Posts Tagged ‘Education’

How to build a great nonprofit Board of Directors

April 15, 2013 1 comment

Identifying and recruiting board members can be a daunting task, especially if an organization is new or reshaping itself. Either way, existing members of the board and community have a challenge ahead of them when identifying and recruiting qualified candidates. Blue Avocado, a nonprofit magazine for nonprofits, compiled a list of the Ten Biggest Mistakes Boards and Executives Make. Some of the mistakes mentioned can be avoided by trying out a couple strategies.

One of the more overwhelming challenges is determining the “Who,” “What,” and, eventually, “How” of establishing a board. Who do we want? What is actually necessary? How do we even find them?

More here: Building a board | MSU Extension.

What is the real cost of email?

Tom Cochran  believes that email is the most abused method of communication in every office environment. And the widespread perception that it has no incremental cost is chronically damaging workplace efficiency. According to Tom, the challenge we are facing isn’t an aversion to technology, but change. I think that sums it up very well.

Tom suggests there is an entrenched level of comfort with email, making it habitual and a communications crutch. We have to take a holistic view and see email as one of many channels for collaboration. Adopt a breadth of tools to connect people, teach them the appropriate use of each and encourage smarter use of the right technology.

I also find that an open office environment creates less of a dependency on email as “literally” walls come down and teams naturally collaborate.

More here: Email Is Not Free – Tom Cochran – Harvard Business Review.

Why are the most successful leaders also givers?

Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan talks to organizational psychologist Adam Grant about his new book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Expect to sit through heated conversations in the next few months about who in your circle is generous to a fault, who expects a quo for every quid, and who is out for what he can get.

That’s how Adam Grant categorizes the ways people use interactions to succeed–or not–in their careers and lives. Grant’s book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, is already garnering plaudits for the rigor of its science, the freshness of its arguments, and the pleasure of its prose. Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan spoke to Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, about how giving can help you lead.

More here: Why the Most Successful Leaders Are Givers |

How to get ahead.I disagree.

This is a very disturbing article from Harvard Business Review. Here is one tidbit.

First, remember “A-B-D” — always be disagreeable:

People who are disagreeable earn more than people who are agreeable, and the gap is biggest among men, according to an analysis of four surveys spanning almost 20 years. Men who are significantly less agreeable than average earn 18.31% more than men who are significantly more agreeable than average, while the comparable figure for women is 5.47%, says the study, led by Beth A. Livingston of Cornell. Men’s disagreeable behavior “conforms to expectations of ‘masculine’ behavior,” the authors say.

via Ouch: A Year’s Worth of Occasionally Disturbing Research on How to Get Ahead – Andrew O’Connell – Harvard Business Review.

From there, a long list of pretty disagreeable items continue. I kept looking for something redeeming. Nothing. Hmmm. If this is the list of what to do, I object.

What is architecture and governance?

I love simplicity. Sometimes we just make things too difficult to understand.

This quote simply explains architecture (and why it is important) and governance.

Architecture is a belief system. And then governance is having the discipline to put that belief system into action.

— Ralph Loura, CIO, Clorox

Are the number-cruncher days numbered?

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

OK, full disclosure. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. Yes, I went the Liberal Arts route in college. This can be an asset when puzzling through complex or ambiguous situations; innovating; communicating; and understanding the customer through the power of “observation and psychology—the stuff of poets and novelists.” Yes, I also write poetry. 🙂

Do you have a Liberal Arts degree? Has it helped you in the business world?

Nobody is saying that numbers-crunchers’ days are numbered. But the idea that having people with a strong background in the humanities—what Peter Drucker termed “Management as a Liberal Art”—can provide companies with a great advantage is gaining some real momentum.

via Drucker’s Lost Art of Management | The Drucker Exchange.

What is the best advice you ever got?

We all get lots of advice over the years. If you looked back on it, what is the best advice you’ve ever received.

Here is a good summary from Antonio Neves, the founder and CEO of Thinqaction. He takes his start-up cues from a decade-long television career. Best Advice I Ever Got: Antonio Neves |

1. Adopt a “make it happen” mentality.

Launching a live daily television show is no small undertaking. But back in 2002, this challenge didn’t deter the lean staff of Nickelodeon’s U-Pick Live where I was a co-host and associate producer. Our head producer empowered us to embrace our lack of resources and adopt a “make it happen” attitude of real-time problem solving. Graphic designer out sick? No problem, here’s Photoshop–figure it out. A segment that airs in three minutes was just rejected by Standards & Practices? Okay, rewrite it, right here on the set. Misplaced that music video that the record label sent over? No worries–convince the Grammy Award-winning artist that reenacting the video was her idea. When you adopt a “make it happen” mentality, you shift from solving problems to identifying opportunities.

2. You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything.

I still remember when my professor from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said this to me after I shared the 10 different things I wanted to pursue after graduation. Our conversation led me to view my work like a computer operating system. Of course, when you have multiple apps open on a computer, your processor speed can slow to a crawl or crash altogether. I would regularly ask myself which “apps” or projects I wanted to keep open. Keeping multiples “apps” open in business is the equivalent of FOMO–the Fear of Missing Out — and not being focused. This advice reminds me of what author Jim Collins said: “If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any.”

3. Don’t tell the whole story, tell a story.

This is another great piece of advice that I received as a graduate student. It’s no coincidence that when you read a national news article on, say, unemployment, journalists tend to begin with the story of an individual directly affected by it. This makes the story feel closer to home. It’s the same process when targeting an audience. Initially, I targeted “young professionals” with my coaching services. Quickly I realized that this was far too broad. After some research and adding an application process, I shifted my target audience to high-potential young professionals and entrepreneurs, many in the media industry. These aren’t individuals who are content to sit in a cubicle. They want to be challenged and supported by a coach who has been in their shoes. I immediately noticed a marked shift in the quality of applicants and even had to create a waiting list. When you tell a story versus the whole story, it’s easier for potential clients to connect to your brand.

%d bloggers like this: