALTH’.
    2.“ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.” Almost every book I’ve ever read on personal development has reinforced that ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.
    My good friend Tim Kight calls this the ‘R’ FACTOR. His brilliant equation is
    E + R = O.
    Event + Response = Outcome.
    Event does not equal the outcome. It’s our RESPONSE (which is almost always a function of our ATITTUDE) that creates the outcome. We are surrounded by relative comfort and certain freedom. Few of us have to worry about struggling each day to meet our basic needs (which is a daily struggle for most of the people in the world). Many people focus on what they see as a lengthy list of negatives, complaints, faults, cynicism. We need to respond with our antidote of GRATITUDE.
    ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE alters the way we see others and ourselves. It inspires us. It builds and supports lasting relationships.
    Take a moment every day to write or think about the many, many things for which we are most grateful. (Julia Cameron calls them ‘morning pages’.) Family. Friends. Freedom. Maslov’s Food, Shelter, Clothing. Greatest country in the world. (And, when you’re my age, the fact that you’re alive and breathing vs. the alternative.)
    3.“THE MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET.”
    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
    I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people experience serious ‘giving‘. I’ve also watched many of these people literally move from success to significance. While I don’t exactly understand how it works, I know that giving brings much more happiness thanreceiving.
    There’s a great line from a country song:
    “It’s not what you take with you … when you leave the world behind.”
    “It’s what you leave behind you … when you leave this world behind you.”

I believe all of three of these thoughts help us make a life, not a living.

There’s no better time of the year than now to share with others.

katniss_Tgiving

Katniss, our miniature Highland cow wants you to eat more turkey. From the rest of us at For Impact and The Suddes Group and Eagle Creek, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and great holiday season.

Special Note: Every year I share these 3 stories that you may want to share with your children or grandchildren or family. THE HAPPY PRINCE is a great story/fable. THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD are seen through the eyes of a child. The third is a very powerful parable about giving called the SEA OF GALILEE.

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We Don’t Need a Gettysburg Address

I did a great session with one of the finest small colleges in the world yesterday.

New President. Board (and everyone else) is looking for the ‘GRAND VISION’.

We are seeing this more and more … every day … with all of our clients/partners who are engaged in large transformational funding initiatives.

Our response to pretty much everyone right now is to stop over thinking the whole ‘VISION’ thing.

Yesterday, it was a simple statement: “You don’t need a Gettysburg Address.”

This university has a ridiculously strong and unique Mission and Message. We just laid that out in the ‘Blue’ at 30,000′ … and turned that into a $100 Million Vision.

President-Lincoln

I’m from Springfield, Illinois as was Lincoln.

I love the Gettysburg Address. I love the fact that Lincoln did it in 272 words … and they were really simple, powerful words.

However, not every leader nor every organization needs a ‘Gettysburg Address’ to talk with their best people about TRANSFORMATIONAL GIFTS.

FWIW.

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Build Simple: Communication

buildingblocks

This week marks the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln wrote this himself, and it certainly features one of the great openings of all time: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

The final version was 272 words! (I’m sure it took Lincoln many iterations to rid the ‘speech’ of all the words that were not important.)

Washington’s First Inaugural Address was 134 words.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was written on 3 pages (longhand) … summarized with 3 words … and then SIMPLIFIED again into 3 letters!!!

It seems like ‘we’ can’t write a proposal, a case for support or a request that isn’t 20, 30, 40 pages … smallest type possible … pages of financials …

Lincoln. Washington. Einstein.

Thoreau: “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Always simplify.”

And finally, Sir William Ockham’s famous Razor: “What can be done with few assumptions is done in vain with more.”

THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW.

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Good Health Is Greatest Wealth

Here’s a thought from our Cross-Fit, Paleo Designer Wolfie:

foodishealthcare

For me, it’s not about Paleo or the Zone or Atkins or Gluten-Free …

It is about trying to EAT HEALTHY. It’s up to us to figure out what that means for each one of us.

Note: I love the line that MEDICINE IS SICK CARE.

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Human BE-ings … Not Human DO-ings

Life and work are hectic. Here is a simple reminder to LIVE and BE.

We are human BE-ings, not human DO-ings.

Seems like we’re always encouraging you to Take Action, Just Ask, Just Visit, Just DO Something

But, it’s also important to just BE:

    BE present during your presentations.
    BE in the moment, with family, friends, associates.
    BE yourself, authentic in every way.
    BE an entrepreneur, at least in spirit.

BE FOR IMPACT

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A Salute to Veterans

Lt_Suddes

(A day late … but traveling all day yesterday.)

My dad was a Marine in World War II. My brother was a Marine Helicopter Pilot. I was the proverbial black sheep of the family when I went to Army Infantry out of Notre Dame.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day … but we should honor, celebrate and salute our veterans, as well as the men and women who are currently serving our country around the world, EVERY DAY!

Just one of those really BIG THINGS that sets the United States apart from the rest of the world.

Special Note: I think we have an opportunity in the Third Sector/For Impact World to help reintegrate returning military men and women. There are a lot of great OPPORTUNITIES within our world to make great use of the discipline, training and attitude instilled by the military.

