Three disparate things happened to me within the course of one workday that all sing a similar and very important message.
First, was the interview I heard with James Comey on NPR’s Morning Edition. One of the many compelling comments he made came back to resonate at the end of the day, connecting with two other seemingly disparate events. Regardless of the impetus for Comey’s comment, his message is one we should all heed.
“We fight like crazy in this country about guns and about Read more
Growing up a cultural Jew, I inherently knew, early on, the importance of “culture.” Reading Oscar Lewis’s La Vida: A Puerto Rican Family in the Culture of Poverty in my freshman year in college gave me the academic affirmation of the extreme importance of culture. Now reading J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy affirms for me, yet again, that we ignore culture at our own peril.
Given that I am not a therapist and this isn’t therapeutic blog, I’m actually not talking about the culture of family and Read more
I am always hesitant to talk about what’s happening on the corporate side of the aisle for fear that people will assume incorrectly that I’m holding it up as the model of all that is good and right. But, I do believe that there is value in looking at what is trending in the for-profit sector to find lessons we should learn. (I also believe that the for-profit sector should equally be looking at us to see it can learn from nonprofits). After all, as Read more
At the start of a recent board training, I was asked the following question: “An executive director once told me that a good board meeting was when he could write the minutes of the meeting before the meeting even started. Do you agree with that?”
I admit to being a bit taken aback by this question. It isn’t that I haven’t worked with a fair number of controlling executive directors who would embrace the sentiment, and some who would take it even a step further and Read more
There is little doubt in my mind that the greatest challenge facing every nonprofit is not whether it is sustainable, but if it is viable. Many nonprofits that aren’t viable have proven their ability to be sustainable—defined as the ability to be maintained at a certain level.
Sustainability makes no judgment as to the quality of the level at which the organization is maintained, simply that the level is maintained, month after month, year after year. Thus, we can easily describe an organization that regularly operates Read more
After leading recent board training, a board member apologized for what she considered to be the rude, disrepectful behavior of some of her colleagues and staff, who had held sidebar conversations throughout the training. Sadly, I had to tell her, I was quite used to it, as it happens far more often than not, along with those constantly checking their phones. She went on to talk about the loss of manners in our society.
And while our society has lost its appreciation for manners, I believe Read more
I was recently interviewed as an “outside expert” as part of an organization’s strategic planning process. The consultant asked what I thought of several possible merger partners for the organization. I was delighted to hear that the client was in a strong financial position, so that the contemplation of a merger wasn’t out of necessity, but rather out of exploration options that might strengthen the organization.
Despite being in a position of financial strength, the organization was having conversations about the costs—human, financial, energy, etc.—and the Read more
The report from the “2018 Edelman Trust Barometer,” the 18th annual trust and credibility survey, was recently released. It measures the trust people have in four sectors of society: business, government, media, and nonprofits. Based on information collected between October 28 and November 20, 2017, from 33,000 respondents in 28 countries via an on-line survey, trust is not alive and well in 2018, especially in the United States.
A neat twist to this survey is that it divides respondents into two groups: the “informed public” and Read more