Your future depends on having people around the table NOW who will be around when that future comes to pass. So the question is, have you involved any Millennials in building your strategic plan?
They’re the ones who have a vested interest in tomorrow’s community. They may not yet be able to write big checks, but as Atul Tanden said about Millennials and Nonprofits, Millennials want to have an impact. They want to know what their money is going to do, for whom. They like to dig into an organization’s mission before giving money or time.
Perhaps even more important, rookie board members bring fresh eyes to your organization. They’re free to question why and how because they’re not hampered by what’s happened before. Liz Wiseman, in her Harvard Business Review post, discovered that rookie engineers had no qualms in seeking guidance from others. In her study, the rookies were more likely to seek help beyond the usual suspects and brought new expertise to the organization that veteran engineers hadn’t considered.
Rookies forge new territory because they aren’t held back by experiences that didn’t work in the past. Because they are new, they a different perspective and high energy to projects, accelerating the pace of innovation.
A sound organization practice is to have board members from every decade of adult life. That way, you hear the voices of people who were NOT here at the beginning; people who don’t have the nostalgia factor pulling them back to the tried and true. You hear the voices of people who will be your future leaders, and you get to know the people to whom you will pass the baton.
When building your strategic plan, you have to hear the voices of the future. The women and men who have a vested interest in the community you are building WANT to be part of the nonprofit world. Invite them. Encourage them. Bring them onto your board. They’re the ones who will make sure you’re still here in 30 years.
Now’s the time to look for the fresh faces who will join your board in 2015. Let’s talk about how to build your board with Millennials, and hear their voices in the strategic plan. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear more!