Something to think about.

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The Joy of Living

Given real choices in matters of LIFE or DEATH, scientifically studied odds are 9 to 1 AGAINST CHANGE!

Alan Deutschman expanded a provocative Fast Company cover story (May 2005) into a full-length book called, CHANGE OR DIE.

Deutschman’s conclusion from his two-year project:

    90% of patients with severe heart disease fail to CHANGE their own lifestyles… even after their doctor tells them that they’re in a “CHANGE or DIE” situation!

600,000 people have bypasses every year and 1.3 million heart patients have angioplasties, all at a total cost of around $30 Billion. These procedures are temporary and rarely prevent future attacks or prolong life. However, the patient could avoid the return of pain and the need to repeat the surgery by switching to a healthier lifestyle. However, after two years, 90% of these patients have not changed their lifestyle!

The Health Care industry consumes over $3 Trillion a year in the U.S. alone. (20% of our gross domestic product.) 80% of our health care budget is consumed by five behavioral issues… too much smoking, drinking, eating and stress, and not enough exercise.

This is not about the debate, discourse, disagreement on a Health Care Plan or the roll out of website. The fact is that…

We know the cause of these health problems.
We know the solutions.
Yet, people won’t, don’t CHANGE.

This CHANGE is not always about ‘life or death’. Studies have found that six weeks into the New Year, 80% of people had already broken their New Year resolutions (or can’t even remember them anymore)!

A National Institute for Health study found that 97% of people who lose weight end up gaining it all back within five years!

There is an alternative: CHANGE TO LIVE.

“JOY OF LIVING beats the FEAR OF DEATH.”

(more…)

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Sales Metrics You Should Be Focusing On

We’re all in sales.  Dan Pink says, “To sell is human.”

marketing-metrics-and-analytics-300x199

Tom Searcy, a legitimate sales guru, wrote a great article for Inc.com about Sales Metrics.  He summarized a conversation with Jason Jordan, author of CRACKING THE SALES MANAGEMENT CODE and a partner at Vantage Point Performance.

Check out the article.  It’s really worth it.

Their study identified 306 different metrics that were considered critical by sales leaders, and then broke them into three categories:  Sales Activities, Sales Objectives and Business Results.

Their AHA discoveries:

  1. “Most of what is measured is outside of management’s ability to control!”  (They actually say that “83% of what is being tracked by our CRM and sales systems is just recording … not influencing.”)
  2. Management is about influencing outcomes.  Metrics are often just tracking progress and outcomes.
  3. Discerning the best opportunities!  Tom asked Jason about what he thought was the most impactful thing that a Sales Manager should spend time with his sales people on in order to get better results.Here’s Jason’s answer:“If you could only spend time with each salesperson on one activity to increase that person’s performance, it would be selectionSales people need a system in discerning the best opportunities in which to spend their time.  This takes experience and objective review by the sales manager in order to keep sales people from being overly optimistic about the wrong opportunities or chasing their next bright shiny object of potential.”

From my perspective as the Old Guy, this reinforces perfectly our focus in coaching around your MASTER PROSPECT LIST.  Identify, Prioritize and Strategize your very best prospects.  Do it with someone who has some ‘experience’.

‘Sales Managers’ (Vice Presidents, Directors of Development, etc.) help your sales team discern the best opportunities!

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“From A Tiny SPARK …”

“From a tiny SPARK …
A great fire was kindled …
And it’s flame warmed the world.”

Guy Laliberté, Founder, Cirque du Soleil

I presented a SPARK session to 400 wonderful leaders, board members and development staff from JCamp 180, which is program for Jewish Camps from across the country sponsored by the Grinspoon Foundation.

cirque

As part of my prep, I re-read THE SPARK: Igniting the Creative Fire that Lives Within All of Us.  Great book created by Lyn Heward and written by John Bacon about Cirque du Soleil.

A lot of ‘good stuff‘ in this little book!

I love CIRQUE DU SOLEIL for its passion, creativity and talent.  Here are some SPARKS from the book:

  • Deadlines (and barriers and constraints) are good things!  These provide ways to stay focused.
  • The exhilaration that comes from risking it all!  And challenging thoughts about getting out of our comfort zones and trying something different.
  • Looking at everything through the eyes of the audience.
  • “The trick is not trying to solve the problem before you figured out what the problem is.”

Heward is the former President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil’s Creative Content Division.  She offers some really compelling insights into the power of Cirque du Soleil.

Definitely worth the read.

Special Note:  Great line on Page 52:  “Are you afraid of heights?”  “No, but I am afraid of dying prematurely and unpleasantly (by falling)!”

 

 

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Alleviating Poverty One Bracelet At A Time

HandsStar

Jess Bergeron is a member of the For Impact ‘Tribe’ and works for A Global Friendship, the Brooklyn-based For Impact organization that empowers women around the world living on $10 a day and helps them to break the cycle of poverty.  He wrote and ‘JUST ASKED’!!! And, I want to help.

AGF has just launched a new Kickstarter project to help a community living in horrible conditions right here in the United States.

