Cleaning Out Our Closets


Recently I was cleaning my closet and came across several  items that no longer fit well or had long  since gone out of style – yes, I am either “that old” or styles change rapidly, take your pick.  I wondered why I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of those clothes.  I am an organized and reasoned person so what was holding me back? And then I began to wonder if programs are like clothes in our closets, which was a great distraction because it kept me from dealing with the problem at hand.  But think about it: we buy things that reflect who … [Read more...]

Governance in the 21st Century

photo: Theresa Remick

Editor's note: As part of our blog event for The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, Jean McLaughlin takes on the problem: Create the 21st century board. What would an ideal 21st century board look like? And, how might board members best add value? These are the questions I have been pondering for the past few days. In many ways I marvel at the productive, supportive, responsible and enthusiastic nature of the boards I have worked with. I know this … [Read more...]

Building Cultures of Innovation, Embracing Change and Becoming More Foxy


Editor’s note:  As part of our online discussion around The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, Marc Vogl takes on the problem: Develop employees and organizational systems that will transform our organizations and the field. “To expect the unexpected,” said Oscar Wilde, “shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” And yet, it is so much easier said than done. If anticipating plot twists in the third act of a play is the learned skill of the experienced … [Read more...]

Is social media changing your model, maybe?

Summer's winding down, and I'm sure most of you have heard Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" roughly 2,000 times by now. Maybe you're sick of it. Maybe it's still catchy and you love the endless stream of lip-synced tribute videos. Maybe you wonder why this song, of all the songs out there, has caught on like wildfire. A few years ago I heard an interesting NPR piece positing that this kind of popularity might be attributed to derivative content, citing Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" and Avatar as examples. A recent New York Times article about "Call Me … [Read more...]

Bright Spots Leadership in the Pacific Northwest

This is a report from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation about arts nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest that are thriving during these difficult economic times. There are 12 organizations featured here, and I am proud to say that  Literary Arts made the cut! What's interesting about this report is how each organization adapted and changed. The themes that emerge, I think, have a lot to do with attitude: attitude toward constituents and attitude toward change. Read Bright Spots Leadership in the Pacific Northwest » … [Read more...]

Stop Blaming Your Culture

An article of interest on an-oft used whipping boy for failed change efforts. The authors argue one is most likely to succeed using an organization's existing culture to help change behaviors in the shorter-term. These behaviors can in turn change the culture in the longer run. When a new leader’s strategy puts the culture of a company at risk, the culture will trump the strategy, almost every time. There are good reasons for this. Every company’s identity — the body of capabilities and practices that distinguish it and make it effective — … [Read more...]