<repost> The word "innovation" conjures up positive imagery. We see it as something we want to be known for. It's creative, desirable, inspiring, and we sense that if we can do it, if we can achieve it, we will lift ourselves up above the status quo, not to mention those who are quite comfortable in … Continue reading The Way of Innovation
reprinted by request As a consultant, executive staff member, board director, and teacher, I have had the opportunity to engage in a lot of strategic planning. I think about it, research it, and look for ideas to make it work better than how it tends to work. It has always bothered me to know that … Continue reading Why Strategic Planning Goes Wrong
Posting #1 in a series on Resource Development It's tough out there for non-profits and social causes when it comes to raising money, especially money for core operations and services. All of the seed grants, innovation grants, or target specific project grants are fine and dandy, but the growth in sustainable funding is not growing, … Continue reading Five Elements of Strategic Resource Development
It is not uncommon for business leaders or entrepreneurs to suggest that charities need to behave more like business. Of course non-profit operations should be based on sound financial and management principles and practices, but I suggest blanket statements like “be more like business” ignore some fundamental differences between private and non-profit sector organizations. Often … Continue reading Let’s Stop Assuming Non-Profits Should Just Be Run Like a Business.
Let’s play pretend. Pretend you run a business that sells widgets that are critical to a buyer. The price of each widget is $1000.00 and the buyer needs 100 of them. That’s $100,000. Now let’s pretend the cost of each widget (materials, labour, reasonable marketing costs, equipment maintenance, transportation costs, etc.) makes up 80% of … Continue reading Let’s Play Pretend
ACTION LEARNING According to Michael J. Marquardt, “action learning is a dynamic process that involves a small group of people solving real problems, while at the same time focusing on what they are learning and how their learning can benefit [one another]….Perhaps action learning's most valuable capacity is its amazing, multiplying impact to equip individuals, … Continue reading Becoming a Learning Organization – Part Two
SINGLE, DOUBLE, AND TRIPLE LOOP LEARNING One key to organizational success has to do with the capacity of people to learn - learn from mistakes as well as learn from successes. The call for organizational learning has escalated over the years ever since our culture and economy transitioned from a "we make things" focus to … Continue reading Becoming a Learning Organization – Part One