Managing the Big Ideas

As the Executive Director, President, or lead volunteer, you are regularly approached by people with “good ideas” that the association should take on. Managing these requests are essential to avoid mission creep but to also avoid squashing enthusiasm.

The idea isn’t to squash the suggestions, but to vet and funnel them:

     •  Does this fit in the strategic plan?
     •  How mission critical is it to implement this idea?

If you can’t answer yes to number 1 above, then take pause about implementing and assess the answer to number 2 above. If the idea isn’t solving something critical to the mission, then consider parking the idea. Have a central repository for ideas to be considered later. Your repository can be reviewed when it’s time to renew the strategic plan.

If the idea passes either of the questions above, then move on to the following questions to help get the ball rolling:

     •  How can the member contribute to the execution of said idea?
     •  Is there a committee or staff person that the member should be referred to?
     •  Is there money in the budget for said idea?
     •   Are there any existing policies that need to be considered?
     •   What more information is needed?

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