Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 NTC Preview: 6 Steps to Refocus Your Small Org Tech Strategy

OK, so far this year it has been tough to find time to blog. Sorry to both of my readers. But I did find some spare time to write an article that may be my best ever.

6 Steps to Refocus Your Small Org Tech Strategy

For years my friend, John Merritt from the San Diego YMCA, have been talking about IT Alignment. And for the same number of years we have worked at our YMCAs to try to make it a reality. But we both come from Large organizations. So whenever we present the audience always jumps in and says things like, "yeah that is easy for the big guys," "must be nice to have an IT team," "I'd like to have their problems..." and it goes on and on.

And the whole time the small orgs are saying those things, I am thinking that I wish I had their problems. So anyway that is what sorta drove me to really think about small orgs. So instead of a new blog post, please go read this one on the NTEN blog. And it would be great to argue this point in person at the 2011 NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference, I will be there presenting a session on this topic. But the exciting part of the session is that a small org is on the panel. That org is knee deep in making the very IT alignment changes that I love. It will be awesome to have a real example there.

Anyways, I welcome your comments on the NTEN blog.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Nonprofit Orgs Simpler (Part 7 of 11 NetNon series)

“A common refrain within nonprofit organizations and by nonprofit staffers is, ‘how can I make my life simpler when I have so much to do?” The answer is, well, simple: You have too much to do because you do too much.

Organizations and people do too much when they work within systems that are too complicated.’

This is a great excerpt from chapter 7 of The Networked Nonprofit. It continues with:

‘Simplicity clarifies organizations and forces them to focus their energy on what they do best, while leveraging the resources of their ecosystem for the rest. Simplicity powers more informal connections between people, blurs boundaries, and enables insiders to get out and outsiders to get in. Finally, simplicity helps to scale efforts because together, people can strengthen and improve communities better than a single organization ever could.’

Usually I have some witty story or unique angle about the chapters in this book. This time I don’t want to muddy the waters. Just read the book.

Just picture what your organization could do if your organization worked in simple way that was almost indistinguishable from the community you are helping.

I am going to share my thoughts about the book "The Networked Nonprofit" by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine over 11 posts, this was part 7 (one for each chapter).  But rather than just tell you what the chapter is about, I am going to share what I learned from it, any reactions and extra thoughts that I would add.  However the big caution I have with this, is that I am just not as smart and experienced as Beth and Allison, so you should probably just buy the book.