Are You Using Your Roadmap?

February 06, 2018

Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe 2017 is upon us…have you made any resolutions? For me, resolutions tend to work in the opposite direction. For example, if I decide I am going to cut back on eating sweets, it seems that sweets (chocolate in particular) is always on my mind. If my resolution is to read the news for 15 minutes every morning, I find I am lucky to get to it by 10p. So, I decided a few years back that my resolution is to not make any resolutions! It has worked well for me thus far; however, there are a few things I do try and be diligent about, especially as a new year begins. One of these things is to always have my phone handy, as it has one of my most favorite apps: Google maps.

For those of you who know me, you are probably well aware that I am directionally challenged. The other day, my husband and I went to the mall. The good news is that I know how to get to all of my favorite stores in the mall. But as we began searching for a parking spot that very crowded day-after-Christmas, I suggested a parking location. My husband very gently said, “I think I am going to park over in that section”, which was nowhere near my recommended spot. As we were walking towards our destination store, I said, “Oh, this is so much closer!” And he jokingly said, “Yes, when you made a suggestion, I thought…I am going to go in the complete OPPOSITE direction from what Susan suggested and we should be fine.” And we were. So, now you have a sense of the extent of my lack of direction.

Having the ability to google an address and get step-by-step directions is an amazing gift for people like me! It is so much easier to get places on time, avoid traffic jams and have the ability to relax and truly enjoy the ride instead of wondering if you are actually headed in the right direction (I must admit, I have been on many trips during which I actually drove many, many miles in the wrong direction). Given my job, I use Google maps on a daily basis and know I would be lost without it.

For the past few weeks, we have been working with one of our HPS clients on their 2017 development plan, which is their “roadmap” for the year. We have had many conversations about what goals to include, how much to push the team in terms of fundraising and other development activities and our “destination” – what we hope to accomplish this year. The best part about having this plan in place is that our client “knows where they are going”. If ever they get to a point where they feel overwhelmed or lost, they can look at their development plan for guidance – and assurance that they are actually making progress each day.

When working in development, it is easy to get distracted, lose sight of what we are trying to do, and feel like the work will never get done. And while it takes work to prepare for the journey by taking time out of an already overly full schedule, having a development plan in place will ultimately make this journey a little easier. So, if you haven’t yet drafted your 2017 roadmap, it’s not too late…and I promise it will make the journey a lot more fun.