August 2012

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Today's guest post comes to us from Jaime at Fierce, Inc. We are thrilled to welcome Fierce to Vancouver for Leaders Forum 2012, being held October 18 at the SFU Segal Graduate School. Stay tuned for more information. We'll let you know as soon as tickets are on sale.


“Employees aren’t interested in being treated as cogs in the machine. Employees want to have their hands on the steering wheel and have a clear understanding of their role in the big picture.” -Fierce CEO, Halley Bock

We’ve all heard the horror stories. The tales of employees who go to work each day, who log their time, keep...

When you examine all the work ahead of you on a major project, wouldn’t it be wonderful to wave a magic wand and have everything completed? So often that is our dream in all the areas where we work... a magic wand. How can you find that wand? Could it ever be that easy?

It is completely logical for us to feel that way as we tackle all the parts of writing our book. There are all the elements of design. We've learned there are differences in design for a print and electronic book, so even more decisions than we ever imagined. There are all the elements around a Style Guide, and so many choices...

A few weeks ago, I shared our intention to become laser-focused on our core mission. Since then, we’ve been examining – and questioning – a lot of our sacred cows. Why are we doing what we are doing? Is each activity mission-critical and truly effective? The best use of our human and financial resources? Does it provide unique value to the community?

The initial effects have been surprising. One of the first targets turned out to be our bi-weekly staff meetings. The meetings we convene with external talent are consistently lively and inspiring, but lately the ones with our internal talent had...

**Third in a series relating to a recent “experiment” in succession planning

I was living in England with my partner at the time when the company he worked for, Crystal Decisions, was acquired by Business Objects, a French enterprise software company. As with any major corporate acquisition we were curious (read: concerned!) what it would mean for his job security and how the culture of the new entity would evolve. 

As it turned out, Business Objects recognized the strength of Crystal Decision’s entrepreneurial and innovative culture and endeavored to retain and foster that same culture...

If you’ve been following our blog posts, you’ll know we’re writing a book.

Today, we’re seeking your opinion on a few possible titles.

Writing a book is thrilling. And agonizing. Some days we do cartwheels. Others we wonder, “Whose bright idea was this, anyhow?” It’s a significant investment of energy and time, thinking and resources. Proverbial blood, sweat – and yes, a few tears.

So why do it?

Because it’s time to challenge the myth that the only way to get things done in a not-for-profit is to find money to hire more people. It becomes more apparent every day there will never be enough...

Last week I shared the story of how our team decided to stop having staff meetings.

Today, we have other news to share with you.

Four years ago, we began incubating the Next Leaders Network, hoping to foster connection and learning among local young not-for-profit professionals. Since then, we’ve invested $30,000+ in the Network, developed a leadership team to steward its strategic direction, provided 34 learning opportunities and engaged hundreds of emerging leaders.

It’s a great concept. And yet – something isn’t working. Participation rates have been declining for some time. We aren’t...

What happens when we underutilize the talent that exists in our organizations? We may think it’s simply a missed opportunity for greater growth and better mission delivery. But what if it’s actually harmful?

A recent Harvard Business Review article by Liz Wiseman titled, Smart Leaders Get More Out of the Employees They Have, reminded me how the untapped potential of salaried staff and knowledge philanthropists (volunteers) have the same root cause. In both cases, leaders and managers are not proactively identifying and engaging all the talents, skills and expertise available to them.


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