Learning and Service

I’m delighted to share I have an exciting opportunity for learning and service ahead. I’ve been selected to the Colorado Governor’s Fellowship Program. I’m beyond excited for this chance to learn and grow alongside others from across Colorado who seek to demonstrate values based leadership and contribute to making the community better through public, private and nonprofit organizations. It’s also back to school time here… and a reminder that as we settle into the work of being a grown up we must seek out opportunities to learn and serve. Here’s to seeking regularly.

How to Invite with Intention

Happy Fall!! As the leaves turn and sweaters come out, many nonprofits get ready for board elections and new terms. Has your organization considered how to invite with intention? If not I encourage you to set aside time at your next meeting to consider the key priorities facing your organization, how your board can support these priorities, and what are the just right candidates to support that work. Do you need great communicators, strategic thinkers, or negotiators? Is it time for content experts to take the stage or connectors to cultivate new relationships?

I find there are Ten Key Steps for Strategic Board Recruitment. Take a peek at the list, identify how to invite with intention as you look toward recruiting new candidates, and please reach out if I can help along the way.

Priority Resources for Impact

As we turn the calendar and settle into a new year, most organizations should revisit how to identify priority resources for impact. Economic realities are complicated. In person meetings and family gatherings bring risk analysis. Loss and challenge have become too common.

(I must admit 2021 challenged me too. I accepted that I didn’t post and share as much as I hoped, and I’m refocused to offer more in 2022.)

Practical tools are a priority for me to offer. Right now when most organizations need more resources I’ve designed a practical tool to guide you toward identifying priority resources for impact.

Let’s Get Started

First, ground in the mission of your organization. Next be sure to identify the top three strategic priorities for your organization. (Ideally your current strategic plan contains these priorities. If you don’t have one, make sure to identify your strategic priorities with your staff and board.)

With the mission and strategic priorities in mind, consider your broad network of stakeholders. This group will be able to gather the priority resources you identify. The network should include staff, board, committee members, volunteers, key supporters, partners and your social media community.

Finally time to identify resources!! Again think big! Skills, expertise, services, connections, partnerships and more all bring the mission to life. Time comes in many forms: skilled experts, trained volunteers and tasks open to the community. What kind of time do you need? Support also comes in many forms: financial contributions, goods, real estate space, and good will.

Fill in the Blank – for IMPACT!

Once you have the mission, priorities, key stakeholders and resources all in mind outline, time to fill in the blank. If we had more ____, we would have greater impact.

If we more (or just the right) FILL IN THE BLANK WITH A PRIORITY RESOURCE, we would have greater impact relative to our strategic priorities.

Perhaps, it might help to write a job description for what you need or consider how you would describe the priority resource for impact in an advertisement. Here’s a reference tool to share at your next board or staff meeting to get started. Please just drop a note to learn more, ask questions or schedule a free 15 minute phone chat here. Let’s explore finding more focus on progress!


Find Focus

I encourage you to find focus with a strategic meeting agenda. (This is a great opportunity as we consider what meetings and events will be like in a non-quarantined world.) All too often meetings include too many issues or discussion topics. Strategic meetings feel valuable. They encourage all voices to be heard. Strategic meetings can be in-person, virtual, or by phone.

I urge you to consider your last nonprofit board or staff meeting. Did you give time to connect to the mission of why you had gathered? Did you have enough time to meaningfully explore the issue(s) at hand? If you answered yes to both – congrats!! If not, consider these tips.

Strategic Meeting Agenda Tips:

  1. First, give time to start your meeting with a reminder of why you gathered. Bonus points for a reminder that can also help build trust for the group, strengthen connection, or provide a moment for self-care. Find focus for the meeting and build shared understanding at the start of the conversation.
  2. Next, make sure you budget the right amount of time for the meeting (whether virtual or in person) and provide information in advance for preparation. Not enough time encourages rushed decisions and discourages thoughtful discussion while meetings that ask for more time than they need fail to recognize the value of each member’s work time. (And don’t forget that Zoom fatigue is real and break time is more important than ever in 2021.)
  3. Don’t forget to revisit your strategic goals, meeting focus and expectations throughout the conversation. Use a parking lot for follow up items and resist the temptation to add one more thing.
  4. Finally, develop an agenda template for groups that meet regularly including your mission, priorities, and other key information. These serve as helpful reminders for important decisions and explorations of exciting opportunities – does the opportunity help advance our priorities? what decision best aligns to our mission?

I’d love to help you build a strategic meeting agenda template to find focus for your meetings. Please just drop a note or schedule a free 15 minute phone chat here. Let’s explore finding more focus on progress!