Monday, October 19, 2009

Workshop Announced: Better Board Meetings

Better Board Meetings will be held Thursday, November 12. I'll be leading the workshop from 9-11AM at Goodman Community Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Board meetings are intended to be productive in moving the organization forward. Too often, staff members end up spending days preparing for meetings that are less than effective in achieving those ends. Workshop attendees will walk away with tools to change the structure of Board meetings, making them more efficient and engaging.

Topics will include:
  • use of a consent agenda,
  • four no-fuss ways to improve your next meeting and
  • four questions to ask for making your Board meetings better over the long haul.

Cost: $40. You can pay at the door or via invoice. Substitutions are allowed; no-shows will be billed. Download a flyer or register online via e-mail.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Strategic Planning is Sound

I've been seeing a lot of articles and offerings lately telling people that what's needed is "an alternative to strategic planning" -- and it saddens me. Rather than carving out "alternatives," what if we focused on simply doing strategic planning more effectively. After all, by calling it something else, we're opening the door for greater confusion (and more apples to nuts comparisons among requests as well as responses).

By discounting the value of conversations about mission and purpose, we lose sight of the core concepts that are intended to connect diverse sets of people around shared objectives. By diminishing the nuances between sectors and types of organizations, we undermine the very cultural complexities that make the sector and the organization distinctive. By dismissing "strategic planning," we lose a framework of systems and processes that can make things more effectiveness.

I've also been around long enough to know what goes around, comes around... I watch enough reality television to understand that one day it's in and the next day it's out. Yet, too many people are being led astray and down unproductive pathways by those who change the language and fundamentally diminish the effect.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Better Branding Starts with Intentions

If you want to be one of the "big boys" don't settle for "child's play" that unintentionally shapes your critical initial impressions. Be clear about your intentions, objectives and needs so as not to be swayed by people whose intentions are serving a different purpose.

This can be particularly relevant when organizations start asking for free or reduced creative services. There often has to be more at stake for the creative professional than a feel-good contribution, particularly when the process is intended to be efficient and beneficial for all parties. Since creative for creative's sake may win awards but usually doesn't influence stakeholders ... even free can come at a substantial cost. So, proceed with caution --- and more importantly, clarity.
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