Using Foresight to Prepare for the Future (Part 1)

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services

October 14, 2020

This has been a time of uncertainty for most of us. However, as we move further into the autumn season, we are optimistically looking forward to all the potential the New Year can bring.  What will 2021 mean for your club?

Foresight is one of the most critical components to planning for your club’s future, according to Hannes Combest, FASAE, CAE, chief executive officer of the National Auctioneers Association and keynote speaker at Sertoma’s 2020 National Virtual Convention. 

Foresight is the guiding roadmap for your club’s future. It asks you to examine past situations to see if any patterns – positive or negative – emerge. It also requires your organization to consider potential disruptors so that you may plan for them. But how do we use foresight to ensure a strong future? 

Combest highlights four areas that your club should focus on as you plan for the year ahead:

  1. Strategic Planning: Where do you want to go and how will you get there?
  2. Risk Analysis: What factors could negatively impact your club and programs?
  3. Club Learning: Who can educate your members on issues impacting your club and mission?
  4. Innovation: What changes are impacting or will impact the way your club conducts business or meets its mission? 

The answers to these questions can lead to important, and perhaps overwhelming, conversations amongst your club’s leadership and members. We know that it can be scary to explore uncharted waters, especially when members share a “But we’ve always done it this way!” mentality. However, going through this difficult process is critical if your club is going to be a proactive (not reactive) and successful organization.  

In my next blog, I will explore four major factors occurring in today’s society that Combest believes could impact nonprofits like Sertoma. In the meantime, make sure to check out her full session on Sertoma’s YouTube channel. 


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