July 29, 2015

Forest Through the Trees

In my experience in the nonprofit sector, there is little time spent on evaluating the overall cause and effect relationships and the overarching “logic” of why we do what we do.  It is easy to get pulled into the day-to-day operations of an organization and begin losing the ability to see the forest through the trees.  Increasing government regulations, procedures, and policies have created a culture of compliance, defining success as the absence of the “bad.”  “If I don’t get any phone calls from [insert licensing body here] today, I’ve accomplished something,” I have found myself thinking on my worst days.  A fear-based mentality like this results in leaders responding to threats and problems when they surface, rather than thinking proactively and working to create systems that create positive outcomes. My personal challenge is to think outside of the artificial walls that I have erected around me that have led […]
July 10, 2015

Back in School

I recently started attending my first class for my master degree in Nonprofit Management and Innovation and it has been quite an adjustment returning to school after eight years.  The first day I was mistaken for the instructor and found myself surrounded by fellow students who looked like they were still in high school.  The greatest culture shock, however, came once we started diving into the material itself.  I realized how disconnected I have been from the business world, its theories, and corresponding jargon.  Having worked only in the nonprofit industry, I never received any formal training in financials, business management, etc.  Because of this, I have always sought out books and resources to increase my knowledge and ability to do my job effectively.  Sitting in a classroom where I was being exposed to information and knowledge directly applicable to my job was amazing and overwhelming at the same time.  […]