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A different type of inspiration came my way today.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a Vantage Point workshop about ‘Board Basics’. Vantage Point is a Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization whose strapline is “the talent will take you there”. Using leadership coaching, development, workshops and governance labs, Vantage Point supports not-for-profit leaders to deliver their strategy by rethinking the way they engage ‘talent’ i.e. their people. All their people. Those who are paid, and those that are paid in other ways.

In fact, I am a perfect example of how they’re using...

Returning to Vantage Point after my recent “secondment” to the political arena, I expected to slide right back into business as usual. I thought I would pick up exactly where I left off.

Sure, I had a new desk. A few new colleagues. My role had changed… but how different could things really be? I had only been away for five months!

Don’t get me wrong. I knew I had learned a lot on my “sabbatical”. But it took me a few weeks to realize how much my perspective had changed. I found myself regularly questioning the status quo. Things that seemed so straightforward last year, I now have doubts...

Did you know we’re writing a book? Tomorrow I share the first draft of chapter one (titled: What is a People Lens?) and two (titled: Why does it Matter?) with 20 people from Vantage Point’s external talent team. I’ve spent a year preparing for this moment – and feel both nervous and excited.

This feeling reminds me of when I was a teen-ager and I spent many hours at the race track with my dad driving his horses. He raised and raced standardbreds in Regina. Over the cold winter months I drove them - Wisp, Tide, and Ricolleen - to name a few. My job was all about preparation. Getting them ready...

In a world where everything is changing rapidly, the old rules no longer apply.  The structures, strategies and processes that once created successful organizations are not sustainable today. You’ve heard the refrain – funding is disappearing, we don’t have enough money, there aren’t enough volunteers. We know things aren’t working. And yet, we remain attached to the status quo and traditional ways of doing things. Change is difficult and uncomfortable – and we resist it.

Recently, Chip Wilson (founder of Lululemon) challenged 600 people at a Public Salon to re-examine their personal status quo...

You have to keep close to keep warm. The further away you move, the less connected you feel to the warmth. A member of one of our Task Forces recently used this analogy to explain how critical it was for us to stay close to our Vantage Point people. And keep them close to our Camp Fire - our mission. Wherever they are.

Do you stay close to your people in your organization? Do you communicate regularly with the members of your Board? Your internal people teams? Your external people teams? Your investors? Your community? Do they stay close to your mission because they know you?

About five years...

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

At Vantage Point, we love a good experiment.  Recently, that sprit has led to some new adventures – and lessons learned – in the areas of leadership development, team building and succession planning.

It began a few years ago when I left my position as Program Director for my first maternity leave.  At the time, my mind was occupied with the anticipation of Baby’s arrival. And, as other parents will know, the first few months were an absolute blur. The only thoughts I had about development were related to our son’s...

By Aaron Sanderson, Next Leaders Network Leadership Team

Most of us agree the health and wellness of our not-for-profit organizations is inextricably tied to our quality of life.  Our not-for-profits bring us together in spirit, education, artistic expression, health and wellness, sport and advocacy.  The collective efforts of these groups, and their supporters, truly make Vancouver a world-class city.It’s little wonder bright new talent is increasingly making not-for-profit their first career choice.  And it's good timing too – since many current leaders are nearing retirement.  These young...

KC has recently joined Vantage Point on a part-time basis to steward our Advanced Learning Opportunities 

When I began my contract with Vantage Point I knew part of my role would be to coordinate and manage our advanced learning portfolio.  I never expected to learn and be inspired right along with all of the participants! Sitting beside the leaders in our programs allows me to be part of their a-ha moments - AND have a few of my own.  My fifteen-year career in various not-for-profit organizations flashes in front of my eyes during every session of every program.  I am shocked by what I see.


By Lynda Gerty, Director of [we don't know yet!*]

Leave of absence. Professional development. 

Do those two words sound the same to you? Or are they polar opposites?

Luckily for me, at Vantage Point we believe the former.

Last fall, I was presented with an opportunity to lead a national campaign for a few months. I wasn’t looking for something new.  I was in the middle of a few important projects at Vantage Point. And yet, here was this incredible opportunity.

I decided to ask for a leave of absence.  And lo and behold – our entire organization rallied to make it possible. Our Executive Director...

"The Talent Will Take You There."

 Vantage Point developed this new tagline during 2011. After years of struggling with the “V-word”*, its traditional definition and many unsuccessful attempts to redefine it, we believe the word “talent” is bang-on.

“Talent” conveys what we mean when we talk about attracting different kinds of “skilled” people to work with us—with their heads, rather than their hands. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “talent” as: “general intelligence or mental power: ability”. Does the definition fit for your people engagement strategy? Does the word “talent” work for...


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