Nonprofit Management

Nonprofits that can stay afloat do so by having a viable mission statement, ethical, accountable, and transparent practices.  Additionally, successful nonprofits recruit working boards and educated staff.  They can keep up with technology and social entrepreneurs.   A nonprofits mission is at the core of why they are in business whereas the values drive how nonprofits conduct business.   Transparency, ethics, accountability must begin within the organization before they move outward. 

Leadership should be visible and accessible.   In a bottom –up management, management is treated as support and values direct staff.  In this model, management attempts to be an enabler not a restrictor.  Management treats employees as they want to be treated, leaders are willing to follow.  Supervisors provide the tools and training to the frontline employees.  They encourage, coach, and mentor staff.  A working board understands the mission of the nonprofit and acts in support of the mission.  The board works directly with the executive director and/or CEO and evaluates him or her annually.  The board will change over time and provides the nonprofit public support.  The board is a key asset when the right individuals have been recruited.  A nonprofit’sboard is usually responsible for:

  • Government reporting
  • Policy and organizational goals
  • Hiring of ED and/orCEO
  • Fiscal and personnel policies compliance
  • Nominating of other officers
  • Volunteer work

Finally, when making decisions, the nonprofit should keep the following in mind; a) does the action support the organization’s mission, b) does the action maintain focus on the organization’s priorities, and c) has adequate research been conductedKeeping the aforementioned will ensure that nonprofits keep focus on their mission and values. For more information and training go to Center for Nonprofit Management  or Blue Avacodo’s web page.

Leadership: The Good, the Bad and the Imperious

Despite what we might have been told (by others or ourselves), there is a leader in all of us just waiting to make an impact. The ability to lead is one of the most sought-after traits to have as a human being, for it demonstrates bravery, a clear vision and stability. But oftentimes, leadership can go to a dark place, and an ordinarily fair person can quickly become the opposite if they are not grounded in reality. In this post I’ll be looking at how leadership can go bad, and what people can do to regain the strength to be a positive leader.

After many years on the job, it is not uncommon for professionals in leadership positions to lose a sense of modesty. Perhaps this is due to the comfort level of professional consistency that they might have accomplished over the course of time. When a worker in power loses their sense of teamwork, cooperation becomes obsolete; thus creating a cycle of division and insufficiency in the workplace. This rubs off on their team members, who may see this behavior as healthy and normal, or “the way to move up.” Bennet Simonton, a leadership coach, explains “Bad leadership shuts off the natural creativity, innovation, and productivity of each employee and slowly but surely demotivates and demoralizes them. With the “I know better than you” and the “be quiet and listen to me” mentality often projected from management, the majority will act like robots waiting for instructions, even if that is not what management intended.”*

So how can problematic leaders take a turn for the best? The first step is to treat your so-called “subordinates” as equal players in the game of success. Listening to them and focusing on their strengths instead of their weaknesses is not as difficult as it seems when actively applied. Matching an employee’s personal strengths to responsibilities around the workplace makes for a huge success. Clear and concise planning free of haste shows a combination of accuracy and logical thinking. Strong problem solving, being proactive and brainstorming with team members are also excellent strengths to have. But more importantly, striving for success as fairly and efficiently as possible is a surefire way to becoming a prominent and productive team leader.

*Works Cited

Simonton, Bennett. “Good Leadership vs. Bad Leadership.” Web log post. Www.bensimonton.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 8 Aug. 2012.

Training and Development

Last year I researched variables that generate success for small businesses in an ever-changing economy. Primarily, I wanted to prove that well-structured training programs are the core on which all other factors stand to warrant a company’s merit. Professional Resources stock image

I referenced my learning experiences from relative academic courses and my personal work experience at small companies. Additionally, I gathered data using Google Scholar and OhioLinks as research tools for academic articles that supported my hypothesis. Business success, business development, training programs, and Fortune 500 were just a few of the key phrases I used.

With additional supporting evidence from scholarly articles, I proposed training programs were the common denominator among the most successful companies at the time. Furthermore, my research unveiled the basic fundamentals for training that can be incorporated in almost any industry.

The article I found most useful came from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). I highly recommend referring to this organization for the latest trends in training and development.

Merit Increases Today

This past week I attended a WebEx about merit increase guidelines for my staff for fiscal year 2012.  This is the first time my organization offers such training and I was really taken back to hear that we will be receiving a merit increase this year.  My organization, like many others have not offered their employees a merit increase in a few years, if not longer.  It turns out that most organizations are giving anywhere from two to three and a half percent increase in 2012.  The truth is that what your organization should pay in merit increase depends on many factors.  Some factors include, what is going on in your market, what is the demographic of your workforce, and how your organization differs from the norm.

