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Raj Aggarwal, Sabelo Narasimhan & Glamarys Acevedo: Authentic Selves In Work
Our panel from the Nonprofit Technology Conference shares strategies for workplace inclusion so that all selves are welcome and accepted. They are Raj Aggarwal from Provoc; Sabelo Narasimhan with 350.org; and Glamarys Acevedo at Mamatoto Village.
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be hit with polychrome at ophelia if you stained our relationship by saying you missed today’s show authentic selves at work, our panel from the non-profit technology conference shares strategies for workplace inclusion so that all selves are welcome and accepted. They are raja agarwal from provoke sabelo narra symon with three fifty dot or ge and glamarys azevedo at mamatoto village and board change agents you want to shake things up on your board and in your order, greg cohen takes us through the process of identifying, recruiting and exploiting agents of change on your board he’s with cause effective tony take to the ninety six year old secretary with eight million dollars in her will. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant radio by regular cpas guiding you beyond the numbers wagner, cps, dot com and by telus turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tello’s here is authentic selves at work from the non-profit technology conference welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen, ninety si you know what that is? It’s a non-profit technology conference. You know where we are in new orleans at the convention center. This interview is scheduled centerview response, sir. Why not buy network for good? Easy to use dahna management and fund-raising software for non-profits and they’re sponsoring it. They didn’t schedule it. My guests are raja agarwal, sabelo, naralo kayman and glamarys azevedo raj is president of provoke i say that right provokes correct. Okay. I didn’t ask about pronouncing your company name. I only asked about your personal name. He did a great job amglobal pronounce her company name wrong to propose. They say sabelo robak provoc which is the traditional latin version of alright, alright. And sabelo is north american digital campaign manager at three. Fifty dot org’s and glamarys is the professional development specialist mamatoto village. Raj sabelo glamarys welcome. Thank you. Thank you very much for spending time and sharing your wisdom. Your seminar topic is bringing your whole self to work. Let’s, start down the end. There glamarys what’s the what’s. The trouble what? What? What would you like to? See, people do better when they go to work each day, right? I think our our session is going to be really or, you know, you don’t have a minute neo-sage exactly so this is a little preview, right? Eh? So we’re going to be speaking about, you know, who has the privilege of bringing their whole self to work, you know, and who doesn’t write s o i think some of us work in places where we do not how the privilege to bring our whole selves to work, right? Because there might be, you know, things, implications, teo, those actions bring your whole self, and then maybe some of us work in places where we feel like we’re getting closer to being ableto have an environment where we bring ourselves to work, what is the whole self? What do you mean? You have to forgive my voice? I’ve done about thirty these interviews what i say, what do you mean? What do you mean when you say the whole self? That is a great question, so i believe just in from my experience i’ve been and workplaces where i had to bring a version of myself to work. So that i could, you know, excel within, maybe they’re parameters, but it wasn’t maybe my whole authentic excel unlike where i work now, where i feel like i can bring my whole donor-centric self and it’s something that’s really valued, and i’m able to excel in that and growing myself instead of growing into stumping that someone else wants me to be. But what is your whole self, my health? So, i mean, that is that is that i’d like to ask everybody such a such a layered right eye, a multifaceted so there’s just there’s so many layers to my whole selves like that’s really? Uh, parsing that out twenty five minutes. I could take the whole entire teo, but we’ll start with your woman. Yes, s o that’s. Great. Yes, i’m a woman. I don’t fires a woman identify as a black latina. Um, identify as in my workplace, this is important. I defy with someone who is single without children. S so there’s some things that, you know, come up. You know, i’m bilingual, you know, those of certain things that come up in my workplace, that i’m able to bring my whole self and that and i feel like those are factors that are used against to me, which i think in some environments it could be and has not just could nobody has. Okay, okay. Sabelo yes? How do you do? Well, let let’s, before we ask, before i asked how you define your i don’t define describe your whole self, but before that what’s your what’s your intro to this topic, why did you feel this was unnecessary session at ntc? I feel like in the nonprofit world there’s been a lot of conversation over the last few years about bringing your whole self toe work, and most of it has been led by cece hat white males and women on dh they are proposing practicing vulnerability and taking risks and not worrying about being judged or the implications of bringing your whole self to work, and they see it from a very narrow they’re like my ionic, which which it means something entirely different for a person of color means something entirely different for someone like me to bring my whole self toe work, and the consequences are often not, uh, positive, so you know there’s a lot of wing of choices. That are made about when and how to bring your whole self to work so that it’s actually supporting yourself and not putting yourself in dangerous situation. Okay, i guess we’re going talk some about creating an environment that enables, yes, someone to bring their whole cell exact okay, the way glamarys feels comfortable, who is your whole self? Sabelo well, again, as glamarys said that’s a complicated question, but i identify as trans queer, immigrant of color on dh i have a lot of identities, but most of which are hyre not the mainstream at the