When you decide to provide feedback within your organization, chances are your intentions are pure. Maybe you see the potential to smooth a point of tension, or an opportunity for improvement. Bringing up a tough issue can be uncomfortable, so you make sure to plan your approach carefully. But somewhere between your good intentions, the awkward Tuesday meeting, and Wednesday at the microwave, things go awry.
The feedback sandwich has always been touted as the solution to this problem. It works like this; first, you provide positive feedback, then constructive criticism, then positive feedback again. “That’s DOUBLE the positive feedback!” you think to yourself job well done, and imagine your dazzling new life, free of conflict.
This month, we speak with Mark Gifford on how to successfully navigate the first 100 days of an executive director position. Listen in for pro-tips such as: bring baked goods to board meetings! Mark Gifford, Executive Director of Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, shares insights from his long career in the sector and his new adventure in the first 9 months of this role.
You wake up on the morning of Friday, October 13 (oh so scary!) and make your way downtown on a beautiful, sunny Vancouver day – okay, that might be a bit too fantastical… it’s most likely raining. But you are enjoying the view of the Vancouver skyline as you head towards downtown Vancouver to the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel for BOSS 2017! Is this your plan for October 13? Because BOSS is where I’ll be. Here at Vantage Point we have a motto for this event: Bigger, Better BOSS-ier. We are now on year three of BOSS and our team’s mantra is holding true. We’ve leveled up the speakers, leveled up the numbers, and leveled up our excitement.
I was 11 years old walking around the field of our elementary school, sharing my Walkman earbuds with a friend, listening to Axl Rose telling us we “need a little patience, yeah”. I’m sure my ability to demonstrate patience wasn’t all that impressive as a pre-teen about to start high school. Today, living on an island and now in the 40+ category with two little kids – patience isn’t so much a virtue as a necessity.
Podcast host, Maria Turnbull, engaged thousands of volunteers in her 20-year not-for-profit journey, while also serving as a volunteer herself. She has often considered what impacts a volunteer’s ability – and willingness – to lead, rather than follow. For this month’s podcast, Elijah van der Giessen, NetSquared Community Organizer, and TechSoup Global Community Manager joins Maria to talk about and share effective practices that support true volunteer leadership.
Imagine a community service organization with no explicit policy manual on customer communications. Yet somehow, whenever the phone rings or someone walks in the front door, whichever staff member is in the office stops what they’re doing to provide immediate assistance, regardless of that person’s role in the organization. How does this happen? How does a particular pattern of behaviour become consistent across a diverse team?
With this year’s BOSS – Building Organizational and Sector Sustainability conference just 3 months away, we are talking a lot as a team about sustainability. Kylie Hutchinson, principal consultant with Community Solutions, a small Vancouver-based firm that specializes in evaluation and program sustainability planning, shares key factors that point to greater success in program sustainability in this month’s podcast. Kylie draws on the considerable research and findings she presents in her book Survive and Thrive: Three Steps to Securing Your Program's Sustainability, nominated for the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s 2017 Terry McAdam Award.
Taking the time to update or develop your organization’s strategic plan can often feel daunting. There are, however, numerous benefits to having a current and clear strategic plan for your organization. Whether you do a quick refresh session or undertake a comprehensive review – here are some of the benefits we hear from organization’s that take the time to develop or renew their plan.
Not-for-profit organizations provide essential services in very complex environments and therefore require high performing staff and boards to achieve meaningful and measurable results. We need a range of core competencies to improve organizational performance – strong leaders with a strategic outlook; boards that govern wisely; and staff that are motivated and encouraged to make a career in the sector.