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Next week I take my son to his new school for his 2016-2017 kindergarten orientation. First of all, where did those five years go, and how did my baby grow up so fast? This is always the parental lament as their children age. As my son starts a new chapter, this made me think about my own work. Every change is not necessarily a bad thing, and a refresher, especially for organizations seeking to grow, modify their missions/visions, or establish new priorities, can actually have positive impacts down the road. The question always is, “where do I begin?” Before talking about the process, let’s outline some reasons why change is a good thing.


  1. New leadership and/or board members – You have some executive changes within your organization, which can ultimately modify your services offerings, policies, and operations. Before you start changing anything, you should brainstorm your short-, mid- and long-term priorities and goals. Only by mapping these out can you then determine how these can best be achieved.
  1. Program or mission change – Maybe your target clients have changed based on demographic, economic or other factors. In order to adapt, conduct a needs assessment and do some market research based on complementary or referral partner organizations. Do you need to look for resources externally or can you leverage resources internally? If so, what is the timeline and plan for doing so?
  1. Huge growth – Some organizations experience a great shift in terms of new funding, new partners, or facilities, which expands what they need to achieve. However, which such growth comes greater responsibility. Does the organization have the capacity to manage this growth, and if so, how will it be done? A thorough strategic planning process will help guide organizations through this shift.

Come September, I will have a kindergartener, which bittersweet. I also hope organizations will feel empowered to take on new challenges and see these as gateways to future success.

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