Greetings from GrantLessons!
Fall is in the air! The wind is blowing and the leaves are falling. I really love Fall especially the crisp days. I have always been a Google fan and found an article by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg to be quite interesting. The article is talking about their new book, “How Google Works”. The book explores the firm’s methods for success. The authors make three major points to their success.
Think Extremely Big
Many organizations in the days of quality improvement look for a 10% improvement in their work, Schmidt and Rosenberg encourage their employees to find a 10X (that is, ten times better) improvement. What would it take for your chapter to increase their grant writing by 10X? Would you need more training? Would you need more people to help research for grants? Would you need more people to write grants? Would you need to have more people provide back rubs when the dollars come in? Do you think you would fail?
Schmidt and Rosenberg encourage their employees to “fail fast”. A failed grant opportunity allows the committee to learn from their experience. Are you afraid that you will put time and effort into a grant or a corporate contribution and the chapter will be denied? Did you notice the “chapter” not you will be denied? First of all, one cannot take this work personally. When a chapter receives a denial there is an opportunity for the whole committee to learn. Schmidt and Rosenber strongly suggest that “Iteration is the most important part of the strategy”. I confess that I had to look the word iteration up, it means doing something over and over. Failing one time or even several times is no excuse for not doing more research or writing more applications. As I like to say, “Doing it over and over will hone your skills bringing success”.
Primacy of Data over Experience, Intuition, or Hierarchy
Schmidt and Rosenberg believe in data in order to make their decisions. Data provides the evidence for making decisions, not the previous experiences of a committee member, or the bright idea of an entrepreurial type, or because the chairman said to do it. Does you committee work as a team? Does the chairman allow all members to voice their insights and when possible the data to make their point? And speaking about data, has your chapter focused on getting outputs and outcomes from your work? More on this issue next week.
For now, it is October 15 and Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season is right around the corner. You really have time to research or write one more application before the fun starts with children and granchildren; seasonal parties; vacations; and celebrating the work we do.
So if we think extremely big, fail fast, and tell your program’s story with data , we will be successful. What is your goal for the next month?
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon! Sandie
PS. The name of the book is How Google Works and it can be purchased at Amazon.com .