A nonprofit that provides important services to the local community has everything going for it: trust from the community, committed leadership, talented staff, a large pool of volunteers, and support from local business. It also delivers measurable, meaningful results.
Although it had all these good things ...
I saw the same mistake I see over and over again in organizations just like this one: an overcomplicated, weighty process for decision-making.
This organization made a recent decision around contracting for professional services by providing every bit of data to a huge group of board members and staff. The data included a broad range in the investment options, the names of the providers, and detailed proposals.
It probably required around 200 hours of review time, phone calls, and emails to communicate and socialize this information.
Think about this: Having 10 people on a one-hour call equals 100 hours. It adds up quickly! And these hours didn't even include all the work that went into developing the information!
In the end, there was a tie for whom they chose to do the service work. The intention was to involve everyone who cared and get the appropriate input, but the result? A frustrated, divided team that potentially made a bad decision.
How many times have you sat in a meeting or on a call and thought this: "Why am I involved here? This decision could have been made without me in every meeting or copied on every email."
The structure of how a decision is made will absolutely impact both the result and the experience the team will have in the process. Imagine what this nonprofit could have done with 200 hours of time in more critical areas, like fundraising.
Give those closest to the data the power to make the decisions.
They need to "sell" and own the reasons for why they chose this path, so the rest of the team needs to trust that recommendation.
Pro tip: Do not give everyone a vote! Imagine the velocity you can get in your organization by adopting this approach.
Ask yourself: Why am I overcomplicating these decisions? Do I feel everyone needs to be involved in each step of the decision? Why?
Now, go tell your team about their new powers. I guarantee you they'll say, "Ugh, finally."
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