January 23, 2014

Check out these great insights and challenges Cohort 19 poses to you, to me, and to themselves. (And who is Cohort 19? Students in the Master’s Program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, MN. I teach there every summer. What an experience…exploring ideas and challenging assumptions and questioning each other. In July 2014, I will begin working with Cohort 24. Wow!)

How can you use these with your organization? How will you use these to explore your own work and your own professional development?

— “It was relationship building that really motivated my community members to reach out to one another. It was about the people as a whole, what we became when we joined together in a common cause. It was being the painters of a bigger picture and being painted into a bigger picture, thus creating a sense of belonging.” (Danielle Gines)

— “Our innate desire as people is to never be forgotten. Relationships help us fulfill this desire.” (Danielle Gines)

— “Authenticity is replaced with calculated cultivation stragies and unadulated curiousity is replaced with disingenuous prospect research.” (Karen Denny)

— “With my privilege, I’m faced with deep obligations to act.” (Karen Denny)

— “What do I want my professional footprint in this world to look like?” (Karen Denny)

— “If change is to come, let it be first with me.” (Carolyn Sween)

— “If I fail here, I will work to be successful somewhere else.” (Cindy Dorman)

— “Who are you? Where have you been? I want to know you, will you let me? Where are you going? Why are you here? What do you need from me?” (Tucker Branham)

— “What are your innate assumptions? How does that restrict you?” (Tucker Branham)

— “What are the questions that will be the catalyst to change the path of an organization that feels it doesn’t need to change? What is the best way to express these questions? Who needs to hear these questions? What will happen if these questions are never asked, never answered?” (Patrick Estey)

— “People want to sleep under the quilts of busy schedules, tasks, ‘the way it’s always been,’ and ‘that’s not my job.'” (Peggy Hanley)

— “Ask cage-rattling questions to empower others to take a journey towards the answer.” (Peggy Hanley)

I collect “bumper stickers” for fund development and governance. Shorty pithy statements, ideas. Here are some ideas from Cohort 19 members:

— Thanks to Cindy Dorman for these: “My dilemma and my opportunity.” “Own my personal authority.”

— “Create a safe environment and assure the balance of power.” (Tucker Branham)

— “Lost in Hypothetical Land” (Danielle Gines)

And reading these papers stimulated some more questions for me:

— Why are people afraid of cage-rattling questions? To what degree do people fear cage-rattling questions? Or do we resist cage-rattling questions out of fear for the answers?

— Why do we rsist? What are we afraid? What do we fear? Of all our fears, what is the largest and why?

— Where is our resistance to change? Why do we resist? Fear of questions? Fear of change? Fear that there will be no answers?

What cage-rattling questions does your organization need to explore? How will you make sure the questions are asked and explored?

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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