One of our mentors, Grant Phillips, shares some practical thoughts on how to approach the coming months….

If there’s one certainty in life right now it’s that the future appears full of uncertainty.

So where do we go from here?Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown  on Unsplash

Just before the summer break as we emerged from lockdown, our attention has been focused on the sheer scale of the unforeseen and unwelcome repercussions of the pandemic. The negative implications for cashflow, employee/volunteer safety and wellbeing and numerous other tactical issues have rightly been front of mind for us all in the charitable sector.

With that work well in hand, and as many people return from holidays and children return to school, my concern for us now is to pause and reflect upon the potential impact on our charitable enterprises of not just the pandemic but also the implications of a serious pending recession and the arrival of the economic consequences of Brexit. As leaders and trustees of charities in Oxfordshire, such a “triple whammy” demands our attention.

So, where do we go from here? A few points for us to dwell on:

  1. The magnitude of this change means we need to adopt a mindset that does not seek to reinstate the norms of the past, but to “reimagine the future”. This becomes a positive mindset of invention rather than a daunting task of negativity. “Why not?” rather than “yes but…!” becomes the frame of mind that drives that invention.
  2. With the mindset firmly set, “reimagining the future” of the charity becomes about strategic direction:
    • What is our strategic “direction of travel”?
    • What are other charities doing that needs to be evaluated as part of our strategic deliberations?
    • Does our strategy deliver resilience in the likely event of further “shock”?
    • Do we have a compelling proposition that demonstrates outcomes that add value to those we seek to help?
    • Do we have the right human resources and operational design to deliver that value?
    • Does this differentiate us and thereby attract loyal and sustainable funding?

Whatever the specific strategic deliberations, the starting point is the need for all of us in the Oxfordshire charitable sector to make sure that we build our “reimagined future” as a team who collectively own, energise and commit to that game plan for the betterment of all those that we seek to support in these challenging times.

If you and your team would like some support in doing this with someone who can energise the process, help you to clarify your thoughts and bring some focus to your deliberations so that they can be transformed into a practical way forward, please do get in touch with Charity Mentors Oxfordshire. We are here to help!

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