We’re now two months into our program and I thought you might find it valuable for me to share some of the key takeaways I’ve learned whilst completing the Modules along with the students.
For those who don’t know, I (Georgia) have been the Chief Transitioner, bringing Hailey’s incredible tried & tested process into an online format. I’ve been creating the ‘best practice’ outputs for each Module for the students to follow. Doing this has given me a deep and illuminating insight into how the process works and I've been able to share my personal experience (pitfalls and all) with the students before they begin each Module.
Here’s what I have to say about the first two exercises – the Intention and the SWOTA.
When changemakers decide to partner with corporates they tend to miss the first critical steps and jump right into prospecting…asking their Board for contacts (we’ve written about why this is not fruitful in our previous blog) or seeking out corporates that they think are ideal, but with no real rationale behind it.
This is why setting an Intention is so important. It makes you reflect on why your organisation wants a corporate partner, and what type of partnership you want. I found it connects you deeper to your cause, which means that as you progress through the subsequent ‘preparation’ Modules, you have a clear direction and ambition that helps motivate you to get s**t done. Importantly, it sets a clear Intention that is aligned to your organisation’s Vision, Mission & Purpose, rather than just having a corporate partner seen as a ‘donor’, and aligned to your fundraising target (they are so much more!).
Module 1: SWOTA
Getting clear on your organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is critical but what makes this process even more useful is the Action list that comes out of it (that’s the A part). As we’ve mentioned in our prior blog, SWOT Analysis’ often become a tick-the-box exercise, you identify the Strengths, Weaknesses etc and that’s that, without actually distinguishing what’s going to Maximise the Strengths and Opportunities and Minimise the Weaknesses & Threats.
The other reason our SWOTA is vital at the start, is that it helps your organisation to begin to see it from a corporate’s perspective. All too often changemakers don’t realise how valuable their organisation is, and this can lead to underselling in the heat of negotiation or worse, behaving like a poor, desperate relation!
One of the key takeaways for this module is the Action list you compile to address the SWOT Analysis. It quickly envelops your organisation by getting colleagues and management involved from the get go, helping to shift the stubborn mindset that so many non profits hold – reactive rather than proactive.
Technology gets a special mention here also. Despite the lockdown limits imposed in Victoria and other states, we’ve still been able to maintain connection and collaboration with the help of platforms like Zoom, Teams, Trello and more. This has made it possible for our students (and us!) to work through the program whilst still having the support of their team and organisation behind them.
Learning from others is an essential attribute of the BePartnerReady.com® Program. Especially now, with the economy and the world shifting so quickly. The stories and learnings shared between Hailey and I and the students have helped us Be Connected and Inspired as the course progresses through this corona-coaster.
We’re in the middle of Module 2 right now where our students are learning our world-first formula for valuing their Assets – will report on that from the other side!