On battles and transformation

19 Mar

While few people say they seek out or enjoy battles, many people say they’re transformed by battles in a positive way.


Starved for attention- the Academy Awards and nonprofits

8 Mar

It’s ironic that success can eat at us. There’s something wrong with trying to function on less than is healthy or even humanly possible in order to gain reputation or to retain relevancy. Yet, doing just that is not only the norm for Hollywood actresses.


Consider your source

22 Jan

For organizations stretched to meet unprecedented demand for vital services, it’s tough to feel good about the past year. Many such organizations are nonprofits, and much sector news features stories of layoffs, service cuts, retrenchment and broken systems. The news about what’s missing, and what’s been missed, is definitely part of a true story. But it’s not everything.


Ten habits of highly effective communities . . . and dieters

19 Jan

Both dieting and community revitalization involve getting used to new habits and behaviors so that they become second nature. To launch the new year, here’s my list of ten things that dieting and community revitalization have in common. Really!


Tale of two towns

18 Jan

Two rural towns near my home recently lost vital community businesses. One lost the only coin-operated laundry. The other lost the only food market. Both business losses particularly affected the poorest, most vulnerable people in the community. Both communities have strong leaders and organizations. But how each community responded to the crisis was very different.


What matters now . . . pass it on

2 Jan

There’s a Chinese proverb that says “leap and the net will appear”. It doesn’t say “leap and people will think you did a good thing.” It doesn’t say “leap and you’ll always be successful”. It doesn’t say “leap and everything will come easy”. What I think it says is “leap and you will see what you cannot see until you do”.


The unbearable lightness of fearlessness

12 Jun

Imagine that your organization won’t exist six months from now. Really. What would you do today? How would you ensure that the people you most care about would be cared for in your absence? Who might be able to step in to your place? What would be the most important things to continue? What if you couldn’t do them?