Monday, November 19, 2007

Long time gone (again)

About a month ago, I was a bit surprised to see that my last post had been a month prior to that...and here we are in late November already. Time flies...when you're in the air...

Looking back at earlier postings from 2006 and 2005, this break is not unusual for me in the fall, when I am on the road what seems like constantly. Since my prior post on September 15, I've been in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Portland OR, Rockville MD, Northern Virginia, San Francisco, Holyoke MA, Denver, Boston, Atlanta, Columbus and Fort Wayne. And, I'm probably forgetting someplace....

What did I learn? Lots. Nearly all of my lectures were on Generation Change, and the depth and breadth of the issue just keeps growing. I heard many stories about inter-generational conflict, about the difficulty of retiring, about the cost of benefits. I got great stories to share, and heard of terrific generational adaptations that some organizations are doing.

Speaking of which, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and its Building Movement Project has a new paper out on the nonprofit leadership transition entitled Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis. Well written, it discusses the need for an entire re-thinking of the Executive Director's role. I agree that we need to revisit this issue, and applaud the visibility this gives it.

There is no question that the issue of Generation Change is on people's minds. Not only was the BoardSource conference in San Francisco in October all about the issue, at least 6 state associations have contacted me with this as their theme for their annual conference. In fact, my "normal" break from travel in January and February is not going to happen this year. Just look at my training schedule, and you'll see the predominance of the topic.

One more thing: The current issue of the Mission-Based Management Newsletter is on Generation Change and Marketing.

Good stuff, fun stuff, important stuff.

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