Leadership

May 15, 2017

Past. Today. Future. We weren’t smart. We aren’t. And will we be?

Sometimes Seth Godin makes me cheer and laugh or dance around the room in anger.

Sometimes he makes me want to cry. Wanting to cry now when I re-read this blog: “Who Cut Down the Last Tree?” On Easter Island, they cut down all the trees (for fire, homes, etc.) And eventually the people all died. Extinction. Read Jared Diamond’s story of Easter Island. And I’ve ordered Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

Seth isn’t focused on the last tree. He focuses on the next-to-the-last tree. And he asks the age-old question: Where was everyone? Was anyone watching the destruction of something important. Was anyone worried about what this said about the people who cut down the next-to-the-last tree? Was anyone in the society bothered or questionning or demonstrating or speaking out or fighting or?

Yes. This blog was trending back when it was first posted in April. But I like to talk about things later. When I’m afraid people might have already forgotten.

Seth talks about culture in the blog. I talk about organizational culture regularly. And as Peter Drucker once said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” (Or was it lunch? Who cares which meal!)

Where is everyone? That’s my question. People in society stopping the next-to-the-last tree in our society. (Tom always tells me I’m too pessimistic. That so much has changed and is better. Yes, sure. But it’s also awful and getting worse. And actually, Tom is feeling pretty bad these days.)

Fundraisers and CEOs  and board members and…stopping the next-to-the-last trees in their organizations … from mission to governance to fundraising to organizational culture. Whatever. Self-destructive through ignorance, energy, evidence-based fact, whatever…

Okay. Enough.

Filed under: Leadership

May 3, 2017

Times they are a changing? Or not really. Just back and forth.

Tom, Doris and I are subscribers to the Gamm Theatre. Saw “The Nether” by Jennifer Haley… Science fiction — but maybe not so much; just too damn real.  So very very very linked to Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together. Robots and the dark side of social media and the web and….

The Agitator alerted us all to “Your new fundraising word for the day,” ACTIGIVER. From Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud VP of Data and Analytics…”Giving in the age of outrage.”

The world is really fast these days. From slacktivist to activist to actigivers. But the fundamental human-ness isn’t different.

I am human, not an avatar. Engage my heart in whatever way I want to engage. I’m human. Behave accordingly.

Your NGO must be – at its core and in its activities – human. Watch out. The backlash has already started. Do you and your staff and your NGO recognize, acknowledge, understand, and do accordingly?

April 10, 2017

Demons and angels

I very much appreciate the work of OpenDemocracy. And the Transformation newsletter that’s there.

Transformation: Where love meets social justice. Thank you, Mike Edwards.

So today’s article that I’ve just read…. Demons and angels: strongman leaders and social violence… offers important insights.

Insights from psychologist Steven Pinker talking about “changing circumstances” that produce the violence we have today.

Insights from Polish psychiatrist Andrew Lobaczewski writing about the dramatic shift in human behaviour from peace and tolerance to war and genocide. What Lobaczewski wrote really resonated with me: “each society on earth contains a certain percentage of individuals, a relatively small but active minority, who cannot be considered normal…. individuals that are statistically small in number, but whose quality of difference is such that it can affect hundreds, thousands, even millions of other human beings in negative ways.”

Psychopathy, narcissism, paranoia …

Yes…. Bad news. But the Transformation newsletter also always offers hope and inspiration and more. Maybe you want to subscribe. I already do.

Filed under: Leadership

April 5, 2017

Cool training to help you raise more money

YOU’RE INVITED …

Changing your organization into a fundraising powerhouse through applied donor-centricity….

Join me (Simone), Tom Ahern, Guy Mallabone, and Bernard Ross as we wander around Canada the last week of September.

Focus on Donor Centricity, a fundamental and disruptive concept for many organizations, that requires placing the donor first long before they even become a donor, and all the way through their lifecycle.

Practical. Critical. And if you can shift the paradigm in your organization, you can raise
significantly more money.

  • September 25: Mississauga, Ontario
  • September 26: Toronto
  • September 27: Calgary
  • September 28: Edmonton
  • September 29, Vancouver

And if you can’t join us there in that place, there’s a webcast on September 26.

For more information, click on the title back up at the top. Or click here.

 

April 3, 2017

This is lovely…

This made me happy. This makes me happy. I’ll keep this and watch it again and again.

https://www.onedayonly.co.za/blog/?post=this-danish-tv-ad-is-literally-the-best-weve-ever-seen-300

March 27, 2017

Marvelous Matthew & Feminism

Wonderful piece by Matthew Sherrington. “Men in Fundraising: We have a problem and its you.” From 101Fundraising crowd blog.

