Military strategists spend significant energy and time contemplating the relative value of retreating, holding the battle line, or exploding with unexpected force to secure that next foothold. I’ve been thinking lately about how someone in an interim role (me, in this case) can apply this analogy to contemplate possible paths for most effectively leading an organization, for a time-limited period, at a specific moment in the organization’s life cycle. [more ...]
Did you know… the first instant cake mix Betty Crocker developed did not sell very well? Initial product surveys indicated customers felt “just adding water” was too easy, and therefore the cake must not be worth eating. So Betty Crocker went back to the drawing board and added one more step – an egg. After 59 years I think it’s obvious how successful this change made Betty Crocker.
What does Betty Crocker cake mix have to do with your organization’s volunteer roles? Well – is it possible volunteers want a different experience than the one you’re offering? [more ...]
Over the past few years, I have been a “high potential,” “second in command,” “next generation” leader. As mentioned in past blog posts, I’ve been part of an experiment in succession planning here at Vantage Point. Last week, I returned from maternity leave to embark on a five month journey to turn that experiment into reality (and put my potential to the test) by assuming the role of Interim Executive Director.
I object to the term “volunteer program.”
In our sector many organizations use this term to describe all the voluntary roles that perform day to day operations (i.e. actual programs and services). Recruitment, onboarding, training, engagement, supervision and recognition of people in these roles are managed within the “volunteer program.”
In 1994, world-renowned Encyclopedia Britannica released Encarta, the first internet-based version of their encyclopedia, accessible for a fee. Built with a team of paid researchers, and with the support of expensive retrieval software, Encyclopedia Britannica amassed over 300 million characters of text and 2,000 illustrations.
For the 140 of you who joined us for Fierce Conversations in Not-for-Profit Organizations: Leaders Forum 2012 last week, THANK YOU. We’re thrilled you chose to spend your morning with us and Halley Bock, President and CEO of Fierce, Inc., and hope you came away feeling inspired to lead some Fierce Conversations of your own.
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?
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?
As a fairly recent addition to the Vantage Point team, I remember the recruitment process vividly. And naturally, the things that most stumped me at the time are some of the most memorable. During my interview I was asked, “Imagine you bought a bookshelf from IKEA. How would you go about putting it together? What if there were no instructions?”