A Grants Lesson Learned from My Recent Golf Outing — Part 3

September 8, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

golf1-670177-mIt’s time again for my annual blog post based on my once-a-year golf outing with my brother. In the past, I’ve been able to take some the lessons learned from my horrific rounds of golf and relate those lessons, in one way or another, to grants. For example, two years ago I played for the first time in two years but didn’t bother practicing ahead of time or go to the driving range, thus leading to a round I would much rather forget.  I used the opportunity to discuss how grant applicants that haven’t submitted a proposal in quite some time should realize that grant application processes have changed (and this was before the passage of the uniform guidance) and to get up to speed on them before forging ahead like I did with my golf game.

Well, I had had enough of the bad play. I came prepared this year. I went out and got new irons, a new putter, new golf shoes, new balls, heck, even a new golf glove to help bring my score down to a more respectable level. We even went to the driving range before playing to work out any kinks, find my rhythm and get my groove on. I was prepared. Did it work? Let’s just say that despite all my best efforts, the result was pretty much the same as it has always been.

I guess the main thing was I didn’t adjust very well. My new clubs could actually hit the ball farther than my old, beat-up clubs, so on several shots where I did actually hit it cleanly, the ball went well past my intended target. I got so used to my old way of doing things that I didn’t adjust and use a different club. Also, the grips had worn off on my old clubs so that I had to hold them with the “grip of death” to keep them from slipping from my hand. My new clubs had nice, new grips that would hold firm in your hands. Again, I continued to use my now-ingrained “grip of death” to hold the new clubs and wound up getting blisters on my middle finger even before I left the second hole. Again, I didn’t adjust.

Other errors didn’t involve the new clubs at all. Sometimes I stood back to far, sometimes to close; sometime my hips turned too fast, sometimes to slow; sometimes I looked up before hitting the ball only to top the ball a few feet ahead of me; sometimes I concentrated on getting under it so much that I popped it sky high in the air and it came straight down. If I had slowed down to realize that I was too close or too far from the ball, or considered that I teed it up too high or too low, maybe I could have stopped and adjusted my play to get a better result.

So how does all this relate to grants? I guess it’s to say that preparation is not enough; you have to use the benefits of that preparation and adjust to it if you are going to succeed. We have been stressing the importance of preparing for the implementation of the new uniform grant guidance in our articles and handbooks, even emphasizing the need to revamp your internal policies and procedures to incorporate the provisions in the guidance. If you’ve done so, you’re a step ahead of the curve, but this preparation is not enough. You have to get your employees and staff to adjust to these new policies and procedures so that they will follow them accordingly and not react as they had in the past. Training at this time is of utmost importance for your entire entity. We here at Thompson provide numerous training opportunities to help you and your organization learn not only how to prepare for the uniform guidance, but how to adjust your daily processes to stay compliant and move forward with a successful program. If you don’t adjust to the new guidance, believe me, you’re going to wind up with something worse than a blistered finger. FORE!

How are you adjusting to the new guidance? Do you have any helpful hints other readers can learn from? Let us know.



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