Saturday, November 24, 2007

If you have a minute....

This morning, as I recover from the amazing food that my brother-in-law has been feeding us over the holidays, my daughter Caitlin turned me on to a great site if you can spare a minute....

Free Rice is a site where you challenge your vocabulary and help feed hungry people all at the same time. You take a rolling multiple choice vocab test and for each answer you answer correctly, ten grains of rice are donated through the United Nations. The words get harder as you get more right, and you get to see the results of your efforts in a bowl of rice on the site.

Very cool. Feed your brain and someone else's belly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Leading by example....good for "Good"

"Good" Magazine, has announced its annual "Choose Good" campaign. Each year the mag selects 12 worthy nonprofits who get 100% of the subscription fees for a set amount of time. This year's nonprofits include Kiva, YouthAids, and ten more terrific organizations.

This is a terrific idea, and one that puts money where "Good"'s mouth is. Which is a lot more than I can say for former President Clinton's "share" of revenues from his new book, "Giving". In my view, since he makes no bones about the fact that he's gotten rich from speaking since leaving office, he should have given all of his royalties to would only be leading by example.

I suspect the book is excellent, since Clinton has done many good works during his first 8 years out of office, and I got to hear him speak on this subject at my son Adam's graduation in April, but I'm not buying it....I'm going to the library and then sending the cost of the book to a charity. I urge you to do the same.

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.