It’s a new year. Are you looking new?

nonprofit marketing strategy

Have you changed the way you look at things?
Have you changed the way people should look at you?
And have you changed the actual look of your company?

If not, you should.

2021 is not 2020. No year is like the one before it; not only is change constant, it comes faster and faster. Alvin and Heidi Toffler predicted this in their books Future Shock and The Third Wave and that was in the 1970s. Since then, the dynamic of change has become more and more apparent.

Like sharks, if they don’t keep swimming, organizations start to die. That sinking feeling comes from falling further and further behind — in thinking, and in adapting. “Future Shock,” the Tofflers wrote, occurs when you give up on keeping up.

The benefit of a new year is that the calendar prompts us to look anew. We take a look backward at what we accomplished (or not) in the year ended, and resolve to do better in the new year.

For this new year (and any new year), this action plan will help:

1. Ask yourself what you’ve learned

2020 upended our thinking about a lot of things. Many of them revolved around issues of how we work remotely, and how we congregate selectively. What else do you make of the past year? Do you think that a period of global or local turbulence will give way to more cooperation? How do you feel going forward? How will your thinking affect your decisions?

2. What should people make of that?

What should your stakeholders, your constituents or buyers, your vendors, your own team, indeed everyone you’re connected to, make of that? Is now the time to revisit your positioning and your communications, to match the new path you now believe you’ll be traveling?

3. How will you show it?

One way or the other, the path has now changed. In both practice and design, how will you show people your adjusted direction? More importantly, how will you show that you’re ahead of the curve in your recognition of what’s changed and what’s about to? How will you demonstrate your relevance, now and moving forward? What will be the immediate ways people can grasp that you matter to them?

Recognizing what has changed is step one in taking charge of that change. Taking charge — planning the outcome you want rather than relying on hope — puts you in charge.

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