The Kickstarter project is THE SAGE BRAID: A GLOBAL FRIENDSHIP BRACELET … and all the proceeds from the sale of this bracelet go directly to creating jobs on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Here’s the link to the project on Kickstarter.

SageBraclet

Here’s why I pledged $500:

  • I love AGF’s message around ’empowering women around the world’.  (3 daughters, 3 granddaughers and the thousand amazing women social entrepreneurs I’ve met make this a no-brainer!)
  • Love the idea of a Sage Bracelet!  Sage is just a great natural and spirit-filled material.
  • They’re doing economic development through sustainable businesses!  I love people who create jobs and economic development opportunities.
  • I love the pictures!
  • I love the Pine Ridge Reservation ‘Story’.
    *And, my grandkids are really into Rubber Band Bracelets I’ve got a lot of them. These sage bracelets just look a lot cooler.

I’ve never done this before with our For Impact audience, but if you believe in any of the above … and want to help a group of young, social entrepreneurs … go to Kickstarter and help them reach their goal.

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Be A MAKER In The Morning …

I finished THE ONE THING over the weekend and author Gary Keller provided this wonderful nugget that will help make me much more productive:

    Be a MAKER in the morning …
    And a MANAGER in the afternoon.

Keller mentioned an essay Paul Graham wrote in 2009 called ‘Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule’. Paul Graham is one of the Founders of Y Combinator, and a very contrarian thinker and doer.

This might not effect you the way it did me, but Graham (and Keller) make a really big deal about taking the most productive time of the day (which for most of us is usually in the morning) and devoting it to MAKING stuff.

That could be thinking, creating, writing, business development, sales, etc.

Then, schedule all of your MANAGEMENT stuff (meetings, etc.) in the afternoon.

This is now going to be the third part of my productivity plan.

    1. “MANAGE YOUR ENERGY, NOT YOUR TIME.” Jim Loehr wrote this. It’s the guts of his amazing book, THE POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT. It changed my entire thinking from to do lists and filling up the day … to ensuring that I had the maximum energy when I need to do something BIG.
    2. FOCUS DAYS/BUFFER DAYS/FREE DAYS. I can’t remember where I actually got this. I know it was more than 25 years ago. I think it was a Canadian speaker. Talked about FOCUS DAYS and BUFFER DAYS and FREE DAYS.
    FOCUS DAYS are exactly that. Full energy. A command performance (a speech or a big sales call or a major presentation) or just a commitment to FOCUS on The One Thing .
    BUFFER DAYS are meant to be for prep or follow-up. I treat buffer days as days to get stuff done that has to get done.
    FREE DAYS are exactly that … FREE! It resonates a lot more today than it did 25 years ago. Having an actual day that is FREE of work is worth its weight it Bitcoins.
    3. BE A MAKER IN THE MORNING. I know this works for me. I just haven’t stated it as such. Will do my best to be a MAKER in the MORNING.
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GREAT SPIRITS

Something to think about over the weekend:

GREAT SPIRITS HAVE ALWAYS ENCOUNTERED VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS”

Albert Einstein

Big Al reinforces THINK BIG … and forget the cynic/naysayers!

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Dismantling the Sales Machine

“You’re in SALES.  Get over it.”

“Commit to SALES.”

“Selling – at its core – is not a business transaction.
It is first and foremost the forging of a human connection.”

If  you’re okay with these 3 quotes and the For Impact Point of View or Just Ask … you must read DISMANTLING THE SALES MACHINE in the latest Harvard Business Review.

The article makes some huge points that everyone in the For Impact world needs to think (deeply) about:

“Selling today requires flexibility, judgment and a focus on results — not process.” 

One of the best parts about this article, for me, was the idea that leading sales organizations track and report only the customer verifiers … not the sales person’s actions!  WOW.  This puts the focus on outcomes … vs. simply activities.

    Personal Note:  ‘Measurement’/’Accountability’ makes a huge deal in the development/ advancement/fundraising world.  Our ‘green sheet‘ tries to measure both ACTIVITY and PRODUCTIVITY.  (OUTCOMES.)
    I get physically ill when I see development officer/major gifts officer reports that include how many contacts (phone or email, etc.) they have had with a prospect or how many events they have attended or how many visits that were ‘cultivation‘ (their word) and not presentations/asks.

Some ‘teasers’ from the article:

  • “(SALES) reps are most likely to succeed when they feel SUPPORTED rather than directed.”  This is the whole idea of coaching and leading and supporting vs. managing.  While the term ‘sales manager’ is not used much in our advancement world, the concept of a TEAM LEADER for SALES is still critical.  Article points out these team leaders/coaches serve as connectors, encourage collaborative strategy and problem solving and push team members to challenge one another.
  • A New Type of Talent.  Using data that CEB has collected on more than 4 million business professionals, they’ve found that only 17% of the existing sales employees scored high on the competencies required for success ininsight selling”.
    Here’s a great line: “… to identify the small percentage of sales people who have a natural ability to succeed in this new climate, (managers) should consider hiring professionals not currently in sales roles who have excellent critical thinking skills and are willing to sell.”  That’s our Ideal Profile we use in our FIT (For Impact Talent) work!
  • Finally, here’s the last sentence in the article: “As knowledge-work leaders know, the key to success, in the simplest terms, is to:
    • hire the best employees,
    • create an empowering environment,
    • provide the necessary tools and guidance,
    • AND THEN GET OUT OF THE WAY.”

