If your management team haven’t spent at least some time trying to predict the possible impact of Brexit, a snap election or change in government, or the breakdown of civilisation as we know it over the last few months, you probably haven’t been paying attention.
We’ve done it ourselves at DSC, and with a whole host of the organisations we support, but that doesn’t make predicting the future any easier.
The one thing you can be sure of though, is that, within your organisation at least, you’ll all be facing the same challenges together. Either as a leadership team, management team, wider staff team, or part of the Board, about the only thing you can bank on, is that you’ll have each other.
That makes a few things pretty critical.
A common, articulable goal
How sure are you that everyone on your team has the same understanding of where you’re all heading? A great test of how focused your team are, is to ask them individually to tell you what they’re working towards. You’ll get different answers for sure, but be aware of any major differences in either content or how strategically they are viewing their goals. Be extra wary if they all recite your vision, mission or charitable objects by heart!
Effective, flexible management processes
When you have problems, where and how do they manifest themselves? Looking critically at the kind of challenges your team has had to deal with over the last year or so, can give an indication of weak points in internal processes. Are there tensions arising from miscommunication between teams? Are there regular blockages or things cropping up that feel like they should be resolved faster? Are you keeping accurate records of the right things (personnel, staff records, meeting minutes and actions decision) and making sure to get rid of things you don’t need (every email sent or received in the last 10 years, 28 final final FINAL versions of documents etc.).
A defined budget or resource for learning
When entering a time of uncertainty, it can seem a luxury to allocate precious resource to learning and development, but it’s one of the most important things to keep in mind. Whether next year brings changes in donor or volunteer behaviour, new priorities for funders that have previously been supportive, new processes and requirements for supporting beneficiaries, or updated codes from regulators that need to be complied with, having the time and space to assess the impact, reflect on the best course of action, and implement a response will be critical.
There are some easy ways to do that which don’t cost the earth. Giving individual team members a watching brief for specific areas can help share the load. Adding time to regular meeting agendas to discuss emerging issues so that they don’t get kicked from meeting to meeting or rushed through. Finding quick and easy ways to report the most critical data that makes it easy for everyone to spot problems as soon as they arise.
Another way is to do some specific team learning, as a group. DSC’s in house team work with hundreds of charities each year, facilitating management and board discussions, leading away-days and strategic planning sessions, and using their wealth of experience to get teams working as effectively as possible.
If you’re having conversations right now about how best to prepare yourselves and your team for the coming year, why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you get ready for 2020!
Call our in-house team on 020 7697 4290 or email [email protected] and we’ll get back to you!