S.M.A.R.T Collaborations in the Office Make Good Ideas Great


While working on slides for the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) Annual Meeting, I had a thought to apply the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals into the presentation.

This framework helps professionals set clear and articulated goals into any project—often making the difference between creating a list and forming an action plan.

But first of all, what is NADCO and what is a certified development company (CDC)?

CDCs are certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as nonprofit companies that provide unique financing to small businesses in conjunction with participating lenders.

For example, the SBA 504 Loan provides capital to small businesses through a 40|50|10| loan structure: WBD provides 40% percent, the lender provides 50%, and the borrower provides 10%. These long-term, fixed-rate loans help small businesses grow (by purchasing real estate and by upgrading equipment) and create jobs.

NADCO, founded in 1981, is a trade association that promotes, supports, and educates CDCs throughout the country. To date, the CDC industry has generated over $150 billion dollars in small-business project financing.

Got it? Okay. Let’s return to the NADCO presentation…

WBD Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Randy Kyle, who was recently elected as a NADCO At-Large director, reviewed the slide and offered a great suggestion: incorporate the SBA’s own “SMART” methodology, used to generate risk management and oversight ratings, into the general “SMART” business tool.

We combined “smarts” and added an “E” (execution) and an “R” (reporting)—gearing these additions towards an audience of CDC leadership.

In creating our new social media initiatives, we want to educate our audience about the SBA 504 loan, about the SBA 7(a) Loan, and about our loan services.

However, the objective of digital media is to tell stories. Who are the characters behind the numbers?

To that end, I wanted to share this story of how collaboration enabled us to go from SMART to SMARTER.