May 19, 2009

Check out this newsletter from CLA, Cambridge Leadership Associates: Leading Adaptively, Winter 2009. Marty Linsky gives some great tips to President Obama, as well as the rest of us. Things like:

1. Build in time for reflection. Marty calls this “getting on the balcony.” Look back and look ahead. Browse through books and magazines or stare out the window and reflect. Time for reflection can help maintain focus, anticipate challenges and opportunities, separate the important from the immediate, and all that kind of stuff.

2. Be wary of technical expertise. Sometimes when we are experts, we are not as able to question or be skeptical. It’s good to engage smart non-experts for their perspectives.

3. Govern experimentally. Experiment. Try new things. Try more new things. Learn from the past. Adapt for the future. Don’t get mired in same old same old.

In the same newsletter, Marty talks about institutional reflection and learning. He identifies three critical capacities that distinguish business as usual from strategic growth.

— Observation: Getting on the balcony, observing, collecting data

— Interpretation: Making sense of what you’re seeing and developing multiple hypotheses

— Intervention: Taking action based on your observation and interpretation

And finally, the Winter 2009 CLA newsletter talks about the importance of transparency and what it means to you and your organization and its stakeholders.

Check out CLA. Thanks, Mary-Kim Arnold, for the reference.

Filed under: Leadership

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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