6 Keys to a Sustainable Future

Based on 16 years of working with a significant number of leaders in a wide variety of organizations, The Reid Group has decided to focus all of its energies and expertise on helping organizations “transform challenges into opportunities” to create a sustainable future for themselves.

After working with organizations across the United States and beyond, we have identified six areas of sustainability necessary to ensure their viable future:

Mission & Vision Toward Action

Organizational leaders need to be able to articulate their purpose (mission), their values (operating principles), and their vision—what do they want to look like in five years?  What impact do they want to have?  These statements are rooted in the spirituality or belief system of the community or organization and are sometimes articulated, sometimes embedded, sometimes celebrated, but always foundational.

Leadership Retention and Recruitment

Jim Collins, in Good to Great, talks about getting the right people into the right positions “on the bus.”  It is critical to the long-term success of an organization to do well by its leadership:  conduct regular performance evaluations and engage in thoughtful search processes for new hires that find leaders with the “right fit” for the organization.

Change, Loss & Growth

Rapid change is a constant in our world and in the life of every organization.  It is essential to recognize the losses that come in the change process and to provide clear practical tools to help individuals and organizations grow stronger.

Communication & Conflict Management

With the rapid changes occurring in every industry (health care, schools, churches) the risk of misunderstanding and miscommunication looms large.  Focused initiatives that lead to more effective communication and more productive conflict management will improve staff morale, lead to superior problem-solving and enhance the impact of the organization.

Funds for Mission

Every organization must meet the challenge of finding necessary funding to provide a secure environment for its employees and cash reserves (endowments or other restricted funds) to support future action.  As the economic downturn of 2008-09 reminded us, adequate funding, like air, is necessary if an organization is to survive as well as thrive.

Unique Challenges

In addition to the five areas named above, there are unique challenges (cultural, gender, age, geography) facing every organization.

The Reid Group believes the first five areas are general for every organization, and the sixth is specific to each organization.  We have developed a Sustainable Future Audit tool to help you identify your challenges and begin to chart a course toward sustainability.  If you would like to receive a copy, send us an e-mail at info@thereidgroup.org.

John Reid, Senior Consultant
The Reid Group