I swear I'm going somewhere with this.

Winter weather has come back to Chicago and I'm in a bit of a funk that the American Health Care Act passed the House yesterday. But stay with me! There's a nonprofit lesson here.

This Republican bill takes away healthcare from the poor and gives a massive tax break to the wealthy. And in a very rare act of solidarity, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies all agree that this bill is a trainwreck for Americans.

So if no one likes the American Health Care Act, why did it pass through the House? The reason is there was a strong need to "do something.” Anything! The Republicans have been talking about repealing Obamacare for seven years and by golly they were gonna do it, even if the end result sucked.

At See3 we sometimes see this impulse at nonprofit organizations. We need to make a video! We need to build a microsite! There seems be some force pushing organizations to act impulsively, without a strategy or a clear end goal. I think it's the same problem some of us have in our own lives -- we constantly try to live up to the expectations of others. And maybe those expectations don't reflect what we really need and who we really are inside.

In our strategy work at See3 we try to get to core insights about an organization’s strengths, and establish where storytelling and digital strategy flow from that core insight. We also use a concept we developed called Digital Minimalism. Less + better = more. Your board thinks you need to be on Snapchat? If that's not your True North, that's when you need to be a courageous do-gooder and say no.

The Republicans in Congress should have said no, rather than to cheer and drink Bud Light at the success of stripping health coverage from millions of people. But, as often happens when we don't do the right thing, we'll see them pay later.

Author: Michael Hoffman
  • Strategy
  • nonprofit
  • Republicans
  • health care
  • Congress
  • American Health Care Act
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