‘Dirty’ data in – ‘Dirty’ decisions out

Directors and managers in the non-profit and for-purpose sectors generally like to think of themselves as rational (evidence-based) decision-makers. As in most fields however, decision quality is often compromised due to unconscious (cognitive) biases, and other factors. Evidence and decision quality Data quality is a key determinant of evidence quality. In turn, evidence quality is… Continue reading ‘Dirty’ data in – ‘Dirty’ decisions out

The argument ‘rabbit hole’: debate, discussion, or dialogue

This particular excursion down the rabbit hole started aimlessly enough, browsing a table of new releases on the way out the door of the (increasingly rare) bookstore. Good arguments Bo Seo’s new book Good Arguments: What the art of debating can teach us about listening better and disagreeing well caught my eye. Perhaps my high… Continue reading The argument ‘rabbit hole’: debate, discussion, or dialogue

Strategic Causality – Part 2

When ‘strategic causality’ was introduced in an earlier post, it was described as “how causes lead to effects“. Of course, all reflections on strategic planning and decision-making have that recurring theme. Hence, my posts on strategic archery, evaluation, and reflective governance can be seen as background reading for this post (see links below). Dependencies and… Continue reading Strategic Causality – Part 2

Rely-ability, Re-liability, and Reliability

‘Reliability’, like ‘validity’, is a term with multiple meanings. In non-profit settings (amongst others) there are several contexts in which the concept of ‘reliability’ is expressed differently. This post reflects only some of these. A dictionary definition sounds straightforward enough – ‘that which can be relied upon, fit to be depended upon, trustworthy‘. When we… Continue reading Rely-ability, Re-liability, and Reliability

Interdependency, Mutual Dependency, and Co-dependency in your NFP

While the terms interdependency, mutual dependency, and co-dependency sound similar, it is important to distinguish between them if a healthy culture is to be nurtured in your non-profit. Beware co-dependency A co-dependent relationship has been described as a shared psychological condition (meaning pathology) in which ‘one party needs the other party, who in turn, needs… Continue reading Interdependency, Mutual Dependency, and Co-dependency in your NFP

Validity and Validation in your non-profit

We all seek validation Most of us are very familiar with the kind of validation offered when others like or share our social media posts. This emotional validation involves processes of uncovering, accepting, approving, and hopefully understanding, the emotional experience of another person. Organisations also seek a similar form of validation when they monitor engagement… Continue reading Validity and Validation in your non-profit

Mixed feelings about ambivalent decision-making?

Validity, value, and valence are three terms used in the governance and management of non-profits, and each refers to concepts of ‘strength’ and ‘worth’ in some way. Etymonline advises that their common Proto-Indo-European root is wal- (“to be strong”, also “be well, be strong, be worthy”). Shades of this underlying meaning can be found in… Continue reading Mixed feelings about ambivalent decision-making?

Social capital and the thickness of trust

With the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer highlighting a cycle of distrust that threatens societal stability, prosocial action by NGOs has never been more important. While NGOs and businesses are more trusted than the government or the media, NGOs have slipped in their rankings in some countries – including Australia. International readers may find the following… Continue reading Social capital and the thickness of trust

Foolosophy in the boardroom

Archetype lenses In systems thinking, we often use mental models, of which the archetype is one variety, to provide us with a lens that helps to simplify the ‘story’ of what’s happening in our work and social environment. Archetypes come in many shapes and sizes. At the macro level, system archetypes decompose the elements and… Continue reading Foolosophy in the boardroom

Strategic Causality

Delving beneath the surface In my reflective practice work with mentees from a wide variety of organisations, a good deal of our time is spent exploring ‘beneath the surface’ of events and circumstances. Our aim is to better understand the underlying drivers and factors at work, to inform the shaping of considered responses, and avoid… Continue reading Strategic Causality