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  • Ellen Owens-Karcsay

Sugar Packets can’t stabilize your business.

Imagine going to a restaurant with a client, only to find that the table legs are not even. You become distracted by the wobble of the table and worry that it may cause the hot coffee to tip over, right onto the lap of your client. To prevent this tragedy from occurring, you grab some sugar packets in an attempt to keep the table even and steady. 

Now, think of your business. If the table represents your programs and services, the cup of coffee represents your core values and mission, then the table legs represent your capacity to grow and evolve while keeping your programs, services, and mission stable.

Below are the four "legs" of capacity and performance characteristics of an organization ready to grow and transform. As you read through each domain, consider how your business or organization compare in each of these areas.

1.       Management. This capacity builder is focused on organizational leadership and staff. The management team is able to remain focused on organizational priorities. There is an importance placed on growing and retaining qualified staff. The leader or founder is able to separate personal needs from those of the business or organization. 

2.      Governance: An engaged advisory or board of directors is in place, is committed to making timely decisions and has a sense of ownership. Board composition is balanced offering knowledge and expertise, and is diverse, representing the customer or consumer base. 

3.      Business model: Income is diversified and has a deep understanding of the financial needs of the business today and for the future. There is deep in house expertise to guide and advise on financial matters.  Financial metrics are used as a means of measuring organizational health. Financial reports and analytics are readily available and easily reported.

4.      Administrative Systems: Business processes are well defined and reviewed to confirm they are efficient and effective. Policies and procedures are in place to guide operations. Technology is used to automate highly manual processes that are inefficient and costly. 

If your business or organization is in a growth stage and looking to transform, it is imperative that your business has a solid foundation supporting the work you do and the capacity to do it.  Before you start to put more on top of the table, you should check out those table legs and make sure they are strong, stable, and balanced. Keep the sugar packets for sweetening the coffee.

If you are interested in learning more about strengthening your organizational capacity using the Lifecycles Capacity approach, contact me and we can do a selfie! (a mini-self assessment)


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