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Posts Tagged ‘organizational leadership’

The Startup Culture Secret

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Startup culture seems exhilarating; the concept of wearing vintage tees to work and being part of something new and cutting edge. Why does this environment seem so attractive and something that organizations try to maintain even after they’ve grown beyond their initial garage-based business stage?

Here’s there secret: There’s No Directional Compromise.

At least not for a while, that is. In most organizations, there’s a directional compromise that takes place and it often boils down to the question of tradition vs. progression. Without a traditional precedent for people to fight for, there is less directional compromise (in startup culture).

It’s natural for industry veterans to hold onto the way they’ve always done things, so often times the “progressive bunch” with new ideas and French press coffee will compromise their cutting edge (maybe too cutting edge) ideas for something that will please those who have been around longer.  This type of generational change happens in all organizations, but one reason startups seem so revolutionary, is because they haven’t had to encounter that situation quite yet.

Innovation and progression are vital to any successful organization with the respect of history and expertise gained along the way. There are many businesses, non-profits, and clubs that fail due to the inability to stay innovative. But, just because a startup seems innovative when it begins, doesn’t mean it will maintain that culture by default.

Somewhere along the line every startup company that “makes it” will become an aging company and the way they navigate that transition will determine whether they’re really a startup at heart. A true startup company will navigate all decisions with innovation and progression regardless of the traditional precedents.

5 Ways Non-Profits Can Keep & Grow Their Volunteer Base

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

As a nonprofit organization it’s obviously important to use a majority of funds to support the mission. But most nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers to manage a variety of aspects of their organization. So what can you do when your volunteer base is dwindling?

  1. Take An Outside Look:

It’s easy to love an organization that you’ve been a part of for years. Take a step back and try to imagine what your organization is like from an outside perspective. What would be a newcomer’s first impression? Do volunteers feel welcomed? Do volunteers leave with a sense of fulfillment?

  1. Listen To Others Objectively:

Refrain from becoming defensive when someone explains how a process could be done more efficiently. Successful nonprofits are always seeking new ways to improve, and embrace a free flow of ideas from volunteers, sponsors, and other stakeholders. While your ideas may be great, make sure that others feel like they are being heard since their ideas are essential to the nonprofit’s success. Stakeholders will be more loyal to your organization if they feel they are needed.

  1. Help Them Make Connections:

Be intentional about connecting volunteers to staff members and those you serve. Volunteers will be more likely to come back if they felt socially noticed and accepted initially. Make them feel like they will be personally missed if they don’t return.

  1. Provide Opportunities:

Give them a job & provide clarity. They came to volunteer. Before having volunteers come, make sure you have enough areas for them to help in. No one likes going to volunteer, and then being put on a one-person task with five other people. Make sure to plan well, so that people can be fully utilized.

  1. Sell Them On Your Mission:

Great non-profits have leaders who believe in their mission, and help others believe in it too. Sell volunteers on your mission, and then let them sell others – they become your brand ambassadors. Educate new volunteers on what your organization does and why that’s important, and then let them advocate for you.