Special Ops: 5 Situations for Deploying a Red Team

We all need friends and colleagues who have our backs. But maybe we need something else, too. Maybe we need someone who can think like the enemy. The CIA calls it the “Red Team.” The military, the Federal Aviation Administration, and major corporations like IBM also use the term to refer to a group designed to penetrate your defenses — with your enthusiastic approval. This idea isn’t often discussed in philanthropy circles, but I believe it holds tremendous value for us. In any organization, a Red Team is charged with finding out what can go wrong, where the holes are, and why what you’re trying to do won’t work. The point is to question your assumptions, plans, operations, concepts, and … Continue reading Special Ops: 5 Situations for Deploying a Red Team

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How Can You Stand Out From the Crowd?

Dropping my twins off at preschool yesterday, I slowed down (along with all the other cars on a 6 lane road) to stop and watch a small gaggle of geese walk slowly across the road. After explaining (unsuccessfully) to my kids that the plural of goose is geese, not gooses, we talked about how interesting it was that the geese chose to walk across the street when they could have flown. What made us all stop and pay attention was that the geese did something unusual, something  unexpected. They walked. They did this at some risk to themselves (they could have been hit by a car), but they didn’t seem to care. This year I’ve chosen to stand out from … Continue reading How Can You Stand Out From the Crowd?

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