Just looking at the average in your company in your area is not enough.  Say a sales person in the industry may be at three percent.  Even though you are not a sales company but you have staff in sales, you may consider giving the sales staff a three percent merit increase.  If you do not stay competitive, you may fear losing the sales staff.  Earlier in your career there is a positive correlation between higher pay and each additional years of service.  For example a staff member with one year of experience the difference between one year to two years may be up to a four percent but a staff with 15 years of experience the difference in pay with only one more year of experience may just be one percent.  If your organization is performing better than its competitors, it may warrant an increase higher than the average. Also, the average should be based on what organizations are paying competitively with market.

Organizations should establish a compensation philosophy that builds a compensation plan with relevant, timely market data, supports business objectives, and executes increases based on rewarding what your organization values.  This will help the organization stay ahead of being just the average.  For a 2012 Compensation Best Practices Report, go to http://www.payscale.com/hr/default

Personality, What Personality?

Have you ever wondered why you cannot get along with your coworker?  It could be that your personalities do not complement each other.  A personality test such as the Myers-Briggs Test can help you understand why you may feel awkward around others and/or places. A personality test is a set of questions designed to identify aspects of an individual’s character or psychological makeup- resulting in sixteen different personality types.

After taking the Myers-Briggs Test, I found out I am an INTP (introvert, intuitive, thinker, and perceiver). Making up about 3 to 5% of the U.S. population, INTPs are conceptual problem solvers. They tend to be quiet, detached and inwardly absorbed in analyzing problems. A primary example of this is my dislike of large crowds and public speaking. Therefore, a job that would require presenting or mingling would not be a good fit.  Based on my own experience, I was surprised at how accurate the results matched my personality, especially the pitfalls. Additionally, a personality test can provide great insight intohow individuals will react to each other.

In recent years, recruiters are turning to personality tests to find ideal candidates for job openings. So if a job requires certain characteristic and personality traits, they may use a personality test for placing individuals in the right positions. This can be an effective way of producing better workplace-relations thus increasing productivity. What is your personality type?  You can go to personalitytype.com to find out.

Performance Management: A Measuring Tool For Business Success

In America, the demand for things to be done faster, better and simpler is constantly on the rise; making it tough for any business to survive.  Whether it’s a new gluten-free food product, a multi-purpose electronic device, a new energy-efficient car or an action-packed Hollywood film, all products are designed to meet the needs and desires of consumers in order to gain prosperity.  Nonetheless, meeting production deadlines is not a company’s only concern.  With the development of today’s global market, organizations are incessantly seeking ways to grow and maintain high rankings.

Every day, top companies are faced with fierce competitors seeking to rise above them and/or take them out of business all together.  Thus, it is imperative, for the sake of the company, to stay ahead of the game by constantly evaluating production and management procedures and the means by which they are implemented into the organization. Performance Management is an essential tool to measure your company’s productivity and success. I am Ready to Manage subscriber and they recently posted a blog about Performance Management that I found to be very helpful in my own workplace. It’s a simple read and with great resources. Check it out and see for yourself: http://blog.readytomanage.com/what-is-performance-management/.

How Organizations Use Social Media

From nonprofits to for profits, organizations are using social media to engage and interact with their followers.  Twitter and Facebook are the two most popular sites used.  Every time you join or like an organization or group, and like the status or comment, you are engaging with the organization of your choice.  Organizations ask questions to the public, asking them to share their personal stories and experiences but the moment you comment back you are reflecting and thinking about the organization.  Twitter allows for the organization to be more personable by retweeting your tweet on their page, making it intimate and allowing for more personal engagement.

Some organizations have learned to recover from social media mistakes as well.  In early February of last year, someone at the Red Cross accidently posted a tweet to the Red Cross account that was meant for their personal Twitter account.  Check out Twitter Faux Pas http://redcrosschat.org/2011/02/16/twitter-faux-pas/   As a result of this mistake, the Red Cross has received a lot of attention and traffic to its site.  Because the Red Cross acted quickly and responded with humor, they were able to get a lot of support from the public as well as a donation from Dogfish beer.

Public relations through social media is allowing organizations and companies to easily connect with its followers and consumers.  It is about maintaining the relationship with the public and social media provides this outlet as the public is occupied immensely with social media sites.  Make sure to follow us on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AntiochUniversityLA or comment.