Looking Outside to Strengthen Inside

The changing business landscape has forced companies to constantly evaluate and redefine their concept of working teams, and how these teams are constructed. The evolution of management priorities, along with advances in technology, has pushed organizations toward leaner and more flexible structures.

Nonprofit organizations, like their for-profit brethren, are realizing the need to specialize in order to differentiate from competitive organizations. They’re choosing to be unique to someone over being everything to everyone. They’re choosing to cultivate talent and focus on services that support core strengths. The looming question is how to fill the gaps that fall outside of core strengths.

Many organizations turn to outsourcing, a growing trend consistent with the need to produce more with less. This is particularly applicable to marketing.

With the right talent, outsourcing doesn’t have to feel like working with an outsider. Whether the arrangement is temporary project-based assistance or freelance assignment, the benefits most often far outweigh the cost.

  • Sometimes, we can’t see the forest for the trees. Outside strategists can introduce a fresh perspective and help you gain altitude to see the problem in new ways.
  • External resources come with added expertise. Organizations to tell their stories through many venues, and to diverse audiences. Bringing in a subject matter expert can help nonprofits create a brand voice and share their story in ways that resonate with donors, volunteers, program participants, or the community at large
  • Intentional creativity. Be intentional about the creative process by bringing diverse talent to the table. New blood brings new ideas that you won’t necessarily have access to internally.
  • Flexibility. Outsourcing expands your capabilities, enhances the quality of your work, and enables you to respond more quickly to changing needs. Good leaders are quick to recognize market or stakeholder change, and exhibit flexibility in meeting these challenges.

According to author Seth Godin, today’s connected economy runs on optimized networks and the solutions they co-create. Organizations realize that, as stakeholders look more closely at the return on their investments, it’s increasingly important to always have access to the best talent and resources that will enable them to build a special team. Whether it is marketing & communications, finance, or leadership, looking outside can very well be the way to find strength inside.

Pon Angara is Director of Barkada Circle®, a team of artists mentoring nonprofits on how to tell more compelling stories about their missions. Pon helps their leaders use the power of storytelling to spark bold and innovative ideas that will bring their organizations to the next level. He has delivered keynotes and workshops on storytelling at several association conferences and foundation seminars.  When he’s not working with stories, Pon searches for his next great foodie find! He’s always ready to take you to the best Filipino restaurants in Chicago.

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