Monday, July 23, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Rest In Peace, Stephen Covey

When you hear the name Stephen Covey, does it ring a bell? Mr. Covey died last week at the age of 79. He was an educator (Doctor of Religious Education) who wrote the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which sold over 25 million copies. His book became core reading in business schools throughout the world and become highly influential in focusing on ethics in the business world, just as ethics in business was becoming a major topic.

And although the majority of Covey’s seven habits were focused on the subjects of personal self-mastery and interdependence in the workplace with other people such as “Think Win-Win” and “First Seek to Understand, Then to be Understood,” the habit that has stayed with me the longest, and the one that I use in many venues in my life, including business, is Habit # 2, “Begin With the End in Mind.”

As leaders in fundraising begin to wrestle with the process of transforming their fundraising organizations, start with the exercise of imagining what it will look like from all organizational dimensions. How will the organization chart be different? How will infrastructure – including technology infrastructure – change? What new expertise that you don’t have today in-house will be needed? How will you communicate with constituents and donors in the future – and how will they communicate with you? How will the workplace culture change? And finally, what will your constituent and donor communications marketing look like?

Take some time this summer to sit back and “Begin with the End in Mind.”


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