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10 Steps to Rapid Strategy Implementation


Most funders fail at this. Are you one in every of them?

A few yr in the past I made a decision to publish one other guide. I went as far as to put in writing “publish guide by yr’s finish” on a yellow post-it and caught it subsequent to my pc in order that I’d see it every single day. After which I let a bunch of different stuff get in the best way. Shopper deadlines, talking engagements, scheduling camp for my youngsters. I hadn’t made the guide a precedence, so nothing occurred.

A yr later I modified. I made the guide considered one of my prime three priorities. Then I made an inventory of crucial issues I wanted to do to publish it. I blocked out time in my calendar to work on the ebook day by day, even when all I did was one thing minimal. I knowledgeable my staff that this ebook was precedence they usually all had roles to play in making it occur. This meant “publish e-book” turned a prime agenda merchandise on all calls with my advertising advisor. That approach we wouldn’t get sidetracked by different actions. I advised my accountant, and we mentioned the e-book’s income and tax implications. I informed my husband, as a result of one way or the other telling him issues out loud makes them occur.

The outcome? I had a signed contract with one of many world’s most outstanding enterprise e-book publishers 5 weeks later.

If I hadn’t made the guide a prime precedence, shared it with my workforce, and held us all accountable, it by no means would have occurred.

Is that this one thing you want to do? I will help! Merely reply to this e mail or schedule a time to speak!

In final week’s publication, I shared my 5 the reason why strategic plans not often get carried out. I additionally promised to share with you 10 steps to implement something shortly– whether or not it’s writing a ebook, implementing a brand new technique, or planning a shock get together.

In my 20 years of expertise advising philanthropists of all sizes and kinds, few take step one and most by no means cross the end line. Are you one in every of them?

Take this easy check! Learn all of the steps under. Take into consideration the final huge factor you tried to implement and provides your self some extent for every step you took. Be trustworthy!

For the aim of this record, let’s assume that the large factor you need to implement is your strategic plan:

Step 1. Select the three crucial points that have to be resolved shortly, or your technique will fail. Most funders skip this step, nevertheless it’s crucial. Brainstorm the highest three priorities — the issues that completely have to occur subsequent — with a view to implement your technique. I’m speaking concerning the prime priorities in your complete operation (whether or not you’re a donor suggested fund, company giving program, or an affiliation), not every particular person’s personal priorities. Should you don’t have readability about your prime implementation priorities, your strategic plan both gained’t get carried out or it is going to take 3 times as lengthy. It’s that straightforward.

Step 2. Assign precedence champions. For every precedence, decide an individual who might be answerable for it. This individual doesn’t have to do every little thing, however they want to ensure a selected precedence occurs they usually must be held accountable.

Step three. Inform everybody. Each single individual at each degree of your group, be it program officers, finance administrators, relations, or the receptionist, have to know the highest implementation priorities. Write them down on easel paper and grasp up copies within the convention room, within the hallways, and within the lunch room. Everybody must maintain these priorities prime of thoughts.

Step four. Give every precedence its personal punch record. Ask precedence champions to create an inventory of the highest 5-10 most necessary issues that have to occur subsequent for his or her precedence. For every merchandise add a deadline. Maintain it easy. It needn’t be a full-blown work plan. Actually, at this stage such a plan can be unrealistic and sluggish issues down.

Step 5. Assist everybody perceive their position. Aside from your precedence champions, who else must be concerned? Tackling a brand new challenge may contain your workforce working collectively in new methods. For instance, your director of charitable giving could be accountable in your prime precedence to dramatically velocity up all grantmaking actions, however she must contain the grants supervisor, the finance staff, the communications director, the receptionist, and so forth.

Step 6. Assessment progress together with your complete workforce. Ask precedence champions to repeatedly share progress with everybody. Employees conferences are a fantastic place to do that. Prime implementation priorities must be the primary agenda merchandise at each assembly. Precedence champions deliver their lists and replace everybody on progress. That holds them accountable, and lets your workforce troubleshoot and remedy issues collectively. This could occur a minimum of bi-weekly to start out.

