I recently left a job where I got in a lot of arguments. I argued with coworkers over projects we were working on. I argued with myboss over the direction of the organization. I participated in heated arguments with the whole team about our strategy, processes, branding, and messaging. Sometimes the arguments ended with laughter and decisions on how to move forward, and other times they ended with everyone frustrated.
My time there reinforced the fact that collaboration is far easier said than done. People assume that collaboration — or strategy of any kind — means laying out on a plan, and then enacting that plan step-by-step. That kind of agreement is rarely possible, though. Collaborating with diverse groups of people on complex issues requires giving up certainty and control.Read more
I’ve been thinking recently that there are two kinds of kindness: microsocial and macrosocial. I totally made these words up, but hey, I gotta use my philosophy degree for something.
Microsocial kindness is a person-to-person dedication to someone else’s wellbeing: offering someone a ride, sharing food, listening to their woes, bringing them soup when sick, and so on. This kindness is very small-scale, grassroots, and individualized. People tend to save it for their immediate friends and family. It makes sense; there are only so many hours in a day and so much money in your wallet; no one can spend every minute of every day helping others.Read more
What does it take to actually bring about equity in the nonprofit sector and communities?
I think about this question a lot, particularly in the context of the nonprofit workforce and leadership. Minnesota tops the national lists as the most educated, literate and healthy. But, it also tops the lists indicating the highest educational, employment and health disparities in communities of color. Minnesota is great at everything, including disparities. Nonprofits play an important role in all of these areas of inequity in our communities, and Minnesota's nonprofit staff, leaders and boards are not reflective of the communities in which we work.Read more
How many times in a meeting have you said, “HEY everyone! I have the best idea….” Your boss is nodding vigorously. Your work bestie is clasping her hands in delight. You’re beaming from ear to ear. But you can’t celebrate yet.
You forgot about negative Nelly. Nelly is already scowling. She’s just waiting to chime in with, “That’s out of budget, our CEO doesn’t have Twitter, and where in the heck would we even get a trained polar bear?” Srsly, Nelly, chill!
In the working world there has been long held cultural ideal of the perfect worker: the extraverted, enthusiastic, and ambitious optimist. Inspired by the spate of articles arguing for the value of introverts, I think we need to also recognize the value of having a pessimist on our team.Read more
Deadlines. Timestamps. Alarms. We have the world at our fingertips and have learned to tune our lives to the tick of the clock. Yet, no matter how many seconds we plan, there is always an element of surprise; one thing that is out of our control. Something that always messes up our perfectly-planned days. We hurry through life, just to end up waiting.Read more
The following blog is by Jared Rendell.
A few weeks ago, I got the chance to offer some closing words to a couple hundred high school kids after their week at BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture. I’m a camp guy by heart, so any chance to connect with youth in a focused setting like that is a chance to make an impact. So, naturally, I started off with something really inspiring — I told them they were lied to. “What a great closing speaker,” I thought to myself, “tell them their parents are liars.” Encouragement was dripping from my lapel mic.
But, these ideas continue to roll over and over in my head and heart, and so I’m sharing them with you. Hopefully this doesn’t wreck your day or make you question your parents' motives.Read more
Think of a leader you admire. Do you appreciate their ability to share thoughtful insights based on their experiences and perspectives? To listen with openness and the intent to truly understand? To develop ideas and solutions relying on their instincts and intuition? To be motivated by their personal passions and own visions of what’s possible? To be truly and consistently themselves in whatever settings they find themselves?
That leader you’re thinking of – is it you?Read more
YNPN-TC is redoing our website! Since the most important part of YNPN Twin Cities is our members, we want to hear from you – which features would you love to see unveiled on a brand new site?Read more
A few weeks ago, strangers invited me into their home for dinner, and it completely changed how I understand community building.
In the nonprofit sector, we spend a lot of time discussing community building. We discuss everything from how to do it, to best practices, authenticity, intentionality, network-mapping, and lots of other jargon.Read more