Guest Blogging on Career Development at "Pick the Brain"

One of my favorite self-improvement sites is Pick the Brain, run by John Wesley. Recently John asked for guest bloggers, so I submitted some pieces I'd written on finding your ideal career. The first post is up and includes several exercises for figuring out what you want to be when you grow up. If you're starting to feel antsy about your career or know someone who could use some guidance,... Read more →

More Support for a Results Oriented Work Environment

Some more support for the Results Oriented Work Environment I've been spouting off about lately. . . Today's New York Times has an interesting article--Time Wasted? Perhaps It's Well Spent. It notes: American workers, on average, spend 45 hours a week at work, but describe 16 of those hours as “unproductive,” according to a study by Microsoft. America Online and, in turn, determined that workers actually work a total... Read more →

Attracting Older Workers to the Nonprofit Sector

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting today that nonprofit agencies lag behind business and government agencies in attracting older workers: Nonprofit groups lag significantly behind government agencies and businesses in their efforts to keep and recruit older workers, a new report concludes. "Many nonprofit leaders, boards, and funders show little interest in developing programs to attract and retain older adults as experienced executives, staff personnel, or volunteers in new, more... Read more →

The Power (and Pain) of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Fast Company has an interesting article in their May 2007 issue (sorry--not available online at this point) by Chip and Dan Heath of Made to Stick fame on the power of self-fulfilling prophesies. Entitled "Success Can Make You Stupid," the Heath brothers write about how Hollywood pumps out bad films because they get into a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies. What caught my eye, though, was this gem of a quote:... 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 →

We Need More Passion for the Work, Not the Organization

Kathy Sierra, one of my favorite bloggers, posted the other day about passion at work. She argues that we shouldn't be asking employees to feel passionate about the organization they work for, but the work that they do. What does it mean for me to be passionate about my work, as opposed to passionate about my organization? A passion for work means that: I'm committed to principles of excellence and... Read more →

Wiki-olio Anyone?

Beth Kanter is musing on her increased use of wikitations--wikis as presentation tools that either replace or build upon a PowerPoint presentation--and suggests that a wiki might also be a great place for her to keep an online portfolio. (I'm suggesting we call it a "wiki-olio" but I'm open to other suggestions). Personally I think that a Wiki-based portfolio is a fabulous idea, particularly as I've been doing a lot... Read more →

Creating Nonprofit Skill Networks

Lately I've been exploring the concepts of nonprofit networks here, what it takes to form and nurture connections among various nonprofits and between nonprofits and individuals. We've talked about building connectivity networks that link people to people, affinity networks that reinforce commonalities among network members and production networks that move affinities into collective action. The other day I was researching learning management systems for a client interested in tracking staff... 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 →