I just got back from the AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference in Washington D.C.—one of my favorites. I always come back fired up with new ideas and more informed about what’s going on in an area I love — nonprofit marketing. Maybe you can relate!
I thought you might enjoy your own dose of inspiration distilled from the event. So this month, I wanted to share one of the central takeaways from the session I delivered at the conference: How to future-proof your marketing.
In my work, I’ve encountered a lot of misconceptions about future-proofing. While it’s true that future-proofing is all about getting your organization in a better position to handle what’s coming down the pike, many people mistakenly believe that this means making the right decisions now so they won’t have to change course later.
They think it’s about picking the right software that will have limitless ability to handle future innovations, or designing their organization’s website in a way that they’ll never have to redo it again.
But, in fact, this is the total opposite of the mindset required for true future-proofing!
Future-proofing isn’t about making decisions today that will withstand the buffets of time. It’s about developing the agility you’ll need to move and adapt when the winds of change begin to blow.
My session at the conference identified 12 ways to future-proof an organization by cultivating a nimble outlook. Today let’s take a look at one of my favorite strategies:
Curiosity is different from education. Education is incredibly valuable and worth continuing. But to grow for the future, you need to do more than learn new skills and acquire new knowledge.
To grow, you need to seek inspiration and take the time to explore.
You don’t have to—and shouldn’t—limit your exploration to topics directly related to your current field. It’s amazing how inspiration in one arena can spark innovation in another.
And there are tons of interesting ways to feed your curiosity. Here are some suggestions:
Read | Read books. Track blogs. Immerse yourself in ideas. Some of my favorite resources for keeping the insights flowing are Feedly (for getting content sent to you) and Pocket and Evernote (for saving content you want to reference later).
Watch | From YouTube to Creative Live and our own Master Classes, the Internet is full of webinars and videos—both free and paid. Even good old television is filled with curiosity-feeding viewing if you look hard enough.
Listen | The tremendous advantage of listening to mind-stretching content is that you can do it while you’re otherwise occupied with mundane tasks. Podcasts are one of the greatest ways to explore ideas while driving, exercising, doing the dishes and even weeding. Business and self-growth books that can gather dust on your nightstand are transformed when listening to an audio recording.
Get Out | Go to conferences. Attend networking lunches. Mingle with your peers and hear about the problems they’re tackling and the ideas they’re exploring. Join a club, a team or a meetup. Talking in person creates space for following where the conversation leads you.
One way we’ve worked to future-proof our organization at Iris Creative is by elevating curiosity to one of our corporate values. Curiosity is even a trait we screen for when interviewing candidates to join our team.
And now, there’s one thing I’m curious about: How will you nurture your curiosity and the curiosity of those around you?
Need some help getting the wheels turning? From inspiring workshops to engaging creative, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 267-468-7949 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.