Decisions 101

Even though I have been in management for most of my professional career, I rarely write about such topics. Perhaps it is too close to home, or simply too much like work for me to enjoy writing about it on my blog. Today is different. I have been thinking of things that help organizations make better decisions and want to share them.

1. When you bring problems to you’re supervisor/manager/director be sure that you have also thought about potential solutions. Bursting in to the boss’s office with an urgent “the sky is falling” message is much better received if you have considered the problem from different angles and have some solutions or responses ready to suggest.

2. Do not hesitate to give your opinion about issues that arise in your work. Nothing riles me more than when I am trying to have a discussion with an employee and I get the silent, blank stare. What I want is opinions, ideas, information, even arguments. Ken Blanchard is famous for saying, and I am known for repeating, “All of us are smarter than some of us.” We almost always make better decisions when we make them together and employees often have the most important perspectives.

3. When faced with a crisis, problem, or tough decision, put on you asbestos britches and just get to work. No whining, no blaming, no procrastinating. Just do it. And never, ever try to hide it, whatever the ‘it’ is for you. If I know what I am dealing with I am much more inclined to be forgiving than when I have been blindsided because someone was afraid to speak up.

4. Nothing can be declared finished until the paperwork is done. The documentation, reports, publicity, thank you letters, financial accounting, etc. cannot be ignored. If you do, it always comes to haunt you – and it is always worse the second time around.

That’s my list. Call it accountability, call it follow through, call it common sense, or something else, but a person who heeds this advice will have great success.

What would you add to the list?

The NEW communication

I went to a seminar a few months back about nonprofit marketing.  The seminar leader, Katya Andresen, of Network for Good, talked about how important it is for nonprofits to become engaged in the Internet communication phenomenon, popularly referred to as Web 2.0.  Her remarks got me to thinking about that, and I have begun to dabble in this Web 2.0 thing to see what all the fuss is about.

First, I joined Facebook. That is definitely an interesting experience.  Sure wish it had been around when I was a youngster! The idea is to create a page for yourself, using the prompts they provide – schools job, interests, photos, that sort of thing.  Then you locate your friends who also have  Facebook pages and invite them to become a Facebook friend. Both of my kids have several hundred friends on Facebook.  The have all their school chums, the kids they met at camps, various school activities, and their friends’ friends, too, in some cases.

It is actually very cool, being able to stay in contact with people you know from all those different compartments of your life.  When I was growing up, I would get to know someone at, say, church camp really well. We would write for awhile after we returned home, but then life interferes, and we would lose touch.  With Facebook, it’s much easier, because you see their Facebook page updates, make comments, share memories, stay connected.

I have a humiliating 18 Facebook friends.  Katya Andresen said in her presentation that contrary to popular belief the average age of a Facebook user is in their 40s.  Well, very few of my 40-something or 50-something friends have found the need to join, so I am not sure where she is coming up with that number.  I have even tried to convince my friends to join.  Only one taker so far, and she already has more friends on her page than I have!  I have even resorted to adding my kids’ friends as my friends, and still have only 18.  I keep remembering people I have known over the years, searching for their names to see if they have a Facebook page.  Rarely a ‘hit,” sigh.

But I’m not giving up. Even if I have very few friends. I keep adding to my page, checking the pages of the few friends I have, looking for new friends, basically being a web geek. Now, I am not quite sure what having a Facebook page has to do with nonprofit marketing yet, but I’m sure I will figure it out someday.  Meanwhile, I’m having fun learning.

getting stronger . . .

Greetings!  One of my favorite saying is, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” This blog is my attempt to make myself stronger – expland my horizons, get out of my comfort zone.  You see, they tell me I should start blogging.  This is a totally new concept to me, putting my thoughts, rants, ideas, opinions, celebrations out into the world for anyone and everyone to see.  But blogging I will try.  I suppose it won’t kill me.

I will be blogging about the things that are important to me.  The list is fairly diverse:

I’m an avid gardener, and find the stress relief and satisfaction I get from watching things I planted grow, well, satifying.

I am the director of a nonprofit organization, so I am passionate about how this country treats those who are less fortunate. I also have an opinion or two about management, mentoring, community involvement, that I am likely to share from time to time.

Being a mom, I am pretty passionate about my kids, too.

And who knows, a word or two about politics, religion, the environment, travel, entertainment may creep in from time to time.