Nonprofit Leaders:  Find the Balance

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on February 12th, 2016 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee, was recently interviewed on NPR‘s Morning Edition by co-host, David Greene. Miliband was asked if he was worried about his employees on the ground in Syria.  As we would all expect, he responded, “I’m very worried, always, ….”

Embed from Getty Images

Considering the heart wrenching stories coming out of Syria, this NPR headline is more than troubling:  “the world has become a bit dull to news from Syria.” But truthfully, it wasn’t Miliband’s comments on the Read more

Nonprofits should heed the experts

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on February 5th, 2016 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

Why ask the question if you don’t want to at least listen to the answer?  But even more importantly, why ask the question if you don’t want to seriously consider the answer?  I frequently find myself wondering about this when working with nonprofits, and in particular when working with boards.  And although not new, this is increasingly problematic.

Embed from Getty Images

Its prevalence, in light of the growing complexity of the sector, such as ever changing models offered up – sometimes by the nonprofits Read more

Nonprofit Leadership Deficit: Protecting Sacred Cows

Posted by Joan Ulmer on January 29th, 2016 in Articles, Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

In 2006, Bridgespan produced a report whose predictions shocked many people.

Embed from Getty Images

Prediction one:  between then and 2016, the nonprofit sector was going to need to find 640,000 new executives to fill vacated positions.

Prediction two:  by 2016, we would need to find almost 80,000 such individuals per year.   The bursting of that bubble was delayed by the Great Recession.  But it would appear now that a slow burst has begun.  Executive transitions are upon us.

There is no question that a nonprofit is Read more

A Culture of Understanding

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on January 28th, 2016 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

The French have a great expression, almost onomatopoeic, especially if it were in English:  coup de foudre.  Literally, it means a bolt of lightning.  And, with the emphasis on the “fou” it can sound just like a crack of lightening.  Figuratively, however, it means love at first sight.  It is nice to know that at my ripe old age, I can still fall in love at first contact.

I was interviewing a board member of an organization with which I am currently working and I just Read more

Willingness to be Scrutinized

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on January 22nd, 2016 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

We talk a lot about accountability in the nonprofit sector:  we must be accountable to our funders; the board is accountable to the public; the executive director is accountable to the board, the rest of staff accountable to the executive director, and so on.

Embed from Getty Images

Frequently, in our sector, accountability is linked to transparency:  we must be transparent and accountable.  But what does that accountability mean?  We say it, we know what it means; in other words, we have a general concept Read more

Reflecting our Values

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on January 15th, 2016 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

If I could proclaim a universal resolution for 2016 it would be to stop dissing nonprofit professionals.

Embed from Getty Images

We may not make six or seven figure salaries but that does not mean we are of lesser talent, lesser value, lesser smarts, and lesser everything else than our higher salaried counterparts.  Just because we prefer to use our talent in support of great causes that offer lesser financial rewards doesn’t mean we are one iota less capable than the person with the same Read more

Buzz words, key words, plans and stuff

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on January 8th, 2016 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

The challenge in taking two weeks off from posting is that I now have so much about which to write.  My solution:  snippets.   This is not a “trends to watch in 2016;” it is simply, “here’s a whole bunch of stuff about which to think.”

Embed from Getty Images

Effective altruists. While this is, indeed, a trend to know about in order to determine how you want/do want to play into their world, it is something absolutely deserved of everyone’s attention.  This includes nonprofit Read more

It’s all about the ego

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on December 18th, 2015 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

As we approach the end of the year, many people start thinking about the resolutions they want to make for the new year.  I know the data suggest that folks shouldn’t bother, as the vast majority won’t keep them beyond the first month (if they make it past the first week).

Embed from Getty Images

Nevertheless, for those of you who try each year to make them and stick to them, I’d like to suggest one that if all of us in the nonprofit sector Read more

Add Humanity to your Workplace

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on December 11th, 2015 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

I’m not in the habit of calculating the dollars and cents of plain, decent manners, despite the fact that manners seem to be on the endangered activities list.  But a headline recently grabbed my attention that had me asking if it really said what I think it said.

View image | gettyimages.com

The headline was attached to an infographic entitled, “The business value of the thank you.”

But this infographic was about, as I assumed it would be, the value of a simple “thank you” to performance in Read more

Defensible Spaces

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on December 4th, 2015 in Thoughts & Commentary

0 comment

I was going to write this week about the power of “thank you,” as it seemed very fitting coming off of Thanksgiving.  But the mass shooting in San Bernardino earlier this week has diverted me.

View image | gettyimages.com

According to shootingtracker.com, maintained by “Guns Are Cool” on reddit, San Bernardino was the 355th mass shooting  in the United States this year.  While criminologists have not landed on a universally supported definition of what constitutes a mass shooting, shootingtracker.com borrows from the historic FBI definition (and, therefore, Read more

X

Strategic Planning Streamline 5 LogoComing Soon

¤