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Weekly News Alert: 9/10/09 - 9/17/09

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On Change...

  • Seth Godin publishes a controversial post deriding non-profits for being resistant to change.  He argues that non-profits cannot use a lack of resources as an excuse because opportunities online are free or relatively inexpensive.  So, the only reason nonprofits do not embrace change, he says, is because they are not willing to give up “total control and bureaucracy.”  The Buzz Bin (among many others) publishes a post responding to Seth Godin, countering many of his points.
  • Lucy Bernholz, on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, makes the argument that “data are the new platform for change.”  She makes the claim based on increased visibility (due to collaboration), sharing expertise, and being able to see the “flow of the money,” all of which come from or create networks.  Networks, in turn, are changing how communities operate and what values they operate around.  She goes on to list some of the countervailing forces we also need to consider when looking at what encourages people to give and philanthropy’s future.

On Innovation...

  • In his Tactical Philanthropy blog, Sean Stannard Stockton shares his opinion about ‘design thinking’ and how it relates to being productive.  He concludes that both non and  for-profit organizations need to find ways to combine basic, traditional approaches with new more innovative ways to get things done.  This combination will create a kind of cycle, each one “feeding the other to create new and improved products, services and experiences.”
  • Communication and collaboration are key to successful innovation and within an organization, everyone must be committed to exploring innovative ideas and new styles of critical thinking.  James Todhunter of Invention Machine shares these tips and others about how to create sustainable innovation.
  • In the business world, innovation is a trendy word to throw around, but Umair Haque of Harvard Business Publishing argues that both the word and the idea can actually be detrimental or even destructive to businesses and organizations.  He proposes that instead of striving for innovation, businesses should actually strive for “awesomeness” which stresses ethical production, quality and value.

On New Models and Mangament...

  • In an interview, Clay Shirky speaks about the changing role of membership models for nonprofit organizations.  The traditional model, he says, is a one-way communication approach in which members of a nonprofit organization paid a monthly fee and got a newsletter.  Now, because of the rise of social media and increased two-way communication, models should foster “lateral links” between the organization and its members and among members.  One way to do this is to facilitate the creation of smaller groups interested in specific issues.
  • Business models are changing as is the speed required for change to occur.  In a pre-social media, less technologically advanced world, a rooted business model was standard and innovation was encouraged only under the condition that it would work in accordance with the business plan.  The model was occasionally tweaked, but it essentially was the cornerstone business was built around and so it had to be concrete.   Now, Bloggging Innovation says, it is necessary that innovation actually takes place at the business model level.
  • Nonprofitmapping.org is creating an “interactive map that will visualize the Bay Area nonprofit landscape.” It is a form of “open philanthropy” and will be a means to share (previously unavailable) knowledge and data through the internet.  It is expected to be an excellent resource for nonprofits in the bay area.

On Diversity, Collaboration and Values...

  • In the spirit of launching their new blog, IISC shares concepts and ideas they have been exploring.  The first is network building and the idea of collaborating to “create the conditions for the kind of innovation needed to tackle society’s most intractable problems.”  The second concept is diversity, equity and inclusion in order to understand identity-based differences among people.  The third is the idea of “the love that does justice”, which is how they refer to the inner side of leadership – the side that says good leadership is based in good values.
  • Diversity is not just about race, gender and sexual orientation, but also about age.  The philanthropic world tends to be very focused on promoting diversity when it comes to the first three types of diversity, but not as inclined to encourage the last one.  Diversity of age, especially within this ever advancing technology driven world, is incredibly important though, the New Voices of Philanthropy blog argues, and the philanthropic world needs to promote and demonstrate that through its practices.

On Evaluation and Learning...

  • Gale Berkowitz of the Packard Foundation writes about how an organization can use evaluation to learn and improve its strategy and practices.  She lists and explains three principles the Packard Foundation uses when evaluating their own processes.  The first involves willingness to take feedback, the second involves continuous improvement and the third is based on the idea that “evaluation should be conducted in partnership with those who are doing the work.”  She believes that following these guidelines will lead to optimal leading and learning.

Top Articles:
The problem with non
Author: Seth Godin
Date: September 15, 2009
Source: Seth Godin’s blog
URL: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/09/the-problem-with-non.html
 
Why Seth Godin Needs to Do Field Work
Author: Geoff Livingston
Date: September 16, 2009
Source: The Buzz Bin
URL: http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/2009/09/16/why-seth-godin-needs-to-do-field-work/
 
Decoding the future of philanthropy
Author: Lucy Berholz
Date: September 14, 2009
Source: Philanthropy 2173
URL: http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2009/09/decoding-future-of-philanthropy.html
 
Innovating While Getting Things Done
Author: Sean Stannard-Stockton
Date: September 17, 2009
Source: Tactical Philanthropy
URL: http://tacticalphilanthropy.com/2009/09/innovating-while-getting-things-done
 
Do you know our 3 F’s of Innovation?
Author: Branden Kelley
Date: September 17, 2009
Source: Blogging Innovation
URL: http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/2009/09/do-you-know-your-3-fs-of-innovation.html
 
The Awesomeness Manifesto
Author: Umair Haque
Date: September 16, 2009
Source: Harvard Business Publishing
URL: http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/haque/2009/09/is_your_business_innovative_or.html
 
Clay Shirky on Membership Non-profits
Date: September 14, 2009
Source: Wiser Earth Blog
URL: http://blog.wiserearth.org/clay-shirky-on-membership-non-profits/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=clay-shirky-on-membership-non-profits
 
Will Your Strategy Kill Your Company?
Author: Rowan Gibson
Date: September 14, 2009
Source: Blogging Innovation
URL: http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/2009/09/will-your-strategy-kill-your-company.html
 
Welcome to Nonprofitmapping.org
Date: September 8, 2009
Source: nonprofitmapping.org
URL: http://nonprofitmapping.org/
 
Nonprofit Mapping
Author: Lucy Bernholz
Date: September 10, 2009
Source: Philanthropy 2173
URL: http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2009/09/nonprofit-mapping.html
 
“Only Connect”
Date: September 16, 2009
Source: IISC Blog
URL: http://interactioninstitute.org/blog/2009/09/16/only-connect/
 
Not your Mama’s Philanthropy
Author: Trista Harris, Jasmine Hall Ratcliff, Paul Bachleitner
Date: September 11, 2009
Source: New Voices of Philanthropy
URL: http://www.tristaharris.org/not-your-mama%e2%80%99s-philanthropy
 
Evaluation for Learning
Author: Gale Berkowitz
Date: September 13, 2009
Source: Beth’s Blog
URL: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/09/guest-post-by-gale-berkowitz-evaluation-for-learning.html