Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Connecting the Unconnected: Church. WSJ. Blog. Phone Call.

I like connecting the unconnected! This week it was a message at church; a blurb in the Wall Street Journal; a phone call with an association colleague; a comment on a blog.

The church message: “Getting from here to there requires trust.” Especially if “there” is new, different, scary and unknown.

The WSJ quote: “What a company (read association) should do when faced with a strategic pickle it can’t solve – overhaul its corporate governance so at least investors will be reassured that management is ruthlessly prepared to junk its old business model and seize whatever unexpected opportunities turn up.”

The phone request: “Our association board and the founders of a proposed 501(c)(3) foundation are not connecting. What do we do to move through this conflict?”

The blog from Jamie Notter: “The more I talk about the role of managing conflict in both doing social media better and in running organizations more effectively, the more I come back to one of the biggest problems with our collective inability to deal with conflict: it prevents action.”

So, what can we as association and nonprofit professionals take from these four messages?

Many of us who are helping transform our organizations (getting from here to there) face the “scary period” in the transition. And, in the church message, we learned that this takes trust (of all parties). This parallels Jamie’s post that conflict (highly likely in transition) prevents action.

So, transforming our organizations means trusting and working through conflict. It may mean “transforming” our governance structure to help us get to the desired “there.”

As you and your organization begin 2012, what is your “there?”

1 comment:

  1. Not to get too religious, but the Bible calls "transition" the wilderness, which is the ominous place between the current state and our vision of the future (promised land). The wilderness is filled with conflict, famine, pestilence, etc. But we can't reach the promised land without crossing the wilderness. The transition, and our faith in our vision, is necessary to ensure our success.