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The Best Method for Managing Change

By Kelly Rowan
Follow me on Twitter: @kellykay30

According to Minnesota’s most famous muse, the times, they are a-changin’.

Change. We all face it. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and turns your world upside down in the blink of an eye. Sometimes you run at it full steam ahead with anticipation and open arms. Sometimes you know it's imminent and lurking, but consciously or not, you avoid it. The status quo is a known entity. And change is, well, exactly the opposite. But that's the point, right?

Overcoming a fear of the unknown is a big challenge that came up persistently at last week's Emerging Leaders Network lunch, where managing change was the topic of conversation. We experience a myriad of emotional reactions to the prospect of change, and we must, as leaders, be in tune with those around us in order to move that needle from fear to optimism for new opportunities and stronger programs, organizations and communities.

There are plenty of solid how-to guides for managing change out there, whether you're a seasoned leader guiding your team through a major organizational or departmental change, or an emerging leader looking for ways to offer unique contributions to keep things moving ahead collaboratively. The plethora of best practices and evolving models for organizational development and leading adaptively through change provide enough fodder for entire degree programs, so how to begin to address this topic in a short, punchy blog post?

I'll boil it down to one of the single most valuable exercises we can practice to manage change well. My favorite thing to do when tackling any big, overwhelming topic or issue is... to pause.

It's not easy. We are always moving, always forging ahead, striving to improve ourselves, our organizations and our whole life balance. But pause, we must. I'm sure of it. Get our butts up on that balcony.

It's only by doing this—taking the time to pause and reflect—that we can be fully aware of what's happening around us. We'll also be much better at considering the tools we have in our toolboxes, bolstering up our strengths and making note of gaps that may need our attention. 

While it's true that we occasionally encounter truly large-scale change, the change in an organization's identity for example, the most prevalent change I see us faced with is the increasing necessity to be more agile, nimble and flexible at our cores. We must be grounded in the constants, such as our values, and build up the infrastructure, systems and discipline to ensure we take the time to get our heads above the fray of our everyday activities to be adaptive leaders, from whatever position we find ourselves in.

What's been most helpful to you when effectively managing change?

Or let’s Do-It-Together: share a challenge you're facing head-on and let this network of smart change-makers and change-managers help you hammer out some solutions.

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Give your personal brand some moxie | Creative, doable personal business cards

You’ve heard it a million times. Get personal business cards.

You probably know you should have personal business cards (and many of you probably do), but have you ever thought about the value of having creative, memorable, impressive cards? Think of business cards not only as practical little networking tools, but also as an opportunity to leave someone a unique trinket that says “remember me!” You don’t have to be a graphic designer, illustrator, or “artist type” to create or deserve beautiful business cards. So treat your personal branding to a little surprise and revamp those bits of paper!

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Corporate to Changemaker: 7 Lessons for Sector Switchers

main.jpgI did it. I made one of the most elusive career moves out there: I switched from private to nonprofit sector.

Before I talk about my nonprofit journey, let’s go back a few years: spring semester freshmen year at college. I was a student at the University of Wisconsin and the newest recruit of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity. TKE exposed me to the world of volunteering, which served as the backbone for my interest in the nonprofit sector.

After the shower of grad caps, I randomly landed in the telecommunications industry for more than four years–where I often found myself daydreaming about a career in the nonprofit sector. I asked for advice from mentors, friends and co-workers. Some believed I should volunteer while I worked my corporate job. Others told me to follow my dreams. In December 2008, I lost my telecom job and came face-to-face with the very question I was pondering: continue to work in telecommunications or embark on a fulfilling career in the nonprofit sector? 

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Organization Spotlight: Minnesota Rising and the Un/Conference

What is Minnesota Rising?

Founded in 2009, Minnesota Rising is a network of emerging leaders in Minnesota that works to build relationships, trust and a shared vision for the future of Minnesota. Minnesota Rising engages emerging leaders and young professional organizations to work toward that call both now and in the future.

Connect with them on their websiteTwitter and on Facebook.

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NTWRK: The New BINGO

Have you ever left a happy hour or networking event uninspired by the lack of connections you made? Just how valuable is a 20-minute conversation of small talk? And what's a business card good for if you aren't even sure what you’re looking for?

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Hi. How Can I Help You?

By Virginia Brown
Follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies

We’ve all read articles about networking, and we know we’re supposed to do it to find that perfect professional opportunity. But something is missing from the conversation: What exactly should be happening at these network coffees and lunches? And how do you really make the most of that time?

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Hungry for Nonprofit Knowledge? Don't Skip the Subsector Smorgasbord!

On August 24, YNPN-TC will be serving up an incredible buffet of 17 seasoned professionals for an all-you-can-eat platter of nonprofit knowledge. These individuals are generously providing an evening of their time to answer questions you have about what it takes and what it’s like to work in a wide sampling of nonprofit subsectors. 

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Innovating in the Sector: MAP TechWorks

main.jpgLast month I tweeted an infographic that displayed the Top 20 Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWords Advertising—a whopping 97 percent of Google’s revenue stream ($33.3 billion). Guess what keyword—the words people search for on Google—slid its size two-syllable body into the technology giant’s number seven spot? Go ahead, guess. Done? Do-nate. We should all be familiar with this word since it often seems to go hand-in-hand with another familiar word: non-prof-it. 

Nevertheless, outside of the occasional Tweet, Facebook post and e-blast, I would safely bet that technology wouldn’t gather as much focus if a similar list was made by a number of nonprofits.

MAP TechWorks—an initiative of MAP for Nonprofits funded by the ADC Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way—wants to change that by making technology doable for nonprofits. I caught-up with Rick Birmingham, senior technology circuit rider, and Cary Lenore Walski, technology education and outreach coordinator, from MAP for Nonprofits to get the shakedown on this community resource. 

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And the Do-Goodest Is...

main.jpgWe are proud to announce the talented, amazing, world-saving winners of last month's Do-Gooder Games: the Wonder Women! The team—Elena Ballam, Renee Martin, Josh Reimnitz and Matt Heiserich—scavenged, trivia answered and rock-paper-scissored their way to victory against a competitive field of 13 teams. In the final round, their creative skit put them over the top. And we've got it on video!

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Potholes and Detours: Navigating Through Career Construction

main.jpgWe’ve all had that moment in our lives where we sit down and think, "This is not where I envisioned being five years ago."

Perhaps you had this moment while serving tables at a local bar -- or perhaps, like me, you were hit by the economic tsunami and found a huge roadblock in your career path.

Let me paint the picture that many of us are getting to know so well.

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