One Way to Move to Abundance Thinking:Focus On What You Can Give

Lately I've been reflecting on ways that organizations can move from scarcity to abundance thinking. Seth Godin has one idea based on his father's 50 years of consistent business success: I was thinking about the way my Dad does business the other day. He's been a successful executive (and then entrepreneur) for more than 50 years. I realized that I can't remember one time when he did this to get... Read more →

Is the Scarcity Mentality the Biggest Barrier to Social Media in Nonprofits?

Through a circuitous route I won't bother to explain, today I find myself thinking about the impact of scarcity thinking on nonprofit organizations. One of the most powerful learnings I've had in my professional practice is that our mental models have a profound impact on our work practices. One of the mental models I'm observing at work today is scarcity vs. abundance thinking and I'm starting to wonder if the... Read more →

Evaluating Impact: Who Would Miss Us If We Were Gone?

John Moore of Brand Autopsy is running a periodic blog series he calls "Would You Care?" He features a particular company (today it's about Chili's) and asks readers if they would miss the company if it went out of business. What does this have to do with nonprofits? A lot of organizations spend a lot of hours trying to demonstrate impact. Often this becomes a list of activities in which... Read more →

On Unconferences and Expectations

David Wilcox has an interesting post on the aftermath of an "unconference" he attended. He notes: But ... after all the buzz, what happens next? And does that matter? The question pops back into my mind after writing again about one of Policy Unplugged's buzzy events, this time at NESTA and focussed on innovation and collaboration. It was a terrific mix of people ... and I think for those involved... Read more →

Why Nonprofits Should Reconsider Site-blocking Policies

A few weeks ago I wrote about organizational barriers to using Web 2.0 tools, citing Bev Trayner's and my experiences with clients as examples. We noted that many sites were blocked, that Skype couldn't be downloaded, etc. This morning I read this post from Lance Knobel who is working in Dubai: One of the issues raised with the company I’m working with here in Dubai is the need to improve... Read more →

Creating a Learning Climate for Nonprofit Staff

Awhile ago, Allan Benamer of the Nonprofit Tech Blog talked about nonprofit staff as knowledge workers and how technology and work processes need to support staff whose value comes primarily from their ability to make effective use of knowledge and information in working with customers. If we're to fully capitalize on the promise of a knowledge network, then staff need to have the tools, resources and supports necessary to truly... Read more →

Another Resource for Thinking About How Technology Changes Us

Edublog Award nominee Karl Fisch of The Fischbowl (a staff development blog produced by the teachers of Arapahoe High School) has a couple of really interesting presentations on his site. One that caught my eye was What If. What If examines how each new technology--starting with the slate and continuing through paper, ink, calculators, computers, etc.--has been resisted by educators through the years. What particularly strikes me here is the... Read more →

How to Make Online Collaboration Work

E-Learning Online reposts a great tip from Patti Shank, an instructional designer and principal for Learning Peaks, LLC. To make online collaborations work well, Patti suggests developing a team agreement that clearly articulates the following: Will the team have a leader and if so, who will this be, and will this role be rotated? How will work be distributed? Who will do what? Who is the designated backup? What work... Read more →

"You Get What You Inspect, Not What You Expect"

Rallyfan of Random Thoughts on Life and Work is in the middle of a big process mapping project, looking at what his organization does, who's doing it and why. They've started to get back the results of some of their surveys and to his dismay (although not surprise), they are finding that a lot of paper is being pushed and not everyone is clear about why that is. He writes:... Read more →

A Study in Nonprofit Excellence: Donors Choose

Matthew Monberg of Beyond Giving is hosting next week's Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants and asks for posts on nonprofit excellence, due tonight. Serendipitously, this article from Slate on Donors Choose slid into my inbox this morning. The basic premise of Donors Choose is for public school teachers to use the Donors Choose site to post requests for supplies and materials to help their students learn. Individuals can then select a... Read more →