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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Paulo Coelho

I have observed that one of the more significant differences between the profit and nonprofit sectors is their divergent thoughts and actions regarding risk and/or change. For the entrepreneurs I know one of their greatest fears are missing out on opportunities. On the other hand, for many of the nonprofit professionals I work with, I find their greatest fears are often related to change or trying something new. I can certainly appreciate their feelings as these same nonprofit professionals are obliged to report to their “overhead sensitive” donors and boards. Most in the charitable sector would consider it career suicide to share that a new and exciting initiative (fundraising or mission related) turned out to be a complete disaster despite the best of intentions. In order to be more effective perhaps boards and their donors should be much more tolerant of change or, as Hugh Macleod of gapingvoid would say, … “creating good trouble”.

Create Good Trouble

It’s hard to believe there was a generation that was afraid of The Beatles.

The fear of change is widespread. Change is trouble.

The fear of change is a natural survival instinct ingrained in humans. but as Benjamin Franklin once said “When you are finished changing, you are finished”.

That fear means you’re doing something meaningful.

Because change – that’s creation.

And the fact that someone’s afraid of it? That means you’re doing something worth being afraid of.

And fear is the first step in accepting a new standard.