Fear, Planning, Communication, and Implementation

Fear, Planning, Communication, and Implementation

Fear, Planning, Communication, and Implementation

Shifting from brainstorming and discussion to implementation can be taxing for many nonprofits. It’s often easier to think about the future. Implementation takes commitment, resources, and acknowledgement that you can fail. This week Steve Scheier wrote an article in SSIR about the importance of overcoming fear in decision-making.

Much of Scheier’s thoughtful article is focused on the challenges of top-down decision-making and how that can lead to organization-wide fear

In my own work with nonprofits, I’ve seen many leaders regularly make decisions without involving others. This leaves coworkers with the sense that they aren’t trusted to participate. Meanwhile, these leaders are typically overwhelmed with unsustainably large workloads, but remain stuck because they don’t have the skills they need to involve others in the decision-making process.

As nonprofit leaders work to engage their employees in the decision-making process, it’s also critical to work collaboratively on developing a strategy for implementation. Too often, leadership, overwhelmed with their workloads, make decisions but cannot commit the time to ensure that those implementing those decisions are successful.

Preventing an employee from having a voice in the decision-making process and expecting them to implement is a recipe for failure. It undermines the value and engagement of the employee who will be owning a project.

And for those that have had a voice in decisions, it is important that the lines of communication remain open during implementation. Making a decision isn’t enough for the employee or leadership – implementation requires communication so that expectations and goals are communicated. If this step doesn’t happen, employees can also have fear – of the unknown, for their job, or direction of the project.

If you’re worried about keeping up with the news – don’t fear! These links are some favorites from the week and cover a variety of nonprofit topics:

  1. Brady Josephson explains why we should be investing more time and thought into donor satisfaction
  2. In social media news, Ricardo Bilton of Digiday shares data on Facebook’s growing market share of news consumption.
  3. Access to the internet will continue to be a key issue for government and nonprofits. Josh Dzieza and Frank Bi of the Verge review the recent digital divide report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
  4. What can nonprofits learn from the Planned Parenthood video fiasco? Rick Cohen of NPQ discusses the lessons learned.

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