Sunday, June 17, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Becoming Unstuck

One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote a very thought-provoking blog called Understanding Stuck.

He opened his blog with the example of the seatbelt speech that flight attendants do on every flight. “Given that we have 100% seatbelt understanding among the flying population, why do flight attendants repeat the instructions literally millions of times a year?”

He answers his own question by saying, “It’s stuck.”

That got me thinking about how “stuck” might also apply to some nonprofit fundraising organizations that many years ago adopted a very successful fundraising model built around direct mail appeals. For 60+ years those direct mail appeals have been fantastically successful in growing revenue, which allowed the missions of the organization to expand.

But now direct mail is not working as well. Younger generational cohorts are using digital forms of communications. Yet many fundraising groups with direct mail programs just keep chugging out direct mail appeals even as their profitability declines.


Maybe they’re stuck.

So, how do you get unstuck?

The blogger says to “1) create a vacuum and, 2) ignore dissent.”

The blogger adds that “Change gets made by people who care, who have some sort of authority and are willing to take responsibility.”

1. People who care…
2. People who have authority…
3. People willing to take responsibility…

“Move (part of) your team across the street, open a new location, completely rewrite the employee handbook, throw out the standard sales script – by creating a vacuum, you give your team permission to invent.”

To get unstuck, you need permission.


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