I just did a great session with a YMCA in the Northwest. Did an after-dinner ‘keynote’ to the staff and volunteers to kick-off their 2010 Annual Operating Campaign. Spent a half-day visiting with three or four Y branches and then did a half-day staff training.
One of the Cool things that came out of these sessions was reminding the Y (and all of you) the POWER OF YOUR MESSAGE.
IF… your (BLUE) IMPACT drives your (GREEN) INCOME (which it does!)
THEN… you need to be able to Communicate the MESSAGE in a
Massive ‘C’ alliteration with a guarantee from me that it will generate HUGE Commensurate Commitments!!!
- CLEAR. Simple. Powerful. Visionary. Visual. (Easy to ‘see’.) On a Napkin. (Pics definitely worth 1,000 words.
Message on a Napkin worth 10,000 words.) Do a Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. Make your message Crystal Clear
- CONCISE. Again, simple. Tight. 3 Words. 6 Words Max. (Can you communicate your entire message in 6 words?)
- COMPELLING. It?s about the ‘WHY’. Your PURPOSE. Your DEFINITE CHIEF AIM, VISION, etc. Financial detail around Operating Expenses is not COMPELLING.
- CONGRUENT. Message actually matches your Impact, what you do and why you do it. It?s authentic. It is what it is. Everybody is in alignment, agreement and harmony.
- CERTAIN. You need to know with Certainty, within your heart and soul and every part of your brain and body, that what you are doing is right. Has purpose. Making an impact. With that Certainty comes Conviction. (Another great ‘C’ word!)
- CONSISTENT. Simple test. Ask any 3 staff and any 3 volunteer leaders and any 3 people you serve to tell you WHAT you (the organization) does and WHY you (the organization) do it. Based on 30 years of testing this, I’m pretty confident you will get 18 different answers. (3 + 3 + 3 x 2)
*Einstein wrote the entire Theory of Relativity on 3 handwritten pages. Reduced it to 3 words. And then summarized it on the back of a napkin with 3 letters! Don’t tell me you can’t simplify your Message!
Does your Message pass the C-6 test?
If not, Carpe Memento! Seize this moment and make this happen.