How ya doing on this?

***I shared this article with our FI|TSG team to help us do a better job of coaching. Decided that it had great value to ‘Tribe’ as well.

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THE ONE THING (EXPANDED)

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING???

DO IT.

Flying back from Colorado on Sunday. Always pop into the airport bookstores just to see what’s on the shelves.

the OneThing

This book title and cover just jumped out at me: THE ONE THING.

The primary author is Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Keller Williams Realty, largest real estate company in the United States. That got my attention.

I really like this book/concept because of its simplicity.

“If you chase two rabbits … you will not catch either one.”

Keller opens by quoting that great line from the hit comedy, City Slickers, with Curly, the grouchy old cowboy played by Jack Palance and Mitch/Billy Crystal.

Curley: “Do you know what the secret of life is?” 

Mitch: “No, what?” 

Curly: “This.”  (He holds up one finger.)

Mitch: “Your finger?

Curly: “One thing.  Just one thing.  You stick to that and everything else doesn’t mean sh*t.”

Mitch: “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”

Curly: “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”

Keller and co-author Jay Papasan go on to give a ton of great examples around why focusing on the ONE THING creates huge exponential success.

He even quotes one of my favorite thinkers/writers, Og Mandino.

“It’s those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”  

The book lays out the six lies around success:

  1. Everything matters equally.
  2. Multi-tasking.
  3. A disciplined life.
  4. Will power is always on will call.
  5. A balanced life.
  6. Big is bad.

Get the book and read these (especially the concept of multi-tasking, which is ridiculous).

It also has the great alliteration around Purpose + Priority = Productivity (and Profit).

Also website at the The1Thing.com.

Special, Special Note:  Like all of my absolute favorite books … everything you need to know about the book is captured ON THE COVER!  THE ONE THING.  THINK & GROW RICH.  START WITH WHY.  THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG.  SOAR WITH YOUR STRENGTHS.  THE POWER OF ONE.  And on and on and on.

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The Gathering in Ireland

Ireland, as a country and economy, has been devastated even more than the United States in this latest global ‘recession’. Banks have collapsed. Developers have left multiple ‘ghost towns’ of vacant half-finished housing projects. The Catholic Church has lost a lot of its influence. Government austerity programs are in place.

I’ve been to Ireland five times since 2009, to help FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATIONS change their philanthropic culture (or lack thereof) … and scale and grow their impact.

Every time I visit, I am impressed and amazed at the spirit of the Irish people. They have responded to Michael Collins (Irish Revolutionary Leader) and his 1922 definition of ‘riches’. “The real riches of the Irish nation will be the men and women of the Irish nation, the extent to which they are rich in body and mind and character.”

We have partnered with Business to Arts, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, the One Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Iris O’Brien Foundation and the Arthur Guinness Fund to help change the philanthropic culture from the old ‘story’ (“Government will fund everything. Why should I give?”) to the new ‘story’ (“Philanthropic support is a critical component in Ireland’s future.”)

2013 marks THE GATHERING IRELAND, a year-long celebration of Ireland, its people and all that is great in its connections, both at home and abroad.

The Suddes Group is proud to be hosting our own FOR IMPACT GATHERING IRELAND on May 20, 2013. This Memorable Experience will take place at the iconic Abbey Theatre … and is open to all For Impact (not-for-profit) leaders, staff and boards, social entrepreneurs and anyone else wanting to change the world or change Ireland.

This is Gaelic for IMPACT and INCOME … and it’s working! Results in Ireland have been nothing short of spectacular working within this new philanthropic model. (JUST ASK, however, is still a difficult concept for the Irish. In fact, they don’t even have a word for it! ACH DÍREACH CUIR CEIST is the closest they can come … which is Gaelic for BUT ONLY PUT THE QUESTION!)

For information on the For Impact Gathering in Ireland, click here. Register before April 19, 2013, and save €150 (off the full price of €195 per person) by using the discount code ficommunity.

Special Note: For U.S. members of our ‘Tribe’, this is a great ‘excuse’ to head to Ireland for some Advanced Training … and engagement with the Irish people. Contact kerry@forimpact.org for more information.

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Train Like A Champion Today

On my way up to Notre Dame for Men’s Boxing Banquet.

40 years of coaching … yet each year’s celebration of the season is especially meaningful.

Put together a poster for the boxers; and Nick suggested that I share it with the Tribe. A lot of great quotes, including:

“Strong bodies fight so that weak bodies may be nourished.” — Founder and My Mentor Nappy

“First with the head … then with the heart.” — Hoppe to Peekay in the Power of One

“The fight is won or lost, far away from witnesses. It is won behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under the lights.” — Muhammad Ali

“SO DO IT. If you win, you win. If you lose, you win.” — De Niro in Raging Bull

You might want to print the poster out and share it with a young athlete.

