How Much Hidden Talent is In Your Staff?

Paul Potts is a cell phone salesman in the UK. He's completely unassuming--bad teeth, a little overweight, not much of a dresser. The last person you'd imagine taking the stage as a serious contestant on Britain's Got Talent, the UK version of American Idol. But beneath that quiet exterior is a most amazing voice. It literally gave me chills to listen to him. And it made me wonder how much... Read more →

Blogging and Transparency Build Trust: A Case Study

Relationships between nonprofits and the public are based on trust. I'm not going to give your organization money if I don't trust you to use it well. I won't volunteer for your cause if I don't trust that you are working for it. Trust is an essential relationship ingredient and transparency--making your organizations visible to the public--is a critical component in developing trust. I was reminded of the importance of... Read more →

From Managing Transactions to Facilitating Transformations

Today I was in a strategic planning meeting with a number of business people. At one point, we were discussing the changing nature of providing healthcare services to aging baby boomers. The VP of HR for one of the local healthcare organizations was explaining to us that they are moving to more of a concierge approach to meeting healthcare needs, with a focus on relationships and amenities, similar to what... Read more →

A Results Oriented Work Environment is NOT the Same as Flexible Scheduling

Last week I asked if your nonprofit was ready to stop watching the clock in a post discussing Best Buy's Results-Oriented Work Environment (ROWE). As a quick recap, Best Buy is now allowing a significant portion of its employees to work from home or other locations and to work whatever hours they need in order to achieve clearly-defined work objectives. Face time is no longer considered a requirement of most... Read more →

Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Stop Watching the Clock?

My husband, like many Americans, is unhappy with his job. It is a job that combines impossibly high expectations with little personal control. There is a strong emphasis on "face-time" and productivity is measured by your slavish adherence to poorly thought-out metrics that emphasize process over outcomes. So it was interesting to find, as often happens to me when a problem is on my mind, this post from Ryan Healey... Read more →

The Psychology of Email--Two Studies

A couple of interesting studies re: email use and our responses to it, via Jeremy Dean of PsyBlog. The Impact of Capitalization and Emoticons on Perceptions of Email Apparently, depending on your personality type, proper use of capitalization and the use of the smiley emoticon can make you seem more likable. According to one study cited by Dean (Byron and Baldridge, 2007): They found that, sure enough, using correct capitalisation... Read more →

On Transparency

I read a lot of educator blogs. Most teachers and administrators who blog are thoughtful men and women with great insight and I always learn from them. Via Stephen Downes tonight comes a post from teacher Clarence Fisher on a recent experience he had with a class project: As part of the International Teen Life project (or ITL as we are now calling it, see the trendy new logoJamie Hide... Read more →

Organizational Potential=Staff Potential

Via Doing Well by Doing Good comes a great video in which Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollender asks a question that all nonprofits should be asking themselves: "How can we expect an organization to reach its full potential if we aren't ensuring that our staff are reaching their full potential?" That's a really profound question, I think, especially for organizations that are built upon the knowledge and skills of their... Read more →

To Cure "Cyberbullying" We Need to Go To the Roots Of The Hatred

Since the Kathy Sierra incident earlier this week, I've been thinking about "cyberbullying." I joined Andy Carvin's Ning network. I've been reading blog posts and articles and thinking about codes of conduct and what needs to be done to stop the kind of hate-filled online attacks that Kathy has experienced. I've also been wondering what I want to say about all of this to support "Stop Cyberbullying Day." As I... Read more →

Scarcity, Abundance, Mental Models and Reader Responses

In the past several days I've received a number of comments and emails on my posts regarding scarcity thinking in nonprofits. I wanted to try to summarize some of what's come my way because I think that it all furthers the conversation. In a comment on my original post, Mike Wassenaar left me a link to an interesting 2003 report entitled Battered Agencies: Supporting Those Who Serve Low Income Communities.... Read more →