There was a recent early summer morning meeting in the offices of a medium-sized nonprofit behavioral health organization in an economically depressed former industrial city. The top three executives were smart, committed, and energetic. The offices were well-situated in a rebounding part of the city, and the organization enjoyed a good reputation locally.
Most children learn about Magic Hampers. These are containers of some sort that the adults in the family put in a kid-friendly location. The formula is simple – put dirty clothes in the thing and eventually, like magic, those clothes reappear neatly folded and clean. The child thinks, how did this happen? That evolves into who cares?
Everyone knows of a nonprofit that seems to exist apart from every other organization and everything. The managers at this organization, usually successful at accomplishing mission and often adequately financed, seem content to keep its distance from peer organizations.
It’s the first commandment of nonprofit CEO survival: thou shalt not get ahead of thy board. At least, not too far . . . But you do need to be a little ahead of them . . . Just not so much that they notice and get offended.
It’s time; time for change, that is. The old cliché that change is constant is still accurate. The changes seem to be coming at a faster pace than usual. Some of the biggest changes have already begun in many parts of the nonprofit sector and promise to continue for the better part of the next decade. Much of it is structural in nature — which makes it easier to predict — while at the same time the initial slow pace makes it easier to deny.
There are a few words that leave little ambiguity. Ouch is such a word. Another of those words is “subsidiary” as it is used to describe a type of corporate structure. Here the word “subsidiary” seems to embody a subordinate position.
There are certain words that seem to practically cry out their message. One of those words is the term “subsidiary” as it is used to describe a particular kind of corporate structure. Here the word “subsidiary” seems to embody a subordinate position.
In the professional world, there is no more powerful determinant of individual style, effectiveness, or influence than one’s orientation to time. The topic was touched upon in the Sept. 1, 2012 issue of The NonProfit Times, (Time, Task, and Turf), but this time the powerful construct will get a full airing.