Matthew talks about:

  • Sexism in the NGO sector…alive and flourishing.
  • Imposter syndrome…and links to other articles and then Amanda “F…ing” Palmer’s 2011 speech at the IFC. I was there. She was great.
  • Tall poppy syndrome…just got off those heads.

And fighting this crap…Men who are not feminists. Women who are anti-feminist.

Remember: EQUITY is different than equality. EQUITY is the best.

P.S. Do you subscribe to 101Fundraising? I suggest that you do so. Especially if you live in the U.S. We U.S.ers need to read beyond the U.S.

 

March 13, 2017

What kind of consultant do you want to hire?

What kind of consultant do you want to hire? Think about this!

What is a consultant?

What’s the role of a consultant?

Here’s what I think a consultant is (and does):

Change agent. Teacher. Personal counselor. Trusted advisor. Truth teller.

Brutal truth teller telling brutal truths. (Michael Campbell used the phrase “brutal truths”. I like it!)

Hey consultants, read this great book: The Trusted Advisor

Hey nonprofits, read this 2-part article about choosing a consultant: “Should you hire a fundraising consultant…” And check this out, too: “Tips for using fund development consultants.”

Are we consultants willing and able to take the risks to be this kind of consultant? Do we even want to be this kind of consultant?

February 13, 2017

Truth. Facts. Whatever.

Have you ever fought with your boss or board about the fundraising body of knowledge and research? Do you ever get frustrated when non-fundraisers tell you, the professional, that you’re wrong?

Your boss and board don’t do that to the accountant. Darn few people question the building contractor about the size of wall studs.

But in the nonprofit sector, opinions (especially from that really powerful board member or your boss) win too often over body of knowledge and research and expertise.

And this happens in the regular world, too. The world of climate change and evolution and….

One of my favorite articles of all times is Chris Mooney’s “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science.”  I know I’ve told you to read this before.

There are actually true truths in this world. And facts not opinions. Rembrandt did exist. That’s a fact. Evolution is true. It’s been proven.

We can’t disagree with these facts. We can’t claim that there are differences of opinion.

Then there are personal truths. He might believe in god. She doesn’t.

We get in big trouble by denying facts and truths. Sadly, we’re wired to do so. Just read Mooney’s article again.

If you’re a professional, then you learn the body of knowledge. You follow research. You distinguish between facts and professional opinion…facts and personal opinion… And you fight to make sure that the others learn and behave accordingly.

We’ve got lots of fighting to do, people. In the fundraising profession, in the nonprofit sector…and in our world. Don’t get confused about the distinctions. Check out this article, “Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a ‘post-truth’ world,” Joyce Valenza.

And here’s another thing to have at your side all the time, The Miniature Guide to Critical ThinkingIt costs $4. You can read it in 30 minutes or less. Get the whole real thing. Not just the short limited free version.

 

Filed under: Leadership, Research, Resources

February 9, 2017

Refuse to acknowledge…

Elizabeth Warren was told to be quiet. Women often are.

Boys are told not to ask questions and not to cry. Only women do that.

Sexism… Against women and, yes, against men, too.

Conscious and unconscious bias. Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Bathroom laws. And on and on. Alive and well. And thriving now.

But we continue to deny. We continue to ignore research. We continue – as a society, as communities, as governments, as president – to acknowledge our own unearned privilege. We continue to deny all our “isms.”

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Senator Elizabeth Warren was certainly not the first – nor will she be the last.

An endless list of those fighting for basic human rights. Endless – both so sad (not enough progress) and so great (continuing to fight). Martin Luther King, Jr. Mahatma Gandhi. Black Lives Matter. Gloria Steinem. William Wilberforce. Hillary Clinton. Malala Yousafzai. Betty Friedan. Shirley Chisolm. Jessie de la Cruz. Just a few that I think of.

Feminism is not a female thing. Feminism is an equity thing. Civil rights isn’t a people of color thing. Civil rights is an equity thing. Same with homophobia and and and and and and…

I’m so tired and so sad and so angry and so disappointed. But not surprised, I guess.

Look in the mirror. Grab hold of your conscious mind. Fight to overcome your own unconscious bias. Make it conscious and fight it!

February 6, 2017

Periodic video postings

A new series… Videos that are particularly special to me. Compelling. Perhaps useful. Meaningful. Whatever.

I wept at this one. About trust and love and peace…

To help inspire you and me as we start a day, a week, a month. To help us understand the meaning of trust and its importance in life and work and fundraising and organizational development.

I weep a bit each time. As I think of the world.

Filed under: Leadership

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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