5 Reasons You Don't Need Training

When management finds that staff are not engaging in work behaviors desired by the organization, they often turn to training as the response for "fixing" the problem. But training frequently isn't the answer. In this post I want to share 5 situations that won't be resolved by training: 1. To Make Up for Poorly Designed Work Processes--Many organizations have poorly designed work processes and customer flow. These processes have often... Read more →


Playing To Your Staff's Strengths--Help them Develop a Career Plan

Yesterday, we talked about some great resources for identifying employee strengths and using them for more effective management. Today I want to follow up with some thoughts about how career planning can be used to make that process even more effective. Why Should My Organization Care About My Employee's Career Plans? When individuals prepare a career plan, they must start with an understanding of themselves. What are their values, passions... Read more →


Playing to Your Staff's Strengths

Last week I did a training/planning session with one of my Job Corps clients. This group is responsible for attracting applicants to Job Corps and then helping them through the admissions process. These two aspects of the job require very different skill sets. The outreach piece is essentially sales--staff must be able to go out to a variety of applicants and organizations and "sell" Job Corps. The admissions component of... Read more →


Why Blog?

We've been talking here lately about helping nonprofits to see the value in blogs. Fortunately, CK has come to the rescue with the results of her recent reader poll asking "What is the single greatest point of value you receive from blogging?" This fabulous collage is a montage of the answers she received. (You can get a PDF of her full report here.) Very visual and striking--captures a lot of... Read more →


"Today I Applied for Food Stamps and an Abortion"

It's been my experience that after a few years on the job, it can be easy to forget why we do what we do, particularly if we work with some of society's most downtrodden. Whatever youthful optimism we may have brought to the job initially can fly out the door once we've spent some time in the trenches. But of course with that optimism can go our compassion and our... Read more →


The Law of Unintended Consequences

Last time we talked, we were discussing individual performance objectives and the very human reality that you get what you measure. This is a cardinal rule that I find is ignored all too often usually with the best of intentions. Another mistake that organizations often make is to ignore the law of unintended consequences which holds that "almost all human actions have at least one unintended consequence. In other words,... Read more →


Individual Expectations And How We Screw it Up

Previously we were talking about the role that expectations play in NPO performance--more specifically, we looked at NPO goals at the organizational level. We also talked about the difference between outcomes and process expectations. (Wasn't that fun?) Today, we're going to take dig a little more deeply into expectations at the individual employee level. After all, they're the ones who presumably will take you to the organizational success. (NOTE--I am... Read more →


Taking it to the Next Level

When I work with my clients (mostly government agencies and non-profit community and faith-based organizations), we often use a 6 boxes matrix for analyzing organizational issues. Expectations--How does the organization measure success? What are the organizational measures and what are the individual measures? Is everyone in the organization clear about how success is measured? Are these expectations clearly and consistently communicated and measured? Tools and Resources--What tools and resources do... Read more →