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BREAKING NEWS … IRS ELIMINATES 501C(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT DESIGNATION!!!

  • IRS ELIMINATES 501C(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT DESIGNATION!!!
    The Internal Revenue Service has abolished their 1913 law that permits organizations to designate themselves as NOT-FOR-PROFITS.
    “This designation is contrary to all other industries, as it is the only one defined in the negative. In our usual show of logic and common sense, the IRS has eliminated this designation in the hopes that all ‘charities’ and ‘tax-exempt’ organizations will now focus on their IMPACT.” — An IRS Agent (who asked not to be identified)
  • FEDS MAKE DOING SPECIAL EVENTS (FOR FUNDRAISING PURPOSES) A FELONY!
    The Federal Government has ruled that there will be no more golf outings, galas and other special events that are not special and not events. *Signature Events and Memorable Experiences will still be allowed and encouraged.
    “This was the only way we could eliminate all of the events that were sucking up our time and energy and resources … with no real impact on our impact. Now I can blame the government when I tell our volunteers that we will no longer be holding Mostaccioli dinners or selling holes and tables for the golf outing.” — 1,840 Development Officers
  • SALES EXPERIENCE AND/OR ATTITUDE NOW REQUIRED FOR ALL SEARCHES AND ADVERTISEMENTS FOR DEVELOPMENT OR ADVANCEMENT STAFF!
    The Chronicle of Philanthropy has declared that it will no longer place adds for key Advancement or Development positions without listing a ‘Sales Requirement’.
    “While philanthropy is Greek for ‘friend of mankind’, the Editors of the Chronicle have finally come to the conclusion that all Impact organizations, and especially the Advancement/Development Teams, are in sales. Get over it.” — Chronicle of Philanthropy Editors
  • 39 STATES BAN FEASIBILITY STUDIES! (Other 11 to soon follow.)
    States now require organizations to understand their purpose and priorities, do the math and be able to present the case and rationale for support, as well as where the funds will be used.
    *Leadership Consensus Building is still strongly encouraged and could be mandated by legislation by the end of 2013.
    “We have watched too many organizations spend huge amounts of money and time on consultants who are asked to go and present hypothetical campaigns with hypothetical priorities and asking for hypothetical gifts.” — Unidentified Governor
  • CFRE MEMBERS VOTE TO CHANGE THEIR NAME.
    By an almost unanimous vote, members designated Certified Fund Raising Executives have voted to change the name of their organization. A new name has not yet been presented, but the movement gaining the most support is to simply drop the ‘D’ in FUND!
    “I have been a CFRE since 1981 when it was founded. It has just hit me that the world has actually changed in the last 30 years. ‘Certified’ can mean crazy. ‘Fundraising’ is not the goal of any of our organizations. And ‘Executive’ implies that I am a ‘Suit’ in some ‘Office’ making (stupid) decisions.” — CFRE Member
    ***In related news, AFP will be changing their name from Association of Fundraising Professionals to Association of Forimpact Professionals, thereby still being able to use their acronym.
  • 300 THIRD SECTOR BOARD LEADERS COME TOGETHER AND DEMAND CHANGE IN VOCABULARY, NO MORE BOARD MEETINGS NOR COMMITTEES!!!
    Top philanthropists and community leaders came together under the auspices of the Gates, Skoll and Broad Foundations and demanded the following:
    • All For Impact Organizations must change their vocabulary! “We will no longer tolerate charities, donors, donations, solicitations, mission statements, warm fuzzy feelings, etc.”
    • No more Board Meetings! “None of us will attend Board Meetings that are bored meetings. We can read. We want to see, hear and touch the impact and results of our work.”
    • No More Committees. “One organization I’m working with has created a ‘Committee to Abolish Committees’.”
    *All of these leaders also agreed to actually think (bring their brain and experience) when asked to be On Board.
  • SUPREME COURT DECIDES ‘BLUE’ TEAMS AND ‘GREEN’ TEAMS MUST WORK TOGETHER!!!
    For the first time in recent memory, Supreme Court judges unanimously agreed on a ruling: Blue IMPACT TEAMS and Green SALES TEAMS must work together for the betterment of the organization. (The healthcare sector was identified as the primary example of hospital people and foundation people not talking to each other.)
    *The judges also ruled that any organization not working together and collaborating as a single unit will be declared a NFA. (Not-For-Anything)
  • CHARITY WATCH DOGS AGREE THAT COST OF FUNDRAISING EXCEEDING 95% IS IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL!!!
    Charity Watch, Charity Navigator and American Institute of Philanthropy also recommend that any cost of fundraising that exceeds 50% requires approval and sign off by every Board Member, the Senior Team and the Head of Development. Also recommend that cost above 50% be deducted from Development Staff salaries.
    “In UNCHARITABLE, I challenge this industry to re-think how it fundraises, especially around the idea that you need to spend money to make money. However, even I agree that 95¢ to raise a $1 is not good business.” — Dan Pallotta.
  • ‘JUST ASK’ IS DECLARED A GUIDING PRINCIPLE OF IMPACT SECTOR!!!
    From today forward, no one will be allowed to go on a visit without making some kind of ASK! OPPORTUNITY TO HELP must be presented on minimum of 80% of visits.
    “I do not want to be cultivated. At my grandparents’ farm, this was another word for spreading manure on plants. I do not want to be met with five times … without ever being told how I can help.” Every Busy Person on the Planet
  • ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’ PROVIDES ZERO NET DOLLARS TO HELP WITH IMPACT!
    Social media is great way for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and others to make loads of money … but creates no ‘net’ anything for 501C(3) Third Sector Organizations.
    An in-depth study by six of the leading internet research firms has confidently determined that Social Media is not the Panacea/Holy Grail/Greatest Fundraising Tool ever invented.
    Contrary to what hundreds of ‘experts’ (X = Unknown Factor in Math, ‘Spurt’ is a drip of water under pressure. Unknown drips under pressure?) tout on the internet [of course] … this is not THE way to generate huge sums of money.
    These research firms agree that, unless you are the American Red Cross using a text response for a huge, compelling disaster … there is absolutely no net income available to help with your impact (using social media as a fundraising activity).
    ***This study did show one notable exception: Bono and U2 have 13 million ‘friends’ on Facebook. That is the number determined as the minimal number of friends required to raise money through social media.

