Leadership

September 18, 2017

Notes from my dorm room

Cohort 27 explored some great cage-rattling questions (CRQs):

From Dan: How do we move the board from a reactive to a proactive focus?

From Anna: How do we prepare for things we can’t predict?

From Derek: What kind of financial transparency matters in an organization?

Thank you all!!!

Filed under: Leadership

August 3, 2017

Notes from my dorm room: Welcome Cohort 27

My annual July sojourn in Winona, Minnesota. At Saint Mary’s University. I LOVE LOVE teaching in the masters program for Philanthropy and Development.

Cohort 27. Can you imagine? This program is 27 years old. And I’ve been teaching since 2000, Cohort 9.

Some great stuff from Cohort 27.

  • We watched Brené Brown’s vulnerability video. If you haven’t watched it, do so! If you have, watch it again, as I do every year.
  • Brandon noted that when we’re leading change, remember the 7 emotional triggers: Anger. Fear. Greed. Guilt. Flattery. Exclusivity. Salvation. SMART! Those emotional triggers are useful for more than fundraising!
  • Geologist Jeff told us to check out KK.org. (Kevin Kelly) Some interesting stuff. For example: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape out Future. And check his blogs.

P.S. Hey Cohort 27 members. Here are a few videos that we didn’t watch but I think you’ll find them cool and applicable to our first course together. How might you use some of this stuff back home? Go for it!!

First follower: Lessons from dancing guy

Empathy: Jeremy Rifkin

July 26, 2017

Notes from my dorm room: Farewell Cohort 25

One of the most meaningful experiences in my life…

Every year I go to Winona, Minnesota…on the Mississippi. There I join colleagues from around North America mostly (but sometimes from Africa and China and !!). I teach in the masters program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University.

And every year, I write a series of blogs called Notes From My Dorm Room. I’ve just returned from SMUMN and I have so much to tell you!!!

A testimonial – with a picture of Mrs. Frizzle – from Andrea, Cohort 25. Now sitting on my self with the megaphone and bell given to me by Cohort 25 last year.

“To our FEARLESS Leader, Ms. Frizzle” better known as Simone Joyaux. She somehow managed the chaos on our “Magical School Bus” ride. She calmed us, she challenged us, and most importantly, she taught us. Her lessons far extend the classroom. She challenged us to be better and do beter. She gave us permission to say “But WHY?” and that not only is it ok to stand up for others, it is expected.

 


 

 

July 24, 2017

Leadership…Diversity…Intersectionality…

I’ve told you before about Mike EdwardsTransformation newsletter.

I suppose you can call this social commentary. But I prefer to think of this as leadership…. building community…. respecting differences…. recognizing the intersectionality of so very many issues….

So here’s a great article from Transformation Newsletter…where love meets social justice…

Surely this is leadership. Just as are these quotations from my own quote collection….

  • “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented.” (Eli Weisel)
  • “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” (Desmond Tutu)
  • “Sometimes to be Silent is to Lie.” (Miguel Unamuno, Spanish philosopher, about the Spanish Civil War. Zinn quotes this about the Vietnam war)
  • “Creating social change is exciting. It’s proof that we are alive and thinking. What could be better than to work for a future where fairness is the bottom line?” (Alfre Woodward, Robin Hood Was Right)
July 17, 2017

Order or convincing

From Tom Ahern:

I (Tom) was attempting to teach the Domain Formula for lucrative print donor newsletters. And a fundraiser asked “How do I convince marcomms to shrink our existing newsletter from 8 pages to 4 pages?”

Tom’s response: “IN TRUTH – This is a work order, not a persuasion exercise.”

Yes. The knowledgeable fundraiser directs marcomms.

Too often, fundraisers are in the position of trying to “persuade” the boss or board or board member … or marketing/communications … to do the right thing.

YES! THE RIGHT THING! The thing based on research. Like scientific research! The thing that has demonstrated success over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and ….

Sometimes these fundraisers are:

  • Scared and can’t risk losing their jobs. That’s understandable. Find another job where they respect you and your knowledge.
  • Don’t actually know the body of knowledge. Don’t follow research. Don’t embrace continuous learning. Shame on you. Learn the right stuff or go away and let true fundraisers push the right stuff.
  • Regularly explain to the boss, board, board members, and marc/com … and continually lose to these annoyingly silly (even dumb, perhaps) people who don’t listen to the research and body of knowledge you keep explaining. Why don’t they listen? Because they’re arrogant? Believe personal opinion trumps research and and … I don’t know. You probably don’t know either. But if you’ve tried and tried and tried and tried… Then find another job where you will receive the respect you deserve.

This is difficult work. I know. But don’t confuse your role. You are (should be) the expert. Explain. Then direct. Or find another job. You deserve so much better than this ignorant dynamic.

July 11, 2017

Conversations your NGO should have

I usually avoid the word “should.” Who am I to tell you what you “should” do?

On the other hand…There’s leadership. And building a strong society.

I do believe that there are issues that all sectors (government. for-profit. nonprofit) should (yes should) talk about…

And the GENDER GAP is one of the shoulds.

Gender Gap in salary. (Recommend some articles or blogs and I’ll post them.) Gender Gap in public office. (Articles you particularly appreciate? How about books?) Gender Gap on boards and in the C Suite.

So here’s an interesting infographic, “Which States Have the Smallest Gender Gap in Occupations?” And why does that even matter? (Lots of very insightful reasons!)

I’ll bet lots of you know what STEM is…Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics… Traditionally male-dominated fields. But there’s been great work over the past years to change this.

  • But do you know why STEM careers are so popular:
  • Higher wages (high wage-to-education ratio)
  • Reducing debt allows faster saving and earlier retirement
  • Having a broder impact, e.g., improving areas of life for many others worldwide (and this is a strong motivator for most women.)

The good news: The gender gap between men to women is starting to close as the benefits of a STEM career become more apparent. Check out the article and infographic. Thank you, Hazel Garcia.

 

Filed under: Leadership, Research

July 6, 2017

Leadership. Risk. Commitment. COURAGE!

The speech of Major Mitch Landrieu displays leadership. Courage. Risk.

And eloquence.

The eloquence of story telling. The guts to lead and take action. The care and respect to help others understand.

The guts to do the “right thing.” Because there are right things to do (and hence wrong things, too). There are right things in your NGO…in life…in community…in speaking out despite any risk.

That’s leadership and commitment.

Filed under: Leadership

June 5, 2017

Cultures of….

Guru Peter Drucker commented that “organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast.” (Or it might have been lunch!)

Organizational culture is about the personality of the organization. The way things work. The unwritten rules and and … Check it out at Wikipedia. Read articles at www.hbr.org.

Within a good organizational culture, we want a culture of philanthropy. So what’s that? Visit the article on my website. Check out Advancing Philanthropy‘s entire issue devoted to philanthropic culture.

Okay. But what about other cultures? Culture of resiliency. Culture of performance. Culture of inclusion. Have you found any articles or resources about these elements of organizational culture? Please let me know. I’m going to do some writing, I think.

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?

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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