No, this isn't a new revelation. But if the popularity of this post, by Don Griesmann, yesterday is any indication, he both hit a nerve and offered a useful and sorely needed resource. I shared a link that was re-tweeted (shared) by several people throughout the day. It undoubtedly resonated with folks in their respective follower lists as well, and some of them likely passed it on to their contacts.
This little incident reminds me of two things:
- The importance of sharing the highly practical with leaders in the field. It is essential, even/especially when sharing research-based information, to be able to speak to the real needs of boards.
- The incredible power of social media in sharing and generating a lot of that practical knowledge.
I've found very few navel-gazers amongst the nonprofit/NGO folks I interact with via social media. Everyone I encounter "out there" leads the sector in vital and creative ways while serving their respective communities. The horizon expanding and knowledge sharing that takes place in those settings is global and highly practical. Lives and communities are changed along the way. Leaders are born and nurtured. And we all come away at the end of the day with something new that shapes who we are and how we approach our work.
I thought more deeply about resources needed for board orientation yesterday, thanks to Don's post. I added a bookmark that will be shared widely with the nonprofit boards I encounter. And I saw - yet again - the power of connecting people with similar interests and varied expertise areas who share a common vision: a vibrant, transformative social sector.
This post certainly isn't ending where I expected. I started simply wanting to share a marvelous resource that should be of value to any of our boards. But it hit a nerve on a common refrain that I really wish more in the sector would get past. Nonprofits and their boards cannot afford to sit back and rest on the status quo. Surviving - no, thriving - in our current environment and in the future will require the capacity to stretch in ways we never conceived.
Those who can't or won't stretch will be left behind. Some will disappear altogether. Incredible resources to help us transform our organizations and communities we serve are available to us, in ways never before possible, thanks to "technology." We must reach out and engage with new people and organizations in new ways. We need to be proactive in not only locating the resources to help us act differently but ultimately being open to acting differently. One step in that direction is to get past the notion that "technology" has nothing of value for the "real world." Too much is at stake for our organizations and our communities for complacency.