The best way to raise the most amount of INCOME to fund your VISION is the ‘old fashioned’ way … human contact!

APRIL FOOLS … the ONION … or a BRAVE NEW WORLD? YOU GET TO DECIDE.

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The Visual Shift

Shortly after reading THE VALUE OF A GOOD VISUAL at HBR, I’m reading my new Fast Company for April and came across THE VISUAL SHIFT.

Article leads with: Facebook Acquiring Instagram for $715M. Pinterest hits 2.5B monthly page views. We are living in an image-obsessed times.

Just think about these words from the ‘Creative Visionary’ Joe Stewart, Partner and Global Creative Director at HUGE, a New York Based Digital Agency.

“The ability to instantly communicate through IMAGERY (my caps) now seems to transcend everything for businesses, for content-creators, for e-commerce companies, for mass brands.”

“Facebook, the most popular website out there, decides that IMAGES (again my caps) are more important than the written word when they put a color photo at the top if its pages.”

“We now understand that humans can parse tons of VISUAL INFORMATION quickly. The ratio of your time to your satisfaction is high.”

A big part of me wants to say, “No kidding!” Again, it’s the ‘picture worth the thousand words’ mantra/epigram that’s been around since Paleo-Man started drawing on cave walls!

I know I’m sounding like the proverbial ‘broken record’. (Not even sure that metaphor works in this day and age, since nobody even knows what a ‘record’ is!)

However, I am not going to pull back from challenging the For Impact ‘Tribe’ to:

  • Make DESIGN a big, big part of your strategy.
  • Make VISUALS a mandatory part of your Story, Message and Engagement Tools
  • Tap into the ‘RIGHT SIDE’ of everyone’s brain … for the absolute fastest way to “You had me at hello”, “I get it”, “I’m in”.
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The Value of A Good Visual: Immediacy

Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer at Teradata and a Faculty Member at the Institute for Analytics, authored a book TAMING THE BIG DATA TIDAL WAVE.

He posted a powerful explanation of THE VALUE OF A GOOD VISUAL at the HBR Blog Network.

I have been pounding on this idea for years and years … but it still seems like a ‘hard sell’.

There’s a big reason that people use the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” (As most of you know, in our world, “A ‘napkin’ (visual) is worth 10,000 words.”)


As Bill Franks reinforces, our brains are meant to see in pictures. He uses a really powerful example to illustrate this … a MAP OF THE UNITED STATES.

Think about it. A MAP is one of the most powerful visualization tools ever created! It shows relationships, relativity, and much more.

You can immediately see the size of states, contiguous states, what state is part of what region, etc.

Now just think if we took the map away, as Frank points out, and only had a set of data (text) that talks about location or size or borders or other information.

Read the article to gain a deeper understanding of this … and THEN APPLY IT!

For example:

  • Visually capture in the simplest way … your purpose, meaning, vision, reason for existence.
  • Create the most compelling and easily understood visual of your business model. (See 3 examples here.)
  • Create a visual timeline that shows your founding, start-up, track record and credibility … and your SCALE & GROW plan. (See 3 examples here.)
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Teleseminar: For Impact 101- Changing the Funding Game (INTRO)

"Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it is getting.”
-Tim Kight

Teleseminar: For Impact 101- Changing the Funding Game (INTRO)
Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 1:00 ET / 10:00 PT
Investment: $45 / Free for first 100 registrants

Paying attendees will receive an MP3 copy of the seminar audio.

Using this quote as a framing device we’ll explore the design you need to change or drive results … we’ll reference stories and practical nuggets you can implement based on 30 years of in-the-field experience, $1Billion+ raised directly and $1Billion raised indirectly through our coaching clients.

We’ve prepared this free training opportunity to augment the For Impact workshops and WOW emails. It’s a great way to review the For Impact message and share the workshop experience with others. Space is limited.

