I’ll conclude my blogging about Forces for Good by sharing one of their least-surprising but most-important lessons:
A mistake that highly creative, chaotic organizations often make is trying to sustain too many programs at once, and not prioritizing them. Running myriad programs consumes precious resources: they suck in talent, burn grant dollars, and command management time and attention. Being spread too thin can quickly impede a group’s ability to acheive greater impact. One nonprofit we know lists three dozen “priority programs.” Organizations like these trip over themselves and their programs; they could increase their effectiveness if they learned to focus on a few projects with greater potential for real impact.
That sounds all too familiar.
While we’re trying to do something about this at ICPJ, it’s going to be a tough struggle to learn how to say “no” to doing too much so that we can say “yes” to being kick-butt effective on the projects we do take up (and I mean kick-butt in the most nonviolent of ways).