As the board and staff of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry prepare for an upcoming strategic planning process, one of the questions we are asking ourselves is “What will success look like for us?” It is generally understood that we cannot attain what we cannot envision. My experience tells me that once a true picture of the endpoint is generated, many opportunities to help get you there start to fall into place. Whether this is a “manifestation” process as some believe, or simply an enhanced ability to recognize opportunities and translate them into positive action, can certainly be argued. But the obvious starting point is to begin with the end in mind.
Despite our tremendous creativity and ability to anticipate, it can be incredibly difficult for people to develop and settle on an ultimate vision. Are they afraid they will choose incorrectly? Do they believe that in choosing they may doom themselves to failure? (You can’t fail if you have no benchmark to define it.) Are they too comfortable with the current state of affairs to risk the change required to move them along to success? (Does the platform really HAVE to be burning to force people to jump off of it?)
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron offers this thought: “I have seldom conceived a delicious plan without being given the means to accomplish it. Understand that the what must come before the how. First, choose what you would do. The how usually falls into place of itself.”
The Community Foundation has nineteen board members and seven staff members who will soon be choosing the what. If you, as a friend of the Community Foundation and as a concerned citizen of the Lowcountry, have thoughts to share about our future, please do so. I have tremendous confidence that we will overcome the common tendency toward “small thinking” that can surface in difficult economic times. I cannot tell you how excited I am to put all of these great minds to the task of developing this “delicious plan” that will drive our footsteps for the next few years! It will become the fabric of our everyday matters.
Denise K. Spencer