In this seminar we share:

  • How to communicate your return-on-investment
  • Ways to leverage the board and champion support
  • How to simplify fundraising
  • Ideas to help you ask for $1M
  • How to generate more (qualified) prospect names
  • How to answer the three double questions of every major investor

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Don’t Fix the Present, Create the Future.


Interesting article from ROARING OR BORING’S Kevin Daum at Inc. The title of this comes from author and futurist Watts Wacker. Daum’s five critical concepts for success:

    1. Collect People Not Things

    2. Find the Economic Model to Do What You Love

    3. Gain Through Giving and Gratitude

    4. Put Your Ego in Your Wallet Where it Belongs

    5. Be Responsible for Your Own Experience

Daum has short paragraph under each of these five concepts. Take a look.

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Forget the Mission Statement. What’s Your Mission Question?

If you’ve ever attended a For Impact LIVE EXPERIENCE, you have most likely been encouraged to CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY.

One of the first changes from old words/old thinking to new words/new thinking is changing from MISSION STATEMENT to MESSAGE.

In other words, your MISSION STATEMENT is written by a committee, with a thesaurus, politically correct and isn’t remembered by anybody in your organization (including those who wrote it).

New thinking is around your MESSAGE. Your VISION. Your PURPOSE. Your MEANING.

Here’s another take on this idea from Warren Berger at Fast Co. Design.

FORGET THE MISSION STATEMENT. WHAT’S YOUR MISSION QUESTION?

This article is a preview of his forthcoming book A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION.

I encourage you to read the article.

Here are his “five questions that today’s forward thinking companies should be asking”:

1. Why are we here in the first place?

2. What does the world need most that we are uniquely able to provide?

3. What are we willing to sacrifice?

4. What matters more than money?

    (Hint: It’s a ‘blue’ word that begins with I and ends with T!)

5. Are we all on this mission together?

All of these questions apply to your For Impact Organization.

Some great stories and examples in the article. Worth your time.

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The Visit Story.

How To Get Visit
A few months ago we published a guidebook: How to Get a Visit. 

This is a nugget about the story to secure a visit.  Really though, it’s a reminder about WHY we are trying to get a visit in the first place.  (Hint: it’s not about the money.)


Perhaps your process to get a visit goes like this:

[A phone call or email from the ‘development officer’.]  “Could we come and see you to talk to you about our annual campaign?”

There IS a story here… But it’s a BAD (VISIT) STORY. 

  • Development
  • Annual Campaign
  • No ‘WHY’.  No ‘IMPACT’.

Here are some thoughts to help you create a GREAT (VISIT) STORY.

  • Go back to our core message: Impact Drives Income. WHY are we visiting?  WHAT are we trying to do [IMPACT]? WHY do we want this person’s time?  Is it to ask for money? Or, is it to help change lives, save lives and impact lives? 
    • “We are visiting with people to talk about HOW to transform education in our community.”
    • “We are engaging key stakeholders in a conversation about the future of health care in our community.”
    • “This is a movement; you are part of it.  We have light years to go to change [insert cause].  This is an important conversation and we hope to have thousands more like it throughout the country…. “
    • “We will be sharing where we’re going and asking for your help.”
  • The story you tell yourself is AS important  – if not MORE important – than the story voice.  You must BELIEVE this is a phone call to change and save lives.  If you believe this, your SPIRIT will trump any script.  If you don’t believe this, a script will not help.
  • Be Assumptive. 
  • Nobody wants to have a visit to talk about money.

    Nobody. 

    And yet, some $300 Billion is given away in the US each year. 

    Why is this?

    Because just about everybody wants to make a difference.  Just about everyone wants to help.

    Everyone your meeting with (or hoping to meet with) WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD!  They want to have exhilarating discussions about making a difference.  They just don’t want to have a meeting about ‘giving money’.  Giving money is a means to an end.

  • Don’t make decisions for the prospects!  Just a reminder.

  • Bonus thought: Part of the STORY is about the PEOPLE on the visit.

This is a great team-selling tip.

YOU are a cool person!

Have a board member or natural partner help to open the door with this story, “You’re going to really enjoy spending 30 minutes with Stephanie.  She’s a rock star… one of those people that makes us all want to do more to change the world.  Stephanie and her team are amazing social entrepreneurs. “

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Follow-Up to Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk

I hope you had a chance to view Dan Pallotta’s TED talk. This was center stage with an introduction from Chris Anderson, TED Founder and Chief Aggregator.

I got some great feedback on this talk. Almost all said, “THANKS FOR SHARING.” Many people weighed in on Pallotta’s message, which came across (to the For Impact Tribe) in many different ways

  • Contrast between the business world and the not-for-profit world.
  • Need to spend money to make money.
  • If you really want to scale and grow, you need to be willing to spend large dollars.
  • 40% on fundraising or admin is okay … as long as it’s a function of how much more money you can raise.
  • ‘Overhead’ is a bad word.

Here is my take. Dan Pallotta is a really good presenter! Captured audience’s attention. Great visuals. Contrarian. Provocative. Causes you to think. In other words, everything a TED talk should be.

