The big question, “what will these men do if their men’s shed fails?
Are you enhancing your biggest assets to grow and prosper?
Sustained leadership requires a dual perspective, one eye on the bumps in the road and the other on the bends in the road ahead.
Leaders need to perceive an almost continuous environment of revolution to reshape existing opportunities, create new opportunities while eliminating any systems and cultural beliefs constraining them.
The objective of the review is to identify opportunities and strengths along with performance issues via a combination of interviews, analysis or simply addressing the issues that are causing you concern.
Interviews can be important in establishing the culture within the men’s shed. Prior to conducting a review time should be spent analysing financial and operational data to identify areas of potential improvement.
However it is critical to point out all men’s sheds should be reviewed in the context of their operational and environment constraints, this results in the establishment of realistic and achievable performance objectives aligned to the member’s aspirations.
“Let the members and the community see you value both their feedback and their ideas, as they will be the drivers of the future”. Peter Sergeant
Objectives of a review
- To assess current performance.
- To align members and staff goals with the men’s shed.
- To make recommendations on how to improve desired outcomes.
- To assess and quantify potential financial stability.
- To assess the effectiveness of the organisational structure.
- To assess the performance of key people.
- To improve systems and controls.
- Identify areas of possible improvements in men’s health and well-being services.
- Ensure accurate management reporting to allow performance monitoring.
- To reduce exposure to fraud.
- To provide the men’s shed with a clear action plan.
Strategic planning program
When was the last time your management team took time out to examine?
- Where is the men’s shed at now versus where you want to be in the future?
- If the men’s shed was sustainable and in line with expectations?
- What are your current strengths and what areas need improvement?
- What is the actual capacity of the current men’s shed to meet community needs?
- Will the current structure allow the men’s shed to achieve long-term objectives?
Strategic planning provides a forum in which participants can answer the above questions and in doing so formulate a number of longer-term objectives.
Very few men’s sheds adopted a comprehensive member recruitment, retention and management program, or programs to market the member’s outputs. Those who do can achieve significant positive changes to their men’s shed model and financial stability including:
- Reduced marketing expenses, with better-targeted marketing activities.
- Increased sales of members products. Repeat customers = better performance.
- Improved productivity. Repeats require less time to make and sell.
- Increased member and customer retention, by reinforcing good relationship.
- Increased community acceptance because of improved communications.
- Improved funding of the men’s shed.
- Better feedback from members, members families, customers and the community.
Maintaining focus – Performance follow-up review
In the majority of men’s sheds, resources are not available to allocate a person to the role of setting objectives, deciding upon measurement criteria, monitoring performance, setting countermeasures to address shortfalls, and holding individuals responsible for achievement of objectives.
Men’s shed reviews and strategic planning will ensure a better investment of time and effort made by the leader, managers, members, partners and the community as a whole.
Objectives of a review follow-up might include:
- Ensure the men’s shed’s reviews are worthwhile and deliver what members want.
- Recap the action plan produced as a result of the review.
- Track the men’s shed’s progress towards each objective and expectations.
- Compare pre-review performance with current performance.
- Identify any action plan items not addressed.
- Review member, partner and community attitudes to improvements
- Identify any issues associated with new initiatives.
Issues to consider
- Business Planning issues:
- Clarifies the men shed’s purpose, vision and objectives.
- Addresses the aspirations of the members.
- Outlines the activities to be undertaken by the men’s shed.
- Is based on community demographics and good community information.
- Outlines management, operations, marketing and financial activities.
- Outlining health and well-being programs.
- Sets out the impact that will be created by the men’s shed.
- Outlines future premises, equipment requirements and capacity.
- Introducing new initiatives and opportunities.
- Financial issues:
- Budget outlining the revenue to be generated by the men’s shed.
- The level of funding required by the men’s shed.
- Preparing funding applications.
- Management of the cash flow.
- Provides a clear financial picture for members, partners and funders.
- Operational issues
- Setting up the Board, and Committees.
- Negotiations with Local Government and potential partnerships.
- Member recruiting and retention activities.
- Addressing workplace health and safety issues.
- Member communications, newsletters, meetings.
- Provide an understanding of the men’s shed’s capacity.
- Identifies obstacles to performance and member growth.
- Administration (Incorporation, insurance, bookkeeping, accounting, audit).
- Assessing member satisfaction, performance and growth.
- Getting minds and bodies active for a longer, happier and more interesting life.
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FAQ Support provides a full range of reviews ranging from single issues through to a full men’s shed review.
Any suggested operational improvements that come from a review must be in alignment with both the men’s shed’s culture the available resources and the aspirations of the members.
Some men’s sheds dislike reviews conducted by external advisors, they like to lean on their own understanding. Those men’s sheds who undertake an external review, exposing the good, the bad and the ugly, are the ones who deliver better outcomes to their members and their families and their community in general.
It’s very important to have a continuous feedback loop, which causes the management team to be constantly thinking about what is going on and how you could be doing it better.