Fusing experience and expectation in decision-making

Time and timing considerations are central to most decisions we make as nonprofit leaders. Planning involves using past and present data to adopt targets for future work. It also involves scheduling tasks and activities, monitoring and reporting cycles, deadlines, and time-sequencing of processes (including coordination of serial and parallel processes e.g., using Gantt Charts). Time… Continue reading Fusing experience and expectation in decision-making

‘Doughnut’ thinking for NFPs

This post looks beyond the ‘donut’ chart and geometric descriptions of toroidal shapes to reflect on three doughnut metaphors. These are drawn from philosophy, economics, and organisational design with a view to offering insights applicable to nonprofit governance. Doughnut topology A toroidal shape, also known as a torus (‘tori’ is the plural), is a three-dimensional… Continue reading ‘Doughnut’ thinking for NFPs

Masks, blindfolds, hats, and armour

We wear different hats according to the roles we are asked, or choose, to perform. Some of these roles also involve masks, which conceal our true feelings and views on the activities and tasks we undertake. Some work roles require us to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing, while for many, just wearing ‘corporate’… Continue reading Masks, blindfolds, hats, and armour

Magnetic and Attention Field Insights

Magnetic forces have long been referenced in figures of speech such as “I felt drawn to this cause”, “s/he has a magnetic personality”, and “design a magnetic website to grow your audience”. While this blog has touched on this magnetic theme before, it is revisited here to consider the metaphoric connection between ‘attention fields’ and… Continue reading Magnetic and Attention Field Insights

Questioning Frameworks and Options

My previous post highlighted the choices we make to pay attention to certain perspectives (and ignore others) when engaging in deliberations and decision-making. Earlier posts have also canvassed a wide range of models and frameworks that can be adapted for uses suitable to your nonprofit governance or management circumstances. De Bono’s six thinking hats, design… Continue reading Questioning Frameworks and Options

Attending to Attention and Intention

And so, we turn our attention to … attention itself – especially as we apply it in deliberative and decision-making processes. As with most reflective practice, this involves us being both participant and observer. While participating in the use of attention, we simultaneously (or intermittently) observe our engagement with attention methods, qualities, and levels. Such… Continue reading Attending to Attention and Intention

“The die is cast”: On Randomness, Intentionality and Certainty

Julius Ceasar was reported to have said “The die is cast‘ when he sent his troops across the Rubicon in 49 BC. This quote is generally thought to refer to his having made a decision from which there was no going back. While we can’t know what was in Ceasar’s mind, nor whether he actually… Continue reading “The die is cast”: On Randomness, Intentionality and Certainty

The curious director

Curious about Curiosity I have been wondering about curiosity lately. This strangely circular activity feels a little like the sensation you experience when you step between opposing mirrors and see an infinite array of reflections bouncing off each other. I have used the mirror metaphor when advocating reflective governance practices before, acknowledging that it has… Continue reading The curious director

Aspirational Governance – Inspiring Great Outcomes

We sometimes refer to aspirational goals as ones we might hope to achieve, while suspecting that they are beyond our reach. Yet, without aspiring to achieve great things, no great things can actually happen. So it is with nonprofit governance aspirations. Aspiring to be compliant doesn’t offer much inspiration to your stakeholders, or your team.… Continue reading Aspirational Governance – Inspiring Great Outcomes

Board evaluation done? Now what?

The risk with some board effectiveness evaluations is that they can be mere box-ticking exercises. Everyone is time-poor, and reflecting on your structures, roles, processes, and performance may feel like navel-gazing to some. If your annual board evaluation simply puts some ratings against a checklist of questions, it won’t lead to identifying opportunities for improvement.… Continue reading Board evaluation done? Now what?