organization i work at, and so i’m often used to being in situations where i’m the on ly x or the on ly why or the only z and s so how does that feel? Uh, it feels isolating it feels difficult to contradict what the expectations are for a leader toe look like what the expectations are for a person who’s doing good work in the organization toe look like and the particular ways that i need to be supported rather than undermined for bringing my whole self toe my eyes water actually, raj, welcome. Thank you. How would you to find the need for this session, um, i, too, believe that a lot of the conversation that’s happening is off, and technology is important. Designs important. I make my living doing it. But i think that we often have to leave who we really are when we come into interactions with other people. And i think the ending result is products, environments, people just not not being as effective as they could be if we really tapped into so authentic selves who we are. And so i find that the more that i’m able to be my whole self work, it gives our client’s gives the rest of our team permission to be themselves, too, and i find working together with them ends up being a lot better and what we produce is it being a lot better, but i think sometimes we’re just to. Oriented on the on some expectation of what should all look like versus what it truly is and how it’s continuously evolving time for a break pursuant, they have a new site and a brand refresh and the top creatives they’re the two senior creatives that worked on this. Put together a podcast with tips and lesson learned lessons learned that’s, taylor shanklin and andy goldsmith at pursuant may share how they kept it user focused, plus their expertise doing this with hundreds of sites. It’s a combo with tips and strategies lessons learned you’ll find it at pursuant dot com slash launch. Now let’s, go back to our convo you feel if if there’s, if there are parts of your whole self that you have to withhold, then you’re withholding your best work. Yeah, maybe not consciously, probably not consciously, but if you can’t be yourself, you can’t give everything that you can to your clients. Your organization? Yeah, i think it really pulls back on our ability to create creative solutions. I think that this idea that there is a separation between work and life, it doesn’t make sense to me. Um, i’m the owner of my company. I’ve been doing that for a long time, and i do the work that i do and most people in the non-profit work do the work that they do because they love it, you know, the number of people that i’ve spoken to that have been no offense hoodwinked by there by their organizations because they believe in the mission, but they’re not being paid well or treated well, but they believe in the mission over and over again, and on top of that, they don’t get to be them, but they do it because they love it. So in one way, you could say that they’re being manipulated by the system to do this thing, and then at the same time, they’re not able to be themselves at the same time, but they’re only reason they’re there is because they love it. So i think distinguishing those two needs to go away, who’s your whole self. Yeah, well, i think it’s also complex the way that my wonderful colleagues here have mentioned, but one of the things that i talk about, a lot of different things, i’m a male out primary owner of a company, and so i’m also a male who’s in a position of power i’m my heritage is from india, and i’m a person of color. I’m on a very interesting journey around race because i’m not black, i’m not wait on dh that’s seems to be, you know, obviously a really big conversation that’s happening in america today and always has been for a long time, but i’m also formerly heroin addict, and so i told my story on npr about three years ago, and i was very public about it. I wasn’t anonymous about it, and i found a lot of freedom from doing that, not only you just just in general and it’s it’s opened up a lot for me by having to release holding that back, whether it be with clients or whether it be with my team or with my family or with the rest of my south asians culture. You know, just these things, there’s once you remove the shame or whatever, people might impose his shame for some choices that you make that aren’t mainstream. Yeah, hopefully is what people impose not not what you’re feeling, but but those air those are so intertwined because it’s about acceptance it’s about being loved and if we don’t have that, then you know, we don’t feel we don’t feel comfortable being ourselves briefly. What was the npr story about with regard to heroin addiction? Yeah, you know, they talk about this thing called the opioid epidemic, which i think is baloney, because people of color have been impacted by heroin for over forty or fifty years, and at the very least, at least in this country and now that it’s become showing up in more in a rural communities may be impacting more people that are white, it’s become this, quote unquote, epidemic. And so i really want to talk about how it was one of the hardest things that i’ve ever had to go through in my life. As i was doing the interview, i had the privilege of having my parents with me, and they heard things that i had experience that they never even knew was there, and so was a tremendous amount of healing between myself and my family, but your parents heard some things for the first time in front of a mike in front of a mike. It was all recorded. I have it, i can share with you, tony, if you yeah, okay, it was a seven that’s, a pretty authentic radio. It was seven and a half minutes, and it was picked up by national npr and played all over the place, and i got hundreds of people reaching out to me, especially of south asian background, being like, you know, how can we talk about this? Because i’m struggling with some of the same thing. If someone wants to listen to that, can they just google your name, and they are, they can, and the name of the interview is called heroin. Heroin addiction sucks. It totally does, just for the record, okay, guard. Sabelo who? Who are the people that can bring their whole selves to work without a fear of shame, of being downcast. Who what population is that that khun company will bring it’s whole self? I think, at least especially in the