Organizational Development

4 Kinds of Succession Planning

by Molly Penn Succession planning is a hot topic these days!  This article will give you tips for navigating 4 different kinds of succession planning.  As organizational development specialists who work with an equity forward lens, we have gotten a lot of inquiries about succession planning so we thought we’d share these strategies.  Succession planning refers …

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How to transform consulting through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

“I am deeply moved by our ambition and desire to be seen and heard and valued in our full embodied excellence.” —Tema Okun, professor at Duke University, author, speaker, and writer As a white accomplice leading a diverse consulting firm that provides diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) services, I am keenly aware of how …

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A strategic question

How to Frame Strategic Questions

by Molly Penn How do we ensure that planning = intentional and strategic change?  Simple.  Every good planning process needs to be rooted in a set of powerful strategic questions.  Do your change initiatives feel like business as usual to you?  If so, you are missing an opportunity to think about planning as an opportunity …

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Resolve to Focus on Culture This Year

Culture is your hidden asset or weakness. In 2021, there is a need to focus on culture to repair the trauma experienced by your people in the past year. Read on for tips on how to address culture in a post-pandemic world.

Leadership Development for a New Normal

How much of your time is spent managing others instead of leading change? Are you ready to move from a place of managing people to leading with influence? No doubt leadership development looks very different today than it did a year ago. Here are some of the trends we see emerging in 2021 and some questions for reimagining your agency’s leadership strategy.

The Power of People-Centered Culture

In the 2020 workplace, people are fully showing up. Your employees are juggling more today than ever before, attempting to work, parent, teach, and survive—all while isolated from critical community resources and support. In this new working normal, how are you creating an environment where employees feel safe, seen, heard, and respected?

Is Your Organization Still Relevant?

It’s a provocative question, we admit. Yet this is a time when organizations must be wrestling with this question actively. There are three pillars of organizational health – read on to learn more about them!

Vu Le Got Us Thinking About Boards

Let’s face it, there are some great boards and some that suck the Executive Director’s time and energy. All new board members should be trained in what it means to serve on the board of a nonprofit. Which brings us to the crux of the issue – what does it mean? Our answer may surprise you!

The Role of Culture in Organizational Change

Given the rate at which we all deal with change on a daily basis, you would think it gets easier, but managing change remains challenging. Why? Because change is an emotional experience.

Time to Pivot Our Values About the Nonprofit Sector

A global pandemic, an economic recession and an exploding social justice movement are convergent forces calling on nonprofit leaders, funders and consultants to do our work differently going forward. For the first time in modern memory, we have an opportunity to reevaluate all of our assumptions, perceptions, procedures and systems.

Just Don’t Make Me Fundraise!

Ever heard this from a board member? Many board members simply dread being asked to raise funds. We are taught that how much money someone has is considered personal information and is socially inappropriate to discuss. Since fundraising is a core responsibility of nonprofit boards, it’s well worth the effort to turn this around.

Resilience and the Need for Organization Design

It is likely that many organizations will have to make significant changes to ensure sustainability. If and when that happens (and we wish it didn’t have to), it is important to be smart about how that takes place. Enter: organization design.

How and Why You Should Engage Your Stakeholders

Wouldn’t it be easier just to do the work and not have to worry about engaging people? Sure, it would be easier – and a whole lot less effective. How each nonprofit defines its community may vary, but the idea that the organization exists to serve a particular community is at the center of the nonprofit form. Here are some tips for how to manage these conversations.

Are You Paying Attention to Culture?

The best laid plans can be facilitated or foiled by organizational culture – the (mostly) invisible force that guides how people in your organization interact with one another and with those you serve. So if culture is invisible, how do you pay attention to it? Here are some tools to help you be more proactive about building a culture where people want to work with you and do their best work when they’re there:

Our Leadership Development Program

We’ve spent the last four months building a thorough leadership development curriculum. This blog post shares what we have created.

What is leadership, anyway

Leadership is a fickle word. Sometimes it’s a noun, and other times an adjective. Often it’s categorized as good or bad, and sometimes it’s used to qualify someone’s skills, traits, or personality. Plenty of people have sought to define it, only to discover that the idea is so contextual that a truly universal definition of leadership may never exist.

How can I fire staff and still be a mensch?

While nobody wants to emulate Frank Crossleaders are often unsure how to end the employment of a staff person who isn’t working out but hasn’t violated any laws or obviously failed. To be clear, you always want to seek legal assistance or advice on the proper procedure when you are thinking of firing someone. But whenever possible, strive to make this process less painful and more humane so as not to negatively affect the morale of the remaining staff.

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