2012 is going to be the year of positive change. It needs to be because the sector deserves it, you deserve it and your donors deserve it.
The change should start with your partnerships. The people, the agencies and suppliers you choose to work with every single day.
Time after time, we hear about promises being broken, projects being delayed, ego’s getting in the way, clients being over charged for crap work… This needs to stop – we all need to demand more.
My current angst resides with some of the outdated models of business that were brought over from the commercial world – and never really worked there either.
The model I speak of suggests that all knowledge exists within. It is set up so the main impetus for taking on new work is to pay for the fancy walls and bloated salaries of its people. Their model has everything to do with themselves and nothing to do about you. Except take your money.
I suggest that the new model should allow open collaboration, destruction of titles and self-importance, tough conversations, love and appreciation for the voices at the table and an ongoing willingness to try better and be open to change.
I’ve blogged before about the rubbishness of the RFP (Request for Proposal) process, another flawed model from the other sector. It’s so heavily flawed because it is such a monumental waste of time and effort and usually does not result in real change.
Let’s spend lots of time and effort to develop a long document that is full of fancy words, high expectations, half truths and empty phrases with the hope that everyone will write another long document full of fancy words, high expectations and fake promises and lovely binding. In duplicate please.
And for some reason, we play this game, over and over.
I’ve actually heard clients say, “this supplier, or this supplier, it doesn’t matter, pick the one we haven’t worked with before and lets see how it goes.”
The newly selected partner, gaining the new account and client, allow the senior people back to their fancy office caves and unleash the juniors to deal with the new meddling client who is just asking for the same thing that was done last time and demands a lot for their retainer dollars.
And so, month after month, the retainers get paid (usually), the presidents pat themselves on the back because they show a 5% increase in billings over the year past, the clients start to get bitter and they realize that by allowing their supplier to do the same thing they do for everyone else isn’t really making any real difference, and they feel ignored and soon enough, oh happy day, it will be time to RFP again.
Here’s the vision.
Work with passionate people who get happy/angry/sad-emotional about the work they do-and love it. Every second.
Collaborate with the best people and partners for a project that will give your donors everything they deserve.
Cut no corners due to budgets, technical ability or limitations or just plain ignorance. If you can’t do it right – then don’t do it.
Work hard and with fear. And with those who will catch you when you fail. And then…
Get rid of your title.
Think of your donor more. All the time.
Read more and change your opinions.
And finally, focus on working with partners and people who will make you better and help care for and nurture your donors better and more often.