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TAME THE MIND
Have you tried to do nothing for a few hours?
Not even think but just stare at an object with no agenda or intention.
It's very hard. It's very frightening to some.
Emptying the mind is a challenge. There's too much thinking, mindless and intentional.
How can we tame it into total submission?
I found that the way to do that is to DISRUPT it.
Speak something and that thought pattern is cut off immediately.
You can clear the mind when you also do something else constructively and that you will enjoy.
We call it quiet time or restful time, away from distractions and mundane.
Just pacifying thoughts and refocusing to positivity, blessings and great things.
Open your mind to the possibilities every waking hour.
Let go of anything from the day that takes away your joy. It wasn't meant to be.
Maximize an abundant mind.
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SPRING CLEANING STARTS WITH YOU
When was the last time you made some spring cleaning in your organization?
Have you tried to look at your Bylaws and Letters of Incorporation lately?
Have you done some reviews of your Policies and Guidance Documents?
Have you considered reviewing your Terms of References, Procurements, and Vendor processes?
Have you made progress in your volunteer growth and advancement recently?
Are staff and Board evaluations and reviews in the pipeline?
Sometimes, the best spring cleaning begins at your desk.
What work are you trying to put off in the last few weeks and months now?
What difficult conversation must take place sooner than later?
Who needs to be informed, consulted, and engaged in your process?
The rigmarole of paper pushing in many offices is seldom questioned.
It's time to figure out what is work and what's non-work.
Spring cleaning is all about tackling the most essential and dropping the non-work.
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When all the processes of strategy formulation is completed, and now, voila, you have it in a nice two-ring binder for everyone to see. Congratulate yourself for a job well done.
After the communications campaign is launched and the implementation starts, four things can happen and you are the best judge for it as the main executive tasked with spearheading this project.
1. There are no changes to be done as everything that went into the strategy document suits the rest of reality that follows. If you believe that you have a perfect document, very well. Let' see in the next few months.
2. There are minor revisions that will need to adjusted, mainly the baseline data, the situational assessments, the analysis for which the decisions were based. These elements are ordinarily monitored, assessed, and adjusted as the strategy moves forward.
3. Major disruption that derailed or almost decapitated the strategy. There was a change in the whole landscape of the organization, internally, in terms of capacity, interests, and aspirations such as a leadership vacuum due to a leadership and management crisis, a situation where a major funder has pulled out creating a huge financial burden, and other internal stakeholder issues that would derail the implementation or compromise its chances of success. Another example of a external threat to the strategy was the COVID19 pandemic which based on many accounts, left many purpose-driven organizations without an anchor for 6-12 months just operating and surviving. Not even thinking about growth strategy or change initiatives.
4. The strategy is useless, unimplementable, a mirage in a desert. Well, this is the worst kind of realization that can happen after a 6-12 month process. It could happen to any organization without having to think too much. Say for example, you have a totally new Board, a totally new executive team, a totally new set of staff and leaders, no budget for implementation and the previous leaders who put this together bid sayonara with you nothing to work on. The new leadership could not, will not, assume accountability and responsibility, and have no will power or creativity or simply felt powerless to enact anything other what they created. Best scenario is to reduce this to a doable strategy that could work in new circumstances. Keep it real and simple.
These four scenarios are real-life hurdles neatly disguised in confused state- aka what makes you sleepless at night. Besides the initial worry about not going smoothly as planned, there are always options and alternatives. Talk to your Board. Consult the experts in this area. Read what others have done in your sector. Confer with colleagues. And lastly, the smartest way is to learn from the mistakes of others.
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BECAUSE SOMEBODY CARED
I didn't come from a well-to-do background. I came from the most humble beginning.
Way back in circa 70s, what we had was a make-shift house, with tin roof over our heads, three simple meals a day and an opportunity to go to school. Forget that the neighbor in better villages could afford a television, a fridge, a stove, a good toilet, and some eating out and vacation time.
Well, I have travelled from there to here and I can fairly say with all honesty that it was a good journey. I have learn lots in the process. Truth to be told, it is not perfect now, but comparing to those years where all you want to do is to get out of the misery, it wasn't bad after all. It was good to suffer early on in life. I learned to appreciate early little good things that I have.
What brought me here is a group of people that supported me from the start and continue to support me in every aspect of my life. They cheer me on, bring me perspective, encourage my walk, and gave me all kinds of support. I am forever indebted.
I thank them everyday during those formative years when I have no awareness of my potentials yet, they build it from within me. Because my family cared, my former teachers and mentors cared, and other kind-hearted people I met along the way cared, I am now what I am.
To the many more people that I will meet in the future, it's not my skills, expertise, and charisma after all, although they are valuable. It's not about me, it's because they are the kind of people that rises up with others along their path.
Thank you for spreading love and humanity.
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There is a level of entitlement that has totally gone berserk.
The radicals are demanding that you change your beliefs and values so that the world will be better.
Some people are demanding that you forsake any reason, logic, or common sense for a practice that is not rationale, logical, or based on humanity's sense.
Some are demanding that they get your attention because they believe that their story is better than yours, hence, the attention.
Students are demanding that they get into the honor roll just for showing up.
Parents are demanding that their kids get to enrol in prestigious institutions and will readily bribe officials just to get entry.
Politicians are seeking the truth when they themselves are complicit of using science, research, and global consensus to mask what's going on with the pandemic for example.
Non-profits are feeling entitled to use their volunteers in order to skimp on organizational support and development and avoid getting the funding for the latter.
The social media is full of hypocritical beings who are posers but not real doers, advocates of something that when push comes to shove, not very willing to forgo their convenience, lifestyle, ways of life, and the status quo.
How to deal with and navigate around these entitled individuals, organizations, and entities:
1. Reverse their argument. How they would feel if the other person or target group or beneficiaries or constituencies would demand the same?
2. Who benefits from these demands? What actors and groups and causes they are promoting and against? What are the stakes here?
3. Think systemically. How this course of action can lead to more negative impacts down the line? Is this going to be another palliative or flavor-of-the-month solution? Where is that movement is this leading to? Is this resolving an issue or using another group or issue to cover-up or devalue the persistent long-term ones?
4. Some demands and suppositions are downright illegal, unethical, and pie-in-the-sky. Learn to discern and debate well.
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The explosion in publishing has been noted to be the one of the most significant breakthroughs in recent years. Nearly practically anyone can self-publish his work and sell it online to his communities. The marketplace is very saturated with new books and materials entering every year, bumping the previous ones in terms of competition for the consumers.
To get an edge over this saturation, service-providers and purpose-aligned organization must provide more than their annual reports and publications, it's the experience with you that counts. Experiencing your capabilities, wealth of experience, and analysis is the way forward to break out from the commodification in the sector.
Purpose-driven organizations that are struggling to get the attention of your constituencies and stakeholders, here are the top four strategies to publish successfully and earn their donations, loyalty, and support.
1. Publish in areas where your target stakeholders learn, mingle, and network. That will keep your brand front-and-centre.
2. Repurpose your analysis and studies in variety of creative ways. The latest stats on digital consumption reveals an uptake on audio and video content. Make it accessible anytime, anywhere.
3. Design an experience that they will never forget. Unforgettable, relevant, and peer-to-peer exclusive atmosphere will increase your credibility in the field. You become the go-to for anything authoritative in your domain.
4. Build your defenders for the long game. In my book Provocateurs, I discussed the evolution of community, from fans to acolytes to defenders. Defenders will not only support your work, but will sponsor, evangelize, and take action for your benefit that aligns with their interests and values as well. Adapt your events, publications, and communications to build up your community.