A Theory of Change is a powerful framework that enables a venture to articulate what it does and why. It also enables the venture to express what it hopes to achieve and what strategies will enable those outcomes. So if you have ever found yourself struggling to explain the short term and long term impact of your organization, you need a Theory of Change.
Have you ever wondered about the differences between nonprofits and social enterprises? Are nonprofit organizations also social enterprises by default? Are all social enterprises also nonprofit organizations? And are they still called nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or are those different entities altogether?
What name are you going to give your venture? Will it operate online, offline or as a hybrid? Is it going to be a for-profit venture, a social enterprise or non-profit? Where will your clients come from? Let all of these questions form in your mind and see if you’re getting excited with each passing day. If not, it’s okay to let the idea go – not every idea is meant to be implemented, and some ideas take years to come to fruition.
A strategic plan helps you develop roots before launching branches – it challenges you to invest in the underlying framework of what you are seeking to achieve with your venture and the processes required to achieve those objectives. Strategic planning saves you time in the long run and gives you guidance through the journey.
Welcome to the real behind-the-scenes life of a founder. It is a classic experience for founders of early stage ventures to realize that in spite of the existence of a team, whether they are paid of volunteering, the founder still does an outsized share of the work. At times, it may feel as though the founder needs to pay the price for coming up with an idea.
For all its relevance, a strategic plan by itself does not equate to a well-defined strategy, and strategy is not a static exercise. As a well-oiled machine, a functional organization must regularly revisit its strategy to ensure that it is staying relevant in a rapidly shifting world and responding to the most important opportunities in its environment while remaining focused on its mission.
Mentoring is a relationship-oriented adventure; a successful mentor provides a safe environment for their mentee to share personal and professional challenges and seek assistance in navigating both seamlessly. This places the responsibility on the mentee to drive the relationship.