Eventually, I hope to turn this post (which will be edited along the way) into buttons at the top of the site, so keep coming back.
My most recent research about where I want 153Promise to go revealed that I need to flesh out several elements. First, there’s the dreamy/fun part. I’m good at this stuff:
- A Premise (focus on the past and present)
- Core Beliefs and Values
- A Vision Statement (focus on the future)
- A Mission Statement (focus on the present)
- Goals (big picture and maybe not measurable… does not change and it tied to Vision and Mission… guides everyday decisions)
- Objectives (actions that are measurable to achieve the goal… may change in order to adjust… ARE the everyday decisions)
Then there’s the less fun/technical stuff:
- A Strategy (what to do)
- Tactics (how to do it)
- An Action Plan (the order in which to do it)
I found these buzz words everywhere on the internet. Apparently, it’s common knowledge (or should be) in Fortune 500 companies and successful organizations around the world. However, since there are TONS of articles and blog posts explaining the finer distinctions between all of these terms, I shouldn’t feel too bad. In fact, I should be pretty darn tickled with myself that I’m even thinking about these issues going into trying to make 153Promise a success!
I did find one site, Innovation Excellence, that did an excellent job of stringing many of the words together:
“Values should underpin Vision, which dictates Mission, which determines Strategy, which surfaces Goals that frame Objectives, which in turn drives the Tactics that tell an organization what Resources, Infrastructure and Processes are needed to support a certainty of execution.” – (Mike Myatt, 1988)
For all of this, I’m really going to need some help.
I’ve already started making contacts and speaking to some people who are in the position to help me. The most interesting discovery is that what I want to create — a resource for families to be proactive about mental health issues — does not really seem to exist… yet.
As it stands, it seem to me that there are many resources once a person is diagnosed with a mental illness, addiction, or in crisis. There’s also many places to go if there’s financial burdens (social services) or groups to deal with surviving with loss.
But what about educating families so the above agencies are not stretched so thin so they can better use their resources?
I’m not saying we can prevent ALL bad things from happening… life itself is risky. But how about realizing that fact WAY in advance and start packing a parachute instead of hoping someone below will be holding a net to catch your fall?
I actually really like that analogy! Every person has their own parachute, but the nets below are a catch-all for the masses. I know I’m going to feel a lot more secure jumping if I know I had help packing my own safety device, rather than jumping and hoping that some random thing at the very end will be there to bail me out.
Back to my point- I think I can tackle the dreamy stuff this weekend. The technical stuff? Well, that’s where I will have to enlist the help of others who, quite frankly, know much more than me. That means I’ll need to work on yet another element:
- A “Founder” of 153Promise– that’s me! : D
- Board of Directors- people who will help me with the major decisions that get a vote
- Advisory Board- people who are experts that offer an opinion that do not necessarily make executive decisions regarding to organization
- Executive Director- is that me? SHOULD is be me? is that the head of the BOD? Is that the same as the COB? (Why am I getting visions of the Rat Pack and Frank Sinatra?)
- Chief Executive Officer- is the ECO the same as the ED?
- A Chief Financial Officer- I don’t pretend to know anything about finances, but I better be in-the-know regarding all figures, or I’ll get robbed blind… I’ve been in the restaurant business enough to know that!
- Trustees- essentially, the purse strings
I also realize I need to be smart right at the start… and although 153Promise is a “.com” for now (so I can sell my “One Million Kisses” book), should it be a non-profit?
Reason being, in all my internet surfing, I found this nightmare testimony at blueavacado.org about a BOD firing its founder. So I need to make sure I am always part of the voting and cannot be usurped, in addition to keeping in mind that there’s also financial issues to contend with.
Even though an organization may not be for profit, that certainly doesn’t mean that money isn’t important!
To quote my students… “So yeah…” There’s a LOT I need to consider, and it seems like this is the perfect time… just when a logo makes is seem a whole lot more real… I better start thinking like it is.
(The Big Elephant in the room is when to start seeking out the advice of a lawyer? That word has a negative connotation, but a good one certainly is an asset… but I don’t have the money for now… but if that’s the case, I may not be able to afford NOT to get one if I wait to later… thus a great catch 22.)
Right now, I’ve only got a bunch of dreams and a book coming out in several weeks (with no upfront cost to me). But once I start selling books and both my publisher and I start making money (hopefully!) I’ll really need to start to consider what I’m doing since with money comes more options and responsibility.
So my biggest lesson thus far is no matter what you do, if it’s something new, treat it like a business.
5 thoughts on “153Promise Action Plan”
Wow! That’s a really big piece you’ve carved off there. Most of those Fortune 500 business types you noted know the words, and they may be able to tell you how the words relate to one another, but when it comes to doing it they’re just as lost as the rest of us.
IMHO, if you’re thinking of non-profit status, it seems best to start with a review of the laws governing non-profit corporations in the state where you want to incorporate the organization. Many states have specific laws about the minimum structure required for non-profit status. You’ll probably want to meet just those minimums to start with, so that things are more flexible. Grow into a bigger model as things get rolling.
Another good thing to ask yourself is “Who are your customers?” Without them there’s no organization at all. How will your clients find you? Who are you serving and how are you serving them? What services or resources will you provide to your clients? Will the services and resources you provide benefit your clients? How will you and your clients know that your clients have benefited from the service or resource? Without a good knowledge of the needs of your target client base you might end up offering services and resources that are either off target or that might not provide tangible benefit. I know a lot of these sound kind of like “Well, duh”, but there’s many organizations that don’t have a clue. I know. I work for one.
One last bit to think about is liability. There are lots of lawyers in the world. And lot of people whose first thought when something goes wrong is to find someone else to pin it on. You provided a service, and even though it may have been provided at no cost, and with no assurances, if things go wrong you need to assign liability.In a former life I worked for a Consulting Engineering firm where I wrote proposals to provide services. We had to take annual courses in contracts and proposals specifically aimed at making sure all liabilities were properly defined and assigned.
This is very interesting. I applaud your aplomb! And offer my two cents anytime you need.
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By all means, give me your cents… and sense!
Yes, I know I will have to most likely “get legal” at some point. I’m wondering/hoping that maybe once I get my vision/mission set, I can “pitch” it to a larger organization and they can endorse/adopt it and I could be covered under their um-ber-ella, ella, ella, hey, hey, hey! : D
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Good idea! BTW, how much snow?
I’m not even sure- after 18″ it starts getting absurd. No school tomorrow- whoot whoot! More time to work on this project! : ) I take it you are not on the east coast?
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Chicagoland. 40 odd miles to downtown. We’ll get our big one soon. Stay safe.