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Organizational Resiliency in This Crucible Moment

I am currently working with two colleagues from the cultural and heritage fields to think and write about organizational resiliency in times of upheaval and ambiguity. We believe resiliency in this crucible moment requires, first and foremost, nonprofit organizations activate equity and inclusion by embracing it as central to all their internal and external work. It begins when organizations commit the time to examine their own historical roots and practices as a critical step to ensure they “live” their most meaningful missions, visions, and values.Resiliency requires many organizations also renegotiate what it means to be valuable to their communities. The traditional idea of “value” has changed and is changing, and recognizing the extent to what our communities really value is key to being wanted, needed, and, thus relevant.All organizations must retool their financial mindsets, taking a hard look at their current financial realities and realigning the costs of doing business with …
Recent posts

Talking Gender Equity in Museums and Cultural Organizations

On July 2nd, Joan Baldwin and I joined Cali Buckley and an audience from the College Art Association to talk about gender equity in museums and cultural organizations. Our conversation was wide-ranging with thoughts about pay equity, the intersectionality of workplace issues, and next generation arts leaders.



Here's the video of our conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zgnb7FAr-E&feature=youtu.be

4 Strategies to Pivot and Lead Through Disruption

New Professional Development Class Coming!

Are you a nonprofit executive director in search of a better relationship with your governing board?
Is your relationship with your board collaborative, contentious, or non-existent? Does your board drift between non-management and micromanagement? Do you mentally or emotionally check out of the relationship due to lack of time or commitment?
I'll be leading a new class for Museum Study starting August 3rd on Leading Together: Working for and With Your Board of Trustees. This four-week course is geared for executive directors and will cover roles and responsibilities, assessing the board-staff relationship, and putting strategic and integrative thinking to work at board and committee meetings, among other topics. 
Each week will include readings and assignments. We'll also gather in Zoom chats to explore topics in more depth and problem-solve your CEO-board challenges! 
The cost is $400.
I hope to see you this summer!

Crisis and Creative Leadership: A Conversation with Paul Orselli

On May 19th, exhibition designer and developer Paul Orselli and I sat down to talk about museum and nonprofit leadership.

If you'd like to watch more of Paul's Museum FAQ's, find him on YouTube.

Nonprofit Transparency: Creating A Culture of Trust

We read and hear a lot about transparency and accountability these days, but these are by no means new concepts. However, they've taken on renewed meaning in a world where spinning the message and dodging the glare of scrutiny seem to be prized skills.

Yet....
“…our funding is principally from sources requiring superficial accountability, our strategic planning is rarely compelling, board and staff are uninformed about exactly who is and is not participating in our exhibitions and programs, and we provide fare that is indexed to internal priorities, with minimal effort to explain what we have chosen not to do, or the explicit rationale for what we have chosen to do. It is essential that museum leaders resist self-congratulation and start explaining our priorities, our intentions, and the desired and measurable outcomes of our efforts.” Maxwell L. Anderson, Ph.D. from “A Clear View: The Case for Museum Transparency,”  Museum Magazine (March-April 2010) pp. 48-53
This harsh, ten-yea…

Nonprofits and the Public Trust: No Excuses

Periodically, social media is ablaze with comments from nonprofit leaders bemoaning the fact that their organizations are too small to keep up with a seemingly overwhelming amount of professional and regulatory standards. While one may hear less outright complaining from big nonprofits when they turn a blind eye to the importance of standards, ethics, and the public trust, chances are we'll be reading about their transgressions in the headlines.

Whether nonprofits flaunt the public trust due to ignorance or by design, the performance expectation for all nonprofits -- no matter their size, discipline, or resources -- is grounded in the fact they have been incorporated to perform a public service. They have entered into a relationship with the public that fulfills a need for which they receive benefits in return. Chief among these benefits is tax exemption for mission-related activities and the opportunity for donors to make tax-deductible contributions. When a nonprofit honors its…