Blog/Articles

Going Deep into Organizational Change

Posted by on Sep 19, 2019 in Articles, Blog

(Part Two of a Two-Part Series) Last month, I shared Part One of a two-part interview with long-time colleague, Jill Blair, about her paper,“New Leader, Endless Possibility” (Read here) Jill describes the year-long journey she spent as an embedded Senior Fellow change-agent during a critical transition phase of a legacy agency.Here is Part Two of my interview…

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Going Deep into Organizational Change

Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in Blog

(Part One of a Two-Part Series) I have often written about and presented stories here on organizational development, leadership and leadership transition issues. I am endlessly fascinated by how foundations, nonprofits and most any other kinds of organizations govern and manage themselves (or don’t!), particularly through periods of change.My long-time colleague, Jill Blair, recently wrote…

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How Foundations can Support Generating New Ideas & Engaging New Voices in Community Development

Posted by on May 29, 2019 in Articles, Blog

My experience working on community and economic development issues in mid-sized metropolitan areas around the country has taught me a couple of key lessons. It’s difficult to get traditional players to truly think outside of the proverbial box. Some places are insular and hesitant to look externally for ideas and learning. Local folks with new…

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Why it’s Important for Foundations to Align Their Investments with Their Values

Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Articles, Blog

When working with foundations in strategic planning or evaluation efforts, I always advise that we start with the organization’s values. What are the fundamental drivers of the foundation’s work, what it wants to achieve and how it will be successful in those efforts. In a recent conversation with Brad Norton, Director of Endowment Solutions, for Winfield…

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Supporting Innovation to Tackle Poverty

Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Articles, Blog

What was it that wise person once said about expecting different results from doing the same thing over and over again? Well, what would happen by coming at a particularly challenging issue like poverty from another angle? What would happen if you took a page from the handbook on entrepreneurship, injected the spirit of innovation…

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Compensation Approaches When Long-Serving Chief Executives Transition Out

Posted by on Apr 2, 2019 in Articles, Blog

Compensation Approaches When Long-Serving Chief Executives Transition Out

I recently assisted a small-staffed, private foundation in a planned leadership transition of their chief executive who had a tenure of 20-plus years. To get a sense of how other foundations approached creative retirement/transition packages for long-serving foundation chief executives, I posted a list-serv inquiry with Exponent Philanthropy, 21/64 and Philanthropy Ohio. With the permission…

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Learning Organizations

Posted by on Feb 28, 2019 in Articles, Blog

I’m always interested in finding out how different organizations pursue a learning agenda. I talked with Connie Hawk, Director of the Licking County Foundation in Newark, Ohio, who oversees a staff of six. Here’s how Connie inculcated a learning culture inside this community foundation.   Q: I understand the Licking County Foundation (LCF) has a team approach…

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Who Do You Turn To?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Articles, Blog

Who do you turn to when navigating board, staff or community dynamics?   I’ve served as executive and senior staff for several foundations and been an advisor to dozens of grantmakers and nonprofit organizations around the country.  It’s not unusual to find myself in a coaching role with a chief executive or board chair in these…

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The Sunk Cost Fallacy – 5 Red-Flags That Tell You It Might Be Time to Move On

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in Articles, Blog

I recently read an article on behavioral research about the sunk cost fallacy (The Economist, 6-2-18)and it got me thinking about how much of this goes on in philanthropy. As many economists and writers have described, the sunk cost fallacy is irrational decision-making driven by emotion and based on past investments – and which disregards…

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A Must Read Article on Foundation Transparency

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Articles, Blog

Transparency has become a watchword in private philanthropy, but far too much of the discussion of this timely topic remains steeped in opinion rather than research. A new Foundation Review article reports critically important and some surprising findings from new research not previously addressed in foundation literature. This article provides new guidance regarding potential benefits…

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