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Building a Capacity Culture

Have you ever felt as though you hit a wall in business? The wall might have been in the form of low financial resources, a lack of staff or the right staff to move things forward. It could also be a saturation in the market of the product or service that you provide.

I have experienced the feeling of being stuck in a rut and not being able to move forward, but when that happens, I use the “brain dump” technique.

I sit quietly for a few moments and then list everything that pops in my mind to push the project forward. I try to list at least 20 options. It may take a few tries to generate the list, but the more you do it, your mind will take you down creative or innovative paths that result in an overflow of ideas.

The options might be people to call or connect with, grants or other funding to seek, staff that would be helpful in the endeavor or business partners that would fill delivery or service gaps.

Some years ago, I really wanted to find a way to tap into our shopper base, but we didn’t have the financial resources to invest in a system to collect the data. However, through a discovery meeting with a potential partner we came up with a win-win-win.

The partner helped us to invest in a system, we co-branded a marketing tool, and held community events for our common customers. Our customers benefited from discounts and fun events.

Business and nonprofit leaders can increase the capacity of their organizations by fostering what I call a “Capacity Culture.” A Capacity Culture, doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Instead, this culture makes room for partnerships, innovative ideas, and community engagement.

A Capacity Culture evaluates the strengths of staff members and capitalizes on those strengths. This might mean shifting priorities and taking risks to do something that’s never been tried before.

A Capacity Culture typically has layers of complexity. This protects the organization from dips in business by having multiple business lines, and multiple areas of possible growth and impact.

A Capacity Culture is also inclusive, bringing people from different levels in the company together to provide input in some way or brainstorm to add a piece to the puzzle.

We can all learn from each other and build a culture that honors and respects the voices and lived experiences of different stakeholders.

Check out more of my blogs on to help you build a Capacity Culture in your company or organization, and experience an overflow of success.

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