Questions for Success!

  • SumoMe

 

Imagine a third sector that operated as a business!  A sector that won tenders based on their ability to compete, provide excellent services and manage effectively, with charities, social enterprises and CIC delivering value driven services throughout the country. That should not be an impossible thought, or should it? Although this happens on a small scale, why does it remain such a minimal occurrence?

Often the fear of change is the big brick wall of progress, which slows the growth and development of new activities and different (more competitive) ways of working.  Leaders need to take risks and encourage change through small steps, challenging the stalwarts of traditional ways, the negators of change.

There are questions that should be posed to organisations that are hesitating about competing, to help identify what needs to be done.

  1. What is the Vision, Mission Statement, who are your stakeholders and potential partners?
  2. Do you have the most effective systems and processes in place to deliver contracts?
  3. Are there enough resources to ensure delivery and management is of a high quality?
  4. Are you defining your services clearly and can you demonstrate measurable outcomes?
  5. Do you understand the actual costs of your services and are they documented?
  6. What is the financial strategy for planning and management of new contracts?
  7. How and when do you involve trustees, staff, volunteers and customers in developing ideas for moving forward?

For some organisations, these questions are no surprise and are answered in detail with suggestions for improving and updating often leading the discussion. However there are still some third sector organisations who claim they are not able to operate as a business because they are part of the third sector and have always ‘survived’ with funding applications being successful and working on a minimal budget.

The organisations that feel they are not able to become ‘business like’ often require only small changes to develop basic business practices.  By asking the questions above, it is possible to make slight changes to adapt to a changing environment.

The answers should encourage reflection and consideration on how improvements should be made with time-bound action points identified, and should ideally involve trustees, staff, volunteers and stakeholders to encourage valid and reliable viewpoints.

Is it possible to drive a competitive spirit throughout the third sector without losing the values and ethos within those organisations?  By taking a more ‘business-like’ approach will increase the success of the organisation, protecting from the harsh environment and the demanding tide of change.

It is not an impossible dream to see an increase in third sector value driven services, although change can be challenging, it is a requirement for increasing the organisational success in the future.

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