When Our Organization turns Sixty, what will she be saying?

“Today this organization celebrates its 58th birthday!” it was announced at yesterday’s staff meeting. In two years time, its 60th birthday will be celebrated at the opening ceremony of the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. What will all those present be saying about these past sixty years in our organization and those of the future?

In twelve days I will be at a surprise birthday party celebrating my Mother-in-law’s 60th. Last night my husband and his sister began busily reflecting on the life of their Mum and what they have learned from her. Oblivious to this little secret, she too is taking stock of what life has taught her over the last sixty years and how she wishes to embrace these lessons to make the most of the coming decades. Sixty is a big birthday, most people think “What kind of impact do I want to make in the years I have left?”

Whilst organizations and individuals have different life cycles (some institutions last for hundreds of years, our doctors have not cracked that yet), approaching the 60th birthday of our organization seems a great opportunity to reflect on what the organization has accomplished in the last fifty-eight years and what we have learned from it. How can these lessons can be embraced and used to propel our organization into its future in the most meaningful way?

If our organization was a person turning 60, what would she say was the most important contribution she has made to the people and world in the last 60 years, and what would she like to be known for in the future?

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