For most nonprofits growth and, in fact, survival is equated to an unceasing struggle for more resources —revenue, staff, members or customers. The mantra is “more”—more programs, members or revenue will solve their problems. Yet, in today’s economy it is leverage rather than quantity, innovation rather than production that yields solutions. Take the case of Facebook cited in a Fast Company article.
Developing staff and cultures is not a matter of imparting information or instituting special “activities.” They are the outcomes of cultures of on-going learning and experimentation, and applying lessons learned to achieve constantly new improvements and innovations.
Instead of conventional, vertical paths for growth–e.g. increases in membership numbers, products or markets–focus on innovation, especially innovation on the customer experience. This is the fulcrum of opportunity and value today.
Making innovation happen requires a shift in mindset. Case in point: Association for Financial Professionals. CEO Jim Kaitz approaches expansion by building organizational capabilities to constantly adapt to the
speed and nature of market change. Kaitz does not marginalize change by reducing it to new product launches or isolated initiatives outside of AFP’s core business. Instead, he lets small-scale successes and lessons learned catalyze broader changes to the association and disrupt business as usual.
If you are exploring content strategy, look beyond simply expanding your audience and delivery channels.