The Not For Profit Podcast Ep 06: NFP Business Planning and the Importance of Board Training

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Everybody knows that for a business to succeed, you need to have a plan — systems and preparations you need to put in place to fail-proof your business. For a Not For Profit, what are the factors you need to consider in structuring your business plan?

In today’s episode, I’ll be speaking to Neil Drury, former managing director of Genesis Management Consulting; who is now an NFP consultant. We will be dealing with three essential points in today’s podcast, particularly: 1) How not to have a token business plan and its effect on an organization including the values and organizational structures; 2) How a business plan  can be used as a tool to avoid or address risk management; and 3) How a business plan can be used as part of a collaboration between other entities.

As we go deeper into the discussion, we will also be tapping topics regarding boards, and everything essential for business planning, down to board training. So make sure to tune in for a lot of invaluable information.

Brief History of Neil’s Experience in the NFP Sector (2:16)

  • Former Managing Director of Genesis Management Consulting
  • Working for the Arts and Community Organizations
  • Working for Faith Groups
  • Working for the Government
  • Organizing Leadership and Training Programs
  • Being a Board Member for NFP Organizations and Churches

Two Areas in Business Planning Where Most Businesses Fail (4:04)

  • Token Planning — The BIGGEST mistake in business planning
  • What is token planning?
  • Why is token planning disadvantageous?
  • Using business planning to identify potential risks for an organization
  • Fear of Change — The second biggest mistake in business planning
  • Avoiding the same failures as a result of the same processes
  • “If you’re not moving forward, you’re sliding backwards as an organization.”

Differentiating the Culture of Token Planners and Opportunity Seekers (8:54)

  • Token planners refuse to change
  • Opportunity seekers embrace change
  • People who see the opportunities impact the organization through involvement and membership
  • Seeing the opportunities in business planning gives members a sense of direction, therefore, giving them a sense of purpose.

Recommended Timeframe for Reviewing Business Plans (10:21)

  • The recommendation depends on how quickly change happens
  • Twelve months is a good period to stand back and take a look at where things currently are and where things are going.
  • Having a plan is better than not having one and just wandering around.

Training (11:57)

  • How much training is required?
  • Do you need KPIs to measure the success of the training?
  • KPIs are seemingly a trend nowadays and are considered important for funding requirements.
  • Board training is important to make sure that everybody knows their responsibilities and what they need to do legally.
  • Training helps board members be proactive and effective in their services to the organization.
  • Create a dashboard to have a look at how things are progressing.
  • Effective leadership creates effective organizations filled with passionate members who follow their leaders as role models.

The Role of The Board in Business Planning (14:33)

  • The Board sets the strategic direction for an organization.
  • A Board that looks at the future and looks at how the members are going to be engaged is crucial.
  • The enthusiasm starts with the Board, they set the tone within the organization.
  • Some suggestions on things to do during board meetings.

Board Structure: What works best? (16:27)

  • How many members should a board have?
  • The magical mystery of seven
  • Consider location, gender, and age
  • The nightmare of having too many people
  • Have a board that’s willing to work together.
  • Argumentative or compliant: What type of board should you go with?

How The Board Communicates With The Members (20:29)

  • Communicate the decisions made by the Board.
  • Get the members involved and engaged.
neil drury

Who is Neil Drury?

Neil Drury is the former managing director of Genesis Management Consulting, and is currently an NFP consultant. Neil has over 20 years of experience enabling change, business transformation, organisational development and shaping the capability of public and private sector organisations. He is a strategist and an implementer, which is why many organisations hire him to develop strategies and plans, and then guide the implementation.

Contact Neil Drury:

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