Synthesis: From Lone Hero to a Culture of Leadership

From NP Quarterly:

“Most of us, we would suggest, look at the notion of co-CEOs as a sign of organizational dysfunction, the inability of a board to settle on one person to lead an organization into the future, but maybe that isn’t so.”

Click here to read full post

Video: Why work doesn’t happen at work

From TED Video:

“Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.”

Click here to access video approx 15 mins

The Myth of the Overqualified Worker

From Harvard Business Review:

“If your recruiting efforts attract job applicants with too much experience—a near certainty in this weak labor market—you should consider a response that runs counter to most hiring managers’ MO: Don’t reject those applicants out of hand. Instead, take a closer look.

New research shows that overqualified workers tend to perform better than other employees, and they don’t quit any sooner. Furthermore, a simple managerial tactic—empowerment—can mitigate any dissatisfaction they may feel.”

Click here to read full post

Participate – survey on director decision-making in not-for-profit organizations

A Ph.D. candidate in Accounting at Queen’s School of Business is conducting a study that examines governance issues in Canadian not-for-profit organizations.

Participants need to be current or former board members of such organizations.

The participants will read an interesting case dealing with how the board of directors in a local not-for-profit organization arrives at a decision regarding an expense allocation issue. The follow-up questions are pretty straightforward. As stated at the beginning of the survey, all answers are kept strictly confidential.

The case and the questions can be found at:

If you have any questions concerning this survey, please contact the Ph. D, candidate directly as indicated on first page of survey.

5 Reasons Why Being A Non-profit Executive Director Is So Hard

By Ingrid Zacharias

“Anyone who thinks the life of an Executive Director is a life of privilege and benefits is sadly mistaken. The four major things that Executive Directors do is: supervise staff, fundraise, network and work with the Board of Directors. Doesn’t sound like all that much right? However the details involved in performing each of those tasks well, are significant and stressful.”

click here to view full post

Leadership the key to inclusive workplace

From the Montreal Gazette:

“While many organizations talk diversity, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all good at it. The wrong leadership approach could turn a well-intentioned effort into mere PR “fluff ” and polarize employees. The successful approach is one that can bring everyone on board from the top down.

After having worked on several corporate diversity initiatives in her career, Nan Oldroyd has learned that managing a diversity program has to be a team effort.

“One of the key things is always to have leadership commitment,” says the senior director of talent for Loblaw Companies Ltd. in Brampton, Ont., who was brought in to build a diversity program for the company in 2007.

A first step for Oldroyd when she joined Loblaw was putting together an “Inclusion Council” of business leaders across the country who get together to set strategies and goals.”

Click here for full post

20 + Free nonprofit Webinars for December

The list from Wild Apricot this month contains a lot on year end fundraising.  Remember to double check timezones before you register!

Also you’ll find :

Budgeting 101

Wednesday, 15 December 2010
1:00 pm (Eastern)

This webinar, presented by Jenn Lammers, will provide a basic introduction to the creation and use of budgets in a not-for-profit setting. Attendees will learn the preferred format and common items to include in program, organization and strategic budgets. Part of the Wednesday Webinar series for nonprofit staff and board development.

How to Captivate and Engage Your Constituents With Your Website

Wednesday, 15 December 2010
9:30 am (Central)

Learn from more than 10 years of focus group research with nonprofit constituents and donors how to captivate and engage your audience. Key takeaways from this Firespring webinar include:  5 required elements of engaging website; the 3 biggest mistakes nonprofits make with their website; 5 proven methods for promoting your organization online; the top consideration for nonprofits regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and real-world examples of nonprofit organizations that have mastered their online presence

Making Volunteer Engagement Everyone’s Job

Tuesday, 14 December 2010
11:00 am (Pacific)

Too often engaging volunteers falls to the volunteer program manager, and it’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “your volunteers” used in organizations. How do you make volunteer engagement everyone’s job? This free webinar will provide you with the tools to become an advocate for volunteer engagement. Learn how to create a step by step communication plan to reinforce the importance of volunteer engagement to important stakeholders within your organization.

An exploratory study on the state of leadership development

From the HR Council:

HR Council releases report commissioned by The Muttart Foundation

“This report presents the findings of an exploratory study commissioned
by the Muttart Foundation to gain additional insights about the state of leadership and leadership development in small and mid-sized social service charities in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The study’s focus was largely on the senior paid position.

There is a range of reports, studies, research documents and articles about leadership and leadership development in the nonprofit sector. A growing number of these publications highlight the projected leadership transition facing the nonprofit sector as well as the increasing challenges nonprofit organizations will face in attracting, retaining and developing people for senior leadership positions in the years to come.”

Learn more by reading full report 43 pages in pdf


Non Profit Governance 101

New to the board?  Not sure you understand what your role is supposed to be?  Check out these resources as a starting point.  This is a complex area of leadership in the nonprofit sector, involving high level skills relating to collaboration, strategic thinking, navigating group dynamics and relationships as well as fiduciary and oversight responsibilities.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the volume of information out there but remember you don’t need to know it all right away – just be open to learning and take opportunities to contribute from where your strengths lie now with a goal to develop new skills as you go.  Remember to search this site for other resources: by using keywords like ‘governance’ or ‘board’

Sign up for our series of governance workshops brought to you in partnership with VolunteerMBC

Overview of roles and responsibilities:

Governance as Leadership

Check out the 20 questions series from the CICA.

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Fiduciary Duty

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Governance

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Risk

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Strategy and Planning

20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Indemnification and Insurance

Liability Indemnification and Insurance for Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations

Want to know more about the relationship between Board and staff (Executive Director or CEO)?

The Board and ED Developing and Nurturing an Effective Relationship

Other resources that might help:
Questions Nonprofit Board Members Should Always Ask

Community Driven Governance

Workplaces that Work – Flexible Work Arrangements

From the HR Council:

Benefits of flexible work hours or flexi-time

For employees:

  • Avoid rush-hour commutes
  • More control over time off
  • Work-life balance advantages, for example: being able to take a child to school or to the dentist/doctor; starting work later or leaving early to allow time for sports training
  • Ability to schedule work during quiet times to accomplish more

 For the employer:

  • Scheduling work across longer portions of the day
  • Recruiting and keeping valued staff who have other life commitments or interests
  • Making more efficient use of facilities, desks, computers, etc.
  • Continuity and staff coverage by one employee while another is away

 Click here for more information, tools and resources to help you incorporate successful flexible work arrangements into your organization


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