Reviving theological schools (and other sagging nonprofits) the McDonald’s way

A Wall Street Journal article titled “How to Revive McDonald’s” is an unexpected source of wise words for leaders in theological education, but that’s what I found there. Okay, so having just spent two days with a seminary board likely influenced the way I read the piece. However, I think I would have picked up […]

Governing with seat belts fastened

The advice from the cockpit to keep our seat belts fastened in case of unexpected turbulence applies as surely to the boards of faith-based nonprofits as to the passengers with me this past week on a cross-country flight. Although the skies through which nonprofits fly these days are far friendlier than those a few years […]

Shared governance for tough times

These are tough days for leaders in higher education and especially so for those at the helm of a theological school. Everywhere I go, boards and presidents are on the hunt for the big idea — the game changer – the Eureka moment that will save the day. I find little patience for or interest […]

Re-visioning nonprofit boards as innovators and change-agents

I recently challenged boards faced with tough decisions to choose this day (month or year) which way the organization should go. (here) Yet I know deciding is easier said than done. For boards and the nonprofits they serve, there’s no going back to how things once were. The way forward is obscured and without guarantees […]

Innovation without (much) change

When talking innovation, CEOs and board members usually have in mind outside-the-box, over-the-moon, home-run kinds of initiatives. And woe to anyone who suggests that enhancements to “is” might reap a better return than chasing “could be.” It’s off with their heads. But hold the guillotine. This just in from the Harvard Business Review: Most of the […]

Wile E. Coyote and board recruitment strategies

I recently came across a fantastic apologetic for mixing it up when recruiting new board members — and it’s done without once using the “d” word. Robert Fabricant’s playful references to Wile E.Coyote in communicating serious points about creativity and the importance of diversity (that’s the “d” word of my reference) of perspectives, make for a fun read (to be expected from a firm […]

My kingdom for a good idea

If I’m asked to participate in one more brainstorming session involving flip chart paper and colored dots, I’ll run from the room screaming. This time-worn planning strategy may have generated a usable idea or two for some organization at sometime, but I’ve yet to see it. Which probably explains my euphoria upon discovering the marvelous video […]