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Emerging Patterns Archives - Page 19 of 20 - Exploring Patterns

Planning Ahead for the September 2011

With summer here, September will soon be around the corner. Here are four tips that can help make your transition from the summer into September as smooth as possible.

  1. Plan ahead. If you are interesting hosting a special event (e.g., planning retreat), start exploring potential dates and locations during the summer. People can get dates and locations into their calendar during the summer and be prepared for the fall.
  2. Organize your Personal Calendar. July is a great month to sit down with your calendar and identify key dates that will be important to you and organization in the fall. For example, I like to mark in calendar the key dates when government reports are due (e.g., September 30th). That allows me to book time in my calendar to complete reporting requirements etc.
  3. Resource Forecast. Review the financial performance of your organization during the months leading up to June. Will the organization end the year on budget? Do you anticipate some challenges ahead? Thinking now about resources challenges can help identify where to focus your work in the fall.
  4. Fun Factor. Don’t forget to include fun into your plans for the fall. What are the fun activities you and or your organization will undertake in the fall?

Enjoy the summer. It’s a great time to take a break, make a plan and reflect on the accomplishments of the last six months.


Planning Ahead for the Fall of 2010

It’s summer and this is a great time of the year to plan ahead to the fall. Here are few things to consider as you develop the calendar for fall.

Strategic Plan Update – The fall is a good time of the year to review the status of your strategic plan. Set aside time for your board and senior time to review the status of the strategic plan. In building a process for reviewing your plan, you may want to consider the following resource.


Contract Obligations – If your organization is funded by a funder, set aside time to review the terms of the contract. Is your organization on schedule to complete all of the requirements of the contact, on budget and on time? If not, develop the plans required to close the gap to ensure your organization can meet the terms of the contract.

Quality Management Review – Establish a time to review the quality indicators and measurements for your organization for the period ending June 30th and then ending September 30th. Is your organization on track with the required indicators? If not, explore what steps are required to bring the indicators into standard. (Tip – What processes need further investigation?)

For an additional resource, consider using the Ontario Health Quality Council’s Report as part of the review process. The following is a link to the LHIN Analysis Report


Watching the Money – The economy continues to evolve and the fall will be a good time to consider the economy and its impact on your organization. There are a wide variety of sources on the economic trends for Ontario, Canada and other countries. A great resource on economic trends is the Canadian Banking system. To learn more about the resources, visit the following resource page from our website.


The fall appears to be far away. However, planning for special meetings on key topics and confirming dates this summer will enable staff, volunteers and funders to work together to reach the goals needed for the 2011/2012 fiscal year.


Moving Through the economic times

I tend to keep an eye on the news.  It reminds of the work of John Naisbitt and his famous book, “Megatrends”.  His book made a host of predictions that turned out to be really helpful to organizations.  He was and remains one of my heroes of “looking for patterns”.

My car lease ran out at the end of March and I found myself in the position of having to replace my car.  Buying a new car was something I did not want to do.  Leasing another car seemed risky.  In the end, I bought a used car.  It works great and the service at the dealership was excellent.  Yet, as I went through the entire experience a few patterns emerged for me about our changing economy.

Point #1 – Having a job is important!

This is not a new point.  Yet, as I wandered through the dealership, I was reminded by the one simply fact.  No job, no car.  In fact, no job can translate into no home, no food, no… well you know.  No nothing!  Meaningful employment is important.

Point #2 – Benefits are critical!

As we grow older, we need those drug benefit plans to ensure we can pay for the drugs and health services we need.  Without them, the cost of health can become a battle between food, shelter and health.  I firmly believe benefits are going to the next real challenge for families and working people.  Without benefits, we place people and families at grave risk.

Point #3 – A Pension Plan is a Must

I was surprised to read about the overall reaction of people to pay out packages for executives.  As I shared with a friend, no one talks when Executives are hired, they only seem to react when they hear they are leaving with a “golden parachute”.  I think the critical point is people need to know they will have enough money when they stop work to keep living.  Or else, people work until they can’t work any more.  People need a plan they can have confidence in as they approach the question of wether they want to continue to work or stop working.  A pension is not a gift, its a very important part of life.  We all need one.

Moving Forward in the Fog

The tough economic times remind me of driving in the fog.  You can usually see a small distance in front of you, coupled with driving carefully, you can remain safe.   If you proceed with caution while driving, you will arrive.  As we move through these times, people need to know their is something meaningful for them to do every day.  Like driving with caution, people need to keep working in order feel progress, safety and to know they are making a difference.  Benefits, like seat belts, keep people safe when driving in the soup of life.  And above all, pensions provide the comfort to know when it’s acceptable to stop and let someone else drive.

The recession will continue.  It’s far from over.  However, collectively, we can make through this fog.

And we will be better for the experience.

After all, that’s what I remember when I’m driving down the road.