An Executive Director's point of view
September 23, 2014: Don't build it
September 18, 2014: What's the WIG idea?
That was the message of today's webinar hosted by Association Forum of Chicagoland.
(WIG = Wildly Important Goals)
September 16, 2014: Thinkers and doers
But many volunteer-driven organizations, especially those with no staff, usually don't adhere to that practice. Instead, they meld thinking and doing, often relegating thinking to a lower level of importance.
After all, they say, if everybody is a thinker, who's going to be the doer?
Here's a way to solve that problem when there is no staff:
1. Elect strategic thinkers to the Board of Directors. They should deal with long-term issues, not with the details of current activities. They should govern, not manage.
2. One of their duties, though, should be to recruit a cadre of doers, some of whom may also be Board members, to do the things they have thought up. One of those doers should be designated the coordinator (in lieu of a professional CEO). The coordinator, not the Board, should manage the details of current activities and report to the Board.
3. Appoint Board members and other thinkers to committees that are part of the decision-making process. They should discuss issues and make recommendations to the Board.
4. Establish committees of doers (in lieu of professional staff) but call them something else to avoid confusion with Board committees. Their job should be to carry out the work of the organization. They should not have to be Board members.
5. The Board Chair should not also serve as the coordinator (and that person may not have the skills to do that, anyway). Thinking entities and doing entities will do better jobs when they do what they are best at.
6. Keep individual and group responsibilities separate. A thinker who sits on the Board of Directors, for example, may also volunteer as a doer in the cadre. But those are two separate responsibilities and should not be merged into one.
September 12, 2014: Just for not-for-profit staff
September 11, 2014: 60 is the new 30
Here are the advantages that older entrepreneurs bring to the marketplace.
September 10, 2014: Lies, damn lies, and advertising
September 09, 2014: The changing workforce
September 08, 2014: Empty nester women
And is the subject audience women whose children have grown and moved away or those who never had children? There's a big, big difference.
Women (and men) who have never had children may simply be continuing the habits they've always had.
September 04, 2014: A different way to hire
September 03, 2014: How to cheat employees
1. Pay people as independent contractors even though they are employees. Ignore the fact that it is a violation of federal law and that the association may have to pay a penalty for misclassifying workers.
2. Force employees to sign away their right to sue the association. Require they agree to arbitration - with an arbiter selected and paid by the association.
3. Do not pay overtime to non-exempt employees. Tell them the extra hours are part of their jobs.
4. Pay less than the agreed upon salary for an initial period and promise to make it up after that. If an employee quits or gets fired early, the association will have saved money.
5. Don't award vacation days for an initial "probationary period." If an employee leaves during that time, the association will have saved money.
6. Do not pay non-exempt employees for travel time to and from conferences or other activities. Just pay them for time when they are actually working.
7. Hire part-time employees and keep their hours below the amount required to pay benefits.
8. Force non-exempt employees to work "off the clock" - on weekends, evenings, and early mornings - in addition to their regular hours. Tell them it is their responsibility to service members at all times.
Cheating employees is not only wrong (and crappy), it is often illegal. If your association does not treat employees with respect, how can you expect employees to treat members with respect?