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Psychology of Change and Implications for Nonprofits

Dan Gilbert gave a very popular TED talk: “The Psychology of Our Future” http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_you_are_always_changing?language=en.

He cites studies of how much people think they changed over the past 10 years, and how much they will change in the coming 10 years.

The findings are interesting: We actually change (including who is our best friend, what is our favorite music, what issues and nonprofits were/will be important to us) much more than we believe we will.

The psychology of this phenomenon is important to grasp when talking to clients of our nonprofit and supporters of our nonprofit. Change happens. And will continue to happen. Are we prepared at our organization to deal with what comes our way?

Nonprofit organizations go through strategic planning exercises. And then they think they are done. Planning is great at building a sense of shared values among a board and staff. But if we don’t also determine how we’ll implement the changes we just agreed to. And recognize that the constant going forward will be change…we won’t be ready to deal with what the future has in store for us.

Check out the link to the Dan Gilbert video. Think how that applies to you. And to your organization. And next board meeting, let’s consider the issue and how we can deal with life going forward.

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