The Value of Being "Strategically Opportunistic"

Lester Olmstead-Rose // Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Value of Being "Strategically Opportunistic"

Very strategic organizations are smart about scanning for and responding to opportunities — that’s part of being strategic! But mastering the balance strategy and opportunity demands that organizations be intentional about building their intended future. So…for every opportunity, how do you respond strategically?

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Categories: Nonprofits, Change Management, Strategic Planning

In Forging Partnerships, Avoid Putting Form Over Function

Jo DeBolt // Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Forging Partnerships, Avoid Putting Form Over Function

Figuring out where you want to go and determining all of the things you’ll need to get there is the smart beginning point in forming strategic partnerships. Rushing to the decision on structure may leave you with your bags packed only to discover you can’t get where you want to go on the vehicle you chose.  

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Categories: Nonprofits, Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring

To Get the Right Answer, Ask the Right Question

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, October 23, 2014

To Get the Right Answer, Ask the Right Question

Identifying your Big Question is one of the five key principles in La Piana Consulting’s Real-Time Strategic Planning approach to strategy development. But what do we mean by that, and how can it help your organization define a solid strategy?

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Categories: Strategic Planning

Getting to Know the La Piana Team: An Interview with Jo DeBolt

Melissa Mendes Campos // Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting to Know the La Piana Team: An Interview with Jo DeBolt

This blog post is part of our series introducing the La Piana team. This week we spoke with Jo DeBolt, Partner, about her cross-sector background, the profound changes affecting health and human services nonprofits today, and what she enjoys doing in her (albeit rare!) downtime.

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Categories: Our Team

When Merger Doesn't Add Up

Bob Harrington // Thursday, October 09, 2014

When Merger Doesn't Add Up

When nonprofits invest time and effort in merger explorations or negotiations, not getting to "yes" can be discouraging. But there is no reason to give up just because a merger doesn’t add up. Instead, consider the groundwork that has been set for forming any number of other kinds of high-impact alliances.

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Categories: Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring

What Do You Read to Lead?

David La Piana // Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What Do You Read to Lead?

Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter is best known for his eight-step guide to navigating organizational change. His latest book, Accelerate, builds on the eight-step approach but introduces a whole new concept, one which I think has broad applicability to the nonprofit sector.

 

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Categories: Change Management, Commentary, Strategic Planning

Nonprofit Merger Myths

Jo DeBolt // Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nonprofit Merger Myths

Merger can be a powerful choice for nonprofits, but like any strategy, it has its utility as well as its limitations. We must be rigorous in testing our assumptions and expectations about what merger is, and what it isn’t. This post takes on three of those most common assumptions, or myths, and counters with real-world experience from helping scores of nonprofits use mergers (and other collaborative strategies) to achieve lasting social impact.

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Categories: Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring

Getting to Know the La Piana Team: Melissa Mendes Campos

Claudette Goldberg // Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting to Know the La Piana Team: Melissa Mendes Campos

This blog post is part of our series introducing the La Piana team. This week we spoke with Melissa Mendes Campos, Senior Research Consultant, about mentors and...well, Muppets.

 

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Categories: Our Team

The Feral Board Member: Tapping Untamed Talent

Rosalyn Allison-Jacobs // Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Feral Board Member: Tapping Untamed Talent

Building a pipeline of young leaders who have the capacity — or willingness — to give time, talent, and treasure to nonprofit boards is one of the greatest challenges facing nonprofit organizations. The fact is that these individuals are, by nature, feral in their outlook on life and work. Less structure is more, and commitment is fleeting. So, how might the nonprofit sector adapt to capitalize on the considerable talents of feral board members — of any age? Perhaps it’s time for a new board paradigm….

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Categories: Nonprofits, Governance, Trends

When Foundations Exit the Field

David La Piana // Thursday, August 07, 2014

When Foundations Exit the Field

Whether shifting away from funding in a specific program area or looking toward a total spend-down and closure, foundations face the dilemma of how to make a graceful exit. This blog shares a few observations about how funders can navigate these shifts in partnership with their grantees. For more on this topic, watch for the fall issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, featuring an article I’ve coauthored with Christopher Oechsli on The Atlantic Philanthropies’ limited-life strategy. 

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Categories: Foundations
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