What New Executive Directors Have in Common with a TV Host

Last week, I wrote a bit to encourage new executive directors, especially those following a founder. On Sunday, I read the piece in Sunday’s print Washington Post Arts & Style section on current host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah (similar but different story by same writer, WaPost online). What jumped out were the observations and[…]

Dear Executive Director Following a Founder

At least a few times a year, I find myself saying that the hardest job in the nonprofit sector is that of the new executive director following the founder. Having been one (with only limited success), having supported some through different consulting engagements, and having worked with founders and executives at every point in the organizational life[…]

New Year’s Revolution: Routines, Reflection, Rules

The brief end-of-year season is closing and I find myself shifting to a January spirit for reflection, planning, and setting the pace for the incoming year. Recently, I’ve run across a few ideas that I’m incorporating into my annual reflection and planning. 1. New Year’s Revolutions, instead of Resolutions. Cute with the language. But maybe[…]

Principles for Productive Board-CEO Relationships

Today, I’m preparing to teach a class on Sustainable Leadership in its Center for Social Entrepreneurship program at George Mason University. A significant part of the lesson is about boards, a subject that often (and to be fair, usually) stymies the most capable and professionals. While there is a lot to discuss and debate on[…]

Books and Reading List for Social Enterprise Business Writing

I’m co-teaching an undergraduate English class at University of Maryland—professional writing for social entrepreneurship. My colleague and I are putting together a list of optional readings that could help students and communicators in innovative nonprofits and socially-responsible and green businesses. Have we got the right list? What are the best books for social change business[…]

Questioning Failure

A guest post by researcher, consultant, and colleague Florence Navarro. In September the Unreasonable Institute’s blog ran a story about what I call the ‘succesful’ failure of Liga Masiva, http://unreasonable.is/closing-your-company-consciously/ a fair trade coffee company which sold directly from farmers in Latin America to North American customers. The article praised the company for its approach[…]