What To Do When You’ve Inherited a Consultant

In a recent post, I talked about the pros and cons of inheriting a consultant. This week, I want to continue that thread by explaining how to identify red flags, what to do about them, and how to say goodbye if needed. Red Flags While I’m all for entering a new relationship with an inherited consultant optimistically, there are a few indicators that this may not be the relationship for you. For example: You’ve been on the job for a while, but the consultant has never contacted you. They knew they were under contract but didn’t reach out. Why? Were they hoping to get paid for doing nothing? You don’t enjoy talking to or spending time with the consultant. Things … Continue reading What To Do When You’ve Inherited a Consultant

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A New Year’s Resolution: Be a Disrupter for a Day

This is a guest post by Allen Smart, Interim President and Vice President of Programs, and Nora Ferrell, Director of Communications, at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Most of us chose the world of philanthropy because we wanted to make a difference—the same goes for our friends in the nonprofit arena. But soon, some of us realize that “making a difference” isn’t enough—what we really want is to make an impact, to change what needs to be fixed. Then, after awhile of trying to make an impact, we figure out that making change—the kind of change that sticks—is really hard. We reflect on our experiences, and we realize that our best shot at lasting change requires disruption. Because how … Continue reading A New Year’s Resolution: Be a Disrupter for a Day

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Inherited Consultants: Blessing or Burden?

You’ve landed your new job. Your vision is big, and so is your to-do list. You’ve got to deliver, and quick. Luckily for you, they’ve already hired a consultant to help you. Right? Maybe not. A good consultant is a trusted advisor with the experience and expertise to help you accomplish your goals. In many cases, they can help you unpack your real needs, understand your true objectives, and work with you to determine and the best solutions. The person your predecessor hired might or might not fit the bill. Let me tell you a story about this scenario going well and then share examples of what can go wrong. A few years ago, the Cleveland Foundation hired me to … Continue reading Inherited Consultants: Blessing or Burden?

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3 Trends I’m Watching in 2016

It’s a new year filled with new opportunities for philanthropy. Now if we could all just get a handle on what they are and how to take advantage of them! There are many things unfolding in our world that will have an impact on our work this year, this decade and beyond. I’m not big on making predictions, but I do like to keep my eyes and ears open and track new developments carefully. That’s why I’m watching three trends this year that I think are especially relevant for my work and for the field of philanthropy. Trend #1 – Fragmentation of information. If you’ve not watched or read this fascinating conversation between NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo and Knight Foundation … Continue reading 3 Trends I’m Watching in 2016

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