Few TED talks have created as long a trail as Dan Pallotta’s recent one. But the issues he recently raised about the role of the NFP sector and funding overhead are not new at all. Those of us who teach and advise funders address this question all the time. And thankfully, despite the suggestion to the contrary, many funders are not blind to the need for investing in quality management of crucial institutions. Why, then, has his talk inspired … [Read more...] about Some Thoughts on the Discussions Surrounding Dan Pallotta’s TED talk
One never knows when a post will get reactions. A recent one on “Disruption” seemed to inspire quite a few. Most were laudatory - one quite critical. The essence of the criticism was that I demonstrated an arrogance in advocating that outside “consultant” experts sometimes know better than insiders what change is necessary and how to bring it about. Much of that reaction was his strong objection to a recent report from a consultant his … [Read more...] about Does Expertise Matter? Should It?
It is much more fun to be Mr. Nice Guy, to get all those ego strokes when, at the end of a speech, consultation, meeting [pick one or more], everyone tells you how great you were. Everyone goes away smiling and satisfied. - especially you. It is much more challenging when, to do your job well, you know that those strokes are not going to be easy to come by: - when the group, the foundation, the organization, the individuals needs to change…. … [Read more...] about Disruption … Can “Change” Happen Without It?
Any of us who help facilitate family retreats and board meetings know that sensitivity to what different members bring to the table is essential. Words, experiences, and expectations can mean such different things to those sitting around the table. And, let’s face it, in families, those differences can be quite personal. We often find ourselves in the role of “translator”, educator, and even peacemaker as well as facilitator in such settings. … [Read more...] about Has The Generation Gap in Family Philanthropy Closed?
Much is being written on leadership transitions these days in the non-profit world in general and especially in the philanthropy and grantmaking world. It is a worthy topic - not simply because of the much-touted wealth transfer, and not simply because of the existence of multiple adult generations for the first time in history, but because it forces serious discussion about the nature of work and the workplace in the sector, and what leadership … [Read more...] about Leadership: 6 Lessons Learned Along My Long and Winding Career Path