As all of you (who have been involved in this For Impact movement and thinking) know, however, my thinking on this is different in many ways:

  • IMPACT drives INCOME. (If you really get this, all of the above is not as important.)
  • To SCALE and GROW your IMPACT … you need to be able to ARTICULATE your message, purpose, etc. really well!
  • We don’t even use the word ‘overhead’. As I’ve said to so many organizations and audiences over the years, “Of course, your investor’s money goes to ‘salaries’! It’s your ‘people’ that deliver your service and provide the impact. There’s not a philanthropist or entrepreneur or business person in the world who thinks that you can HAVE a huge IMPACT … or SCALE and GROW your IMPACT … without PEOPLE. Those PEOPLE require INVESTMENT.”
  • Whatever ‘percent’ of your operating budget is labeled under ‘general administration’ or ‘fundraising’ should be driven as if you were a true entrepreneurial organization. You would not want money to go to ‘layers’, ‘middle management’ or roles or responsibilities.
  • As an entrepreneurial organization, you should be asking how much of your money goes to products and services? To sales and marketing? To delivery and distribution?
    ***The smaller the organization … the more likely it is that everyone in the organization is involved with delivering impact.

Special Note: In our world, cost of fundraising is a legitimate issue. Too many orgs are spending 50¢ or 75¢ or $1.10 to raise $1.00!!! ‘Special events’ that aren’t special nor events. ‘Donor acquisition’ as a rationale for spending tons of money with little or no return. No major gifts program. No legacy program. No presentations. No asks.

A Nickel. A really strong major gifts program can raise money at 5¢ on the $1. That statement alone ought to cause some conversation!

Thanks to Dan P. for just keeping this Third Sector in front of TED audiences and their viral community!

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30 Years of Impact

I’m proud to share our new logo to commemorate 30 Years of Impact for The Suddes Group.

Statistics say that 9 out of 10 ‘businesses’ don’t make it past three years. (I’ve had my share of those.)

I started The Suddes Group in 1983 (#12 of 19 companies).

Cathedral High School in Indianapolis and Fenwick High School in Chicago were my first 2 ‘clients’. (I remember the Chairman of Cathedral saying, “No one will ever pay $2,500 [hundred!] a month for consulting in the not-for-profit world.”)

I also remember calling this company The Suddes GROUP because I really liked the Tom Peters GROUP. (There was no ‘group’ … at least not in the beginning.)

Since then, we’ve managed 400 or 500 campaigns and raised well over $1 Billion for everything from 100+ economic development campaigns to 100+ school campaigns to 100+ social service initiatives.

When Nick and I created For Impact in 2001, it was about the entire FOR IMPACT MOVEMENT and a desire to help change the world through every For Impact Leader and Social Entrepreneur we coached.

A lot has changed over these 30 years, but one constant has been the quality of our TEAM. From my brother John (who was first actual partner/associate) to Jim, Jim, Leo, Terry, Mike, Mike, Rob, Tom, Al, Lisa, et al … to today’s team of Nick, Steve, Kerry, Dick, Jeff, Robb, Mike, Carol, Christi-Marie, Traci, Nicole, Stephanie, Melissa, Georgina, Tim, Wolfie and Phyllis.

A special thanks to all of them … and to the thousands of people and organization we’ve worked with over the last 30 years.

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NO MORE ‘BORED’ MEETINGS!

'Bored' Meetings

Just did a teleseminar/audio ON BOARD(S). In the middle of the 45-minute session, I was doing a mini-rant on NO MORE ‘BORED’ MEETINGS. Mentioned that I have served on a number of boards early on in my career … and that I would never do it again. I’m a combination of ADD and ACTION-DRIVEN. Board meetings are bored meetings.

Suggested that everyone really shake up their next board meeting and make it a truly MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE!

Suggested that if you’re the hospital or hospital foundation board, you have your next meeting in an operating room.

‘Triggered the following from a wonderful CDO (Chief Development Officer) of one of the hospitals in the CHI system.

What was your most valuable takeaway on today’s call?

    “NO MORE BORED MEETINGS … My next On Board Engagement is going to be in one of our operating rooms at our hospital. That is a fantastic idea and I love it. My board has been begging to get rid of the BORING STUFF we talk about at every BOARD MEETING. Thank you.”

CHALLENGE: Every person in the For Impact Tribe (and anyone else who reads this) needs to re-think, re-design and re-imagine their board meetings (so that they are not ‘bored’ meetings)!

3 Quick Ideas:

    1. CHANGE the VENUE! (We just had a foundation board meeting in Arkansas up in the press box of the stadium with a view out one side to the field and out the other side to the hospital! It was awesome.)
    2. SHAKE UP the AGENDA. Anything that can be read in advance needs to be sent out … and read in advance! The Board Memorable Experience should offer huge opportunity for dialogue, conversation, ideas and feedback.
    3. BRING in GUESTS! Having anyone who has actually been served (student, patient, hospice family, etc.) guarantees a visceral, palpable response.
    ***You might also look at bringing in someone with name recognition (local coach, community leader, etc.) who has ties to your organization.
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