Shared Power Strategy Rule 4: We Are Decisive

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Today, we’ve made it to Rule #4 in  The Shared Power Strategy™ Rule Book: We Are Decisive.

I know that “decisive” may not be the first word that springs to mind when describing your organization. Many nonprofits have a long history of operating with consensus-oriented cultures where establishing agreement is considered nearly as important as taking action. And at first glance, the Shared Power philosophy may seem like it will only perpetuate that habit. But we can’t let that happen. Not if we want to see social sector organizations make meaningful progress on their missions.

That’s why we’ve focused Rule #4 on providing clear guidance on how to make decisions in the midst of a strategic process that deeply and authentically engages your nonprofit’s wide range of stakeholders, even when their priorities conflict with one another.

Read on for Rule #4, and let us know what you think. Is this rule one your organization could benefit from adopting?

Rule 4: We Are DECISIVE

We make difficult choices and keep moving forward.

We know that when we share power in the strategy process, conflicting priorities will arise. For example, an approach that’s seen as beneficial to a donor may be perceived as harmful to a program participant, or a staff member on our program team may be at odds with a board member. When this happens, our role is not to mediate or negotiate. We’re not interested in fostering a consensus culture, where nothing gets done unless everyone agrees, nor an authoritarian one where all the decisions are made by our ED or board chair.

Instead, we’re committed to developing a clear decision-making framework for our organization that helps us determine who is responsible for which decisions. We’re also committed to ensuring decision-makers seek input from all affected stakeholders before making major decisions, especially our beneficiaries.

That might mean, for example, that our HR director gets to make the final decision about which roles we’ll commit to hiring for in our strategic plan, while our director of development has final say over our fundraising budget. Who decides what will be unique to our organization. But as long as the decision-makers consulted everyone else who their decision might impact, no one else can override them. Any time we’re struggling to make a difficult strategic decision, we quickly identify who is ultimately responsible for deciding, and hand the power over to them.

Any time our nonprofit is struggling to make a difficult strategic decision, we quickly identify who is ultimately responsible for deciding, and hand the power over to them. Click To Tweet

This ensures that our desire to share power doesn’t turn into an endless exercise in establishing consensus, and allows us to keep moving our most important work forward.

Keep an eye on out for the fifth and final rule from the Shared Power Strategy™ Rule Book next week, which I think is the most important one of them all.

Download The Shared Power Strategy™ Rule Book

Within it are the five new rules that will transform the way your nonprofit approaches strategy, making the process more effective, inclusive and equitable. 

A picture of the Shared Power Strategy™ Rule Book

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