Our Community is running it’s annual Communities in Control conference in May 2017 in Moonee Ponds, Victoria.This year, the theme is “What Makes Healthy Communities? People Have the Power!” and brings together a stellar lineup of community sector thinkers, leaders and visionaries. A particular highlight of the conference this year will be Andrew Denton’s delivery of the 2017 Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration in conversation with ABC News 24’s Breakfast co-host Virginia Trioli.
I started going in 2014 – it was awesome – so book here!
15 very interesting lessons learned identified by NonProfit With Balls in 2015.
- An organization not built on strong values will crumble like dried hummus.
- An elephant in the room is most destructive when it is ignored.
- Diversity means differences, including of perspectives.
- There is more than one way to do activism.
- Anyone of any age can be totally awesome or totally crappy.
- The perception of who is leading matters as much as who is leading.
- Bigotry is like getting something stuck in your teeth.
- Not taking risks is one of the biggest risks of all.
- If there’s writing on the wall, don’t whitewash it.
- We cannot compare a nonprofit platypus to a for-profit porcupine.
- When we use silver bullets, we often shoot ourselves in the foot.
- Donors are looking for authentic partnerships.
- The squeaky wheel gets the worm, and it is inequitable.
- If no one is listening, it’s probably because you’re not either.
- A unicorn in the hand is worth two working in real estate.
Do yourself a favour, have a laugh and learn!
Many organisations assume that the best way to increase their impact is to scale up – get bigger, service more areas, reach more people. But what if the answer lies in thinking differently, not thinking bigger? What role will your not-for-profit organisation play in the overall solution to the problem you set out to tackle?
In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Endgame Theory authors Alice Gugelev and Andrew Stern proposed six possible endgames:
- Sustained service: You keep on doing what you’ve always done. This is the default endgame for many not-for-profits – yet it’s not always the right one
- Open source: You invest in research and development, then share what works by serving as a knowledge hub for other organisations
- Replication: You demonstrate what works, then persuade other not-for-profits to deliver it
- Government adoption: You demonstrate what works, then persuade the government to deliver it
- Commercial adoption: You demonstrate what works, then persuade private companies to deliver it
- Mission achievement: You achieve your mission, and the job is done, everywhere, for all time. This only works if your mission is well defined and plausibly achievable – for example, “to eradicate malaria”.
So, if you’re a not-for-profit organisation, what’s your endgame?
The Institute of Company Directors Australia is putting on two November seminars only in Melbourne and Sydney featuring the article’s co-author, U.S.-based social entrepreneur and impact acceleration expert Alice Gugelev. More information can be obtained here.
Our Community published this short but compelling piece of advice about annual reports from Disruptive Media in its latest Our Community Matters ezine:
- Make your annual report an all-rounder
Your annual report can be a multi-purpose publication that works as a marketing tool across the entire year, so you get maximum mileage from the time and money you’ve invested in it. This type of report can help you strengthen your brand, raise your profile, improve fundraising opportunities and connect with the people you want to reach.
- Go digital
Many organisations publish their annual reports online. Not only does this save on printing and distribution costs, it also seriously extends the value of what you’re producing. Creating a digital report opens up opportunities to reuse content across social media, allowing you to extend your reach and share your story with a wider audience.
- Find a theme
Giving your annual report a theme is a great way to make it more memorable. The theme will guide the style of writing, photo selection and overall design. Using a theme keeps your message consistent and binds the report together. It also makes for much more interesting reading.
- Create a story
People love stories. There’s something incredibly powerful about a personal account that just can’t be matched by cold facts and figures. So look for ways to thread stories throughout your report. Quotes, interviews and short stories are great ways to show how you’ve made a difference. Remember, too, that stories don’t have to be confined to print – videos make compelling, highly shareable content.
- Use quality photos
Just as a good yarn is irresistible, so too do photos have spectacular pulling power. Well-placed photos break up large chunks of text and can breathe life into an otherwise dull report. Photos also connect with people on an emotional level, which can help them to better relate to what your organisation is about. The visual story of your annual report is just as important as the words, so it’s worth investing in good-quality photos throughout the year. As a bonus, of course, you can get extra mileage out of great photos in your other communications too.
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Five key business continuity strategies from Matthew Sainsbury in “Company Director” [Vol 31, Iss 02, Mar/2015]
- Understand the threat landscape
Likely and unlikely disasters will change on ayearly if not monthly basis. It is important that all directors and executive management remain on top of what the current risks are and the most current strategies to mitigate them.
- Remain vigilant for both internal and external threats
One of the most common mistakes that organisations make in disaster planning is ignoring the potential for a disgruntled employee to cause trouble.
- Be aware of personal safety and security
Company directors are listed on the company websites by necessity but a committed hacker can gain information on that person from even that short blurb. A director’s home and personal technology needs to be treated with the same need for security as their work devices.
- Redundancy is key
Always have an alternative for every business process, supplier an dtechnology project and make sure that the alternative is located in an area that is geographically separate from the main location. Have robust plans in place to automatically roll over as a backup in the event of a disaster.
- Have full disaster management and succession plans in place
In a disaster, a chaotic environment can cause more mistakes and when that happens the impact of the event can be even greater. Having clearly laid-out and pre-prepared strategies for managing disasters will minimise the impact.
Had 1 fantastic jam-packed day of learning at the Our Community Institute of Community Directors’ Board Builder Conference (Moonee Valley Racetrack, 23/Feb/2015):
- Some awesome presentations on NFP mergers, Crisis Management, Fundraising, Board Recruitment, ICT security, and People Management
- Some fabulous opportunities to network with 400+ not-for-profit board members and CEOs
- A challenging lunchtime presentation from one of Australia’s most prominent futurists, Dr Peter Ellyard
- Several chances to pick the brains of a number of not-for-profit governance experts during 2 provocative panel sessions
- Some great take-aways from the Commonwealth Bank and Moores Legal.
When asked recently by an HR manager if she had a sample of a policy about working from home, Pam Ross’ answer was:
“Get your work done, meet your objectives, and do it from wherever you want.”
Really, within reason, does it matter where your employees do their work, as long as they get it done? Work is not a place you go, but something you do. Just remember to be abundantly clear about what their work responsibilities and objectives are.
As an employer, it is important to develop the appropriate mindset when it comes to managing social media use by your employees, and keeping your social media policies and practices up-to-date. Here are a few best practices to consider from Bloomberg BNA:
- Avoid general, overbroad, and undefined terms. Read each portion of your policy and ask yourself whether an employee could reasonably interpret it
- Avoid overly subjective terms that place too much discretion in the hands of employers as to what does and does not violate the policy, but little advance knowledge in the minds of employees as to precisely what is prohibited
- Carefully consider what business interests need to be protected, and narrowly tailor your workplace rules to accomplish that
- Apply and enforce your policy consistently, and in a manner that reflects a true intention to protect the business interests need to be protected
- Stay abreast of all developments in this area of the law, and discuss any uncertainties with your legal advisers
Here is a sick leave policy that makes uncommon sense.
“We’re all adults here. If you’re sick, please stay home.”
Tom Gardner, CEO and CoFounder of the Motley Fool.
In particular I want to acknowledge David [Bailey] for bringing an extraordinary level of professionalism to our work and for his keen eye on process and procedure and providing us with a robust governance framework that had been sadly lacking [Aldo King, Retiring Board Chair, RESULTS International (Australia)]