• culture,  purpose

    Five tips for communicating in uncertain times

    During times of uncertainty like the world is experiencing now, leaders are called upon to step forward with decisiveness, empathy, and transparency. It there ever was a time we are living in a VUCA world, it is now. VUCA, of course, stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous and was first conceptualized by the U.S. Army War College in 1987. Leaders who consider the VUCA implications of their environments are better able to plan for success in spite of these factors. In the COVID-19/VUCA world, you must be prepared to communicate boldly and decisively to your team and your various constituencies. Your organization, your staff, and maybe even your community…

  • burnout,  culture,  mission,  mission fatigue,  purpose

    Are You Experiencing Mission Fatigue?

    I was recently asked to give a presentation for the employees from various nonprofit organizations in the region on the topic of Mission Fatigue. My first thought was, “I don’t know anything about this topic! Why me?” But because I have this issue with saying no, I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes, I would be happy to.” As I thought more about the topic and began working on my presentation, I realized what an important issue this is for nonprofit workers. And the more I researched, the more I realized that indeed, I do have something important to say on the topic. The business world calls it burnout. The medical…

  • board development,  decision-making,  governance,  purpose

    Are You Ready for Board Service?

    Nonprofit organizations that have an engaged board of directors are stronger financially, attract qualified staff in greater numbers, and have better outcomes. There are many schools of thought regarding what makes a good nonprofit board - or good board members. Some believe the board must be made up of movers and shakers in the community. Other organizations look for deep pockets willing to contribute financially to the organization. Then there are those who believe that a strong board includes people of varied backgrounds and skills - finance, law, marketing, risk management, etc. And still others seek people who are committed to the cause they are organized around - environmentalists on…

  • mission,  purpose,  vision

    Building Cathedrals

      The news of the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris brought to mind this classic story: A man came upon a construction site where three people were working.  He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the worker replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the worker replied: “I am building a wall.” As he approached the third, he heard the worker humming a tune, and asked, “What are you doing?” The worker stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I am building a cathedral!” (source unknown) What do you think about the attitude of these three workers?…

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