american context. But really globally we live in a system of white supremacy, and that is seen as the mainstream that is seen as the norm that is seen as, you know, white male, i presume, is what we’re talking about. White women too on dh and there’s, there’s there’s a sense of their huge blind spots. These folks have white folks has around bonem there’s just so much that they don’t even think about, you know, they don’t question because they’ve just been entitled to just be themselves and it’s ok to bring their, you know, tears in or it’s ok to bring there dahna, you know, decisions in without worrying about will people listen to you? Well, people respect you, they can delegate, they could do all these things without ever having questioned i want to challenge something that you feel like women could bring their their whole self, comfortably white women i’m not sure for me see for me race and gender are like central to my thinking, but race is the primary driver like it’s, the biggest elephant in the room in every workplace i’ve been a part of in the us and, you know, for me that overshadows what white women experience, which can be challenging, but like, for example, in non-profits including my own, there are tons of white women in leadership, and there have been so, you know, they do experience certain forms of oppression, but and that that might limit their ability to bring in, whether they’re, you know, a mother or whether you know, other other parts, but but there’s also, i think additional blind spots created because they feel like they’re, you know, put down by the white men, and so therefore they don’t have to analyze their own reiteration of those kinds of behaviors. Glamarys how do you feel about that? Women wait, women being able to bring their whole self? Yeah, i completely agree with the fellow on that on because i think white women with what i think has not been highlighted is that white women, they really do uphold white supremacy, right? I think that is the root of what we’re speaking of here and the fact that we’re constantly, you know, i feel like the narratives always like all the white man, the white men it’s, just like but if you look at this is the white people and white women are part of that, and i feel like even to my experience with non-profits like, you know, at the end of the day, yes, they have other parts of themselves that they have to bring into work, but they i feel like i have that that privileged to be able to do that in a way that people, people of color do not get to do that. So in that sense, i can’t i’m not willing to sort of, you know, like, i don’t know why women, no, like they also uphold white supremacy, and so we have to talk about that that dynamic in the workplace. How about the workplace? That’s? Why what? I want to go to creating a workplace that is inclusive, that doesn’t impose shame, fear, love, discrimination, recrimination, let’s start since we were down there with you, america, how do we what strategies can you share, too? Because we have a lot of listeners. Who are ceos? Executive director among our among our listeners. What do you want to say? I would say, you know, hyre black people and rolls of leadership hyre black women and rolls of leadership, i think, like, at the end of the day, like getting those people and to those rows of leadership is going to affect the, you know, dynamics that are happening at non-profits that are kind of like a monolith right now, right? Like it’s, you know, white on top, and then maybe, you know, as you trickle down on it would be, you know, more people of color, but that’s not the way like, if you’re really wanting to be inclusive, that’s not the way to get it to bilich oh, we met some sort of quota because we have enough, you know, workers of color and itjust like, but where are they within the company, right? What about the pushback that there aren’t enough applicants of color a senior leader for senior leadership position? So with that piece, i would go to the job description and you can see the, you know, racial undertones, even within that, right? Like what? What, like when when? You put it in there like when you put into job descriptions, maybe not, including, like, maybe experience, but really trying to highlight, like education. We already know they’re very like large disparities within, like, even educational requirements, and but someone might have the experience, you know, just from working to be, but be great person for this role, but because you have maybe this piece in here it’s like, oh, they have to have, you know, a master degree and this and that, you know, i mean, like, those kind of sort of pre requisites really end up excluding people from being even able to even apply track. S o i think some even like looking into that, i think when people are riding up, you know, they’re just just job description, what they’re looking for if they were true, like, if they really were to look at it and parse it out there looking for a white, you know, male, female, really to fit into these roles, they may not be doing it consciously, right? But they are doing it subconsciously and so that’s something that i’ve, you know, been able to see whenever i’m going to go. Up imply for roles i i think i may be a really great fit for this, but because of some of these markers that they have put in there, they’re not realizing that they’re really excluding frumpy people, you know, to apply so people of color, like they’re out there, and they’re ready to take on these roles and be really excellent in these roles. But it’s really the environ first of all, the environment of those non-profits do people even want apply there? Because it might be one of those things that rogers speaking to where is like, the mission seems amazing, but then you look at, like, the culture of it, you’re just like i’m not really even wanting to be a part of that writes that might also be contributing to why those organizations feel like there is in that pool of applicants, right? But people are out there that there’s no one can tell me that there’s not people of color who can come in and, you know, a part of these rolls but i think it’s a lot around the the oh, gosh, it’s word this morning napor martignetti yeah, the markers of it, you know, but okay, but isn’t education a reasonable requirement