Step 7. Determine supporters and resisters. Technique implementation includes change. Some in your group will enthusiastically embrace the change. Harness their enthusiasm and have interaction their management. Some will resist. Assist them see the way it’s of their self-interest to get on board. Typically your strongest resisters can grow to be your staunchest allies.

Step eight. Transfer shortly. The faster you’ll be able to start implementing your strategic plan, the extra momentum you’ll achieve. The extra momentum you achieve, the faster everybody will get on board (together with the resisters) and the quicker you obtain outcomes. Consider implementation as a collection of brief sprints, not a marathon.

Step 9. Make exhausting selections. Typically, the brand new technique is just not the best match for members of your group. There could be individuals who can’t or don’t need to get on board. This occurred final week at Fb, the place a longtime senior government and pal of Mark Zuckerberg (and somebody seen as Zuckerberg’s future successor) stepped down as a result of he disagreed with the CEO’s new technique to concentrate on personal messaging. Backside line: profitable technique implementation may name for a parting of the way.

Step 10. Have fun success. Simply as you share the highest priorities and implementation progress together with your entire group, recurrently share successes. These could be massive accomplishments (we created our first communications plan!), wonky wins (woo-hoo, we re-coded our grants administration system!), and tiny victories (grants underneath $5,000 now solely want one signature as an alternative of 4!). Everybody will respect being appreciated.

Rating your self! What number of steps did you’re taking if you tried to implement your “massive factor”? If it was 9-10 please name me as I might like to share your story for instance of profitable technique implementation (significantly, name me!). If it was zero or solely a handful, don’t despair. Belief me, you aren’t alone. And in the event you by no means did step one, no matter all the opposite ones, you in all probability didn’t get very far. Everybody in your workforce being “busy” doesn’t equate to “aligned!”

Technique implementation isn’t that onerous, but most funders don’t do it nicely or shortly. You are able to do this by yourself, nevertheless it’s like studying how you can ski. Sure, you’ll be able to examine how you can ski in a publication, however likelihood is you’ll study to ski quicker and fall down much less typically with a ski teacher by your aspect!

That’s the place I may also help. I function a trusted advisor and implementation navigator to many foundations, ultra-high internet value donors, and Fortune 500 corporations, to assist them achieve alignment and quickly implement their subsequent huge factor.

Should you need assistance, let’s speak. Schedule a name with me, we will speak about your state of affairs, and I can share some choices. Let’s get you implementing shortly so you will get on with altering the world!

Schedule A Name With Kris

© 2019 Kris Putnam-Walkerly. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.


About Kris Putnam-Walkerly


I’m a worldwide philanthropy skilled, advisor and award-winning writer. I assist ultra-high internet value donors, celebrities, foundations and Fortune 500 corporations dramatically improve the readability, velocity, influence and pleasure of their giving. I’m the writer of Assured Giving: Sage Recommendation for Funders, was named one in every of “America’s Prime 25 Philanthropy Audio system”(together with U2’s Bono!), I write about philanthropy for, Alliance Journal, De Dikke Blauwe and am regularly quoted in main publications similar to Bloomberg, NPR and WSJ.

Whether or not you’re simply getting began in philanthropy, need to refresh your giving technique, or have to catapult your self to your required future, I may also help. Let’s speak! Name me at +1-800-598-2102 x1, e mail me at [email protected] or schedule a name.


“As my strategic advisor and sounding board, Kris is all the time there once I want a transparent path ahead or a actuality verify. I’m grateful to have her as a trusted, unbiased, and skilled skilled to show to!”

Maureen Sheehan Massaro, Government Director, Wilson Sheehan Basis


Need to study extra? Go to my web site to find out how I assist funders, entry free assets, and skim shopper testimonials.

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