for see you, lucia? But if it’s a cfo it’s reasonable to expect a degree in finance, correct, i think, but i know i hear you on that piece, i just feel like what’s not being thought about is people’s experiences experience coming into these rolls, right? Like, if you have these, like defined markers of, like, you have to have this that’s in that, like when it comes, i think the educational metoo means something like a bachelor’s degree or further in finance or equivalent life experience, right? Exactly. I’m starting to see more of that happening, which i think is super important, and i think that is a better way of sort of approaching those sort of things whenever job descriptions are being put out there. But yes, i’m definitely speaking to that she has an employer. Um, i totally agree one thing that i’ve found is that i had no idea how much code was in the language that i was putting out in my job description, but i’m a person of color. And what else did you find besides education language, like professional or expertise or networks? Of people where i was putting out the job description to because if i kept on putting out to my two don’t people of color, i have networks, and aren’t they professional and missing even the word wife? I mean, there were those air more ground, even the word professional is code for a certain type of person that might dear to what the standards are, whatever professionally, i think i think that you have tio i think you have to start with the assumption that there is a qualified person of color for every role you’re hiring for and that you do not need to lower your standards in order to get a person of color in those roles. It’s just about changing the language, many most people get jobs through network through who they know. There are even their stats that black college graduates from the same schools get jobs at much lower rates than the white college graduates from those same schools. It’s clear that the disparities air there even with equivalent education, so you just have to re tune yourself. You have to reframe the job based on that assumption that, like, you’re not reaching the right, people that you want to bring in to actually get creative, innovative new thinking in your company and like different perspectives, different questions ask different projects prioritized because you’ll get different people than just those same old, same old people that you have. Another part about the issue was specifically with the cfo, which i think is a really good example the people that run our books at our company don’t have a degree in finance, they even work, and i’ve been writing a sustainable business for over nineteen years, and what i find is that people that often are very dogmatic about particular numbers, they’re not really understanding the missions. So when there’s a nuance to a particular decision that isn’t just about money but about impact, they’re not able to discern it in that way. So i think it’s more important, that they have well rounded experience are connected to the mission versus just having it the degree that indicates that they were educated by some ivy league university that says that they can do this thing, but it doesn’t mean that other blind spots are going. I’m guessing it’s, you would find it insufficient to just have a statement that says people of color re hyre regardless of treyz sexual orientation, uh, gender, etcetera, just have a disqualifier at the bottom of a job description. I’m guessing you would believe that that’s not sufficient. I don’t think the necessary that’s necessary, but not sufficient. It’s what? It’s a it’s, a it’s. A very basic. Okay, what is it? I didn’t. I don’t get your point about the word professional or networks because people of color, people who are trans i mean, they have their professional and they have networks. I’m what am i missing? Professionalism in america is usually about assimilation, assimilation to white supremacy, assimilation to an idea being american. If you have an act sent getting rid of it, if you have dreadlocks not wearing them to work, you know, there’s there’s a lot wrapped up in that word professional that perhaps a lot of people don’t think about white people don’t think about but all the people of color i know do think about the you know, the ways in which they conform or code switch to adapt to workplace ideas about professionalism. Good let’s go so it’s kind of pathetic als bringing your whole self toe work if we’re talking about a simulation. Yeah. Same. Or what do you mean? Well, if we’re all going to be the same, then what’s the point of us being individual human beings with their own personalities, experiences, characteristics, perspectives like, you know, one of the things that i do in washington, d c is i helped to create it an inclusive economy. And one of the things that we really try to push out as much as we can is big boxes. And because people want to live in communities where there are businesses that represent their own individual needs are owned by people within their community. Everybody going no offense and mcdonald’s or the target over and over again. And also no target has its own place in the world as faras economics go. But the point is, how do we create a unique environment that is representation of each of our beautiful, unique selves? Let’s go further than beyond the job description. What would you like to say? A little like some idea. Yeah. I mean, hiring is, of course, a really important prerequisite. But beyond hiring retention support, um, i have a very strong voice i have a really unique perspectives to bring in that would really help push the work forward creative solutions to some of the challenges my organization faces. If i’m not in an organization that can support me to say challenging things, if i’m not in a place where bob that leads to my promotion rather than my demotion, or my being tradition or marginalization, yeah, exactly like it really takes a lot of ongoing work to support people of color and marginalized folks in in a workplace and to really buildup and, you know, empire their leadership rather than undermining them. What form can that support tape? I understand in terms of encouraging the voice, encouraging a voice that’s not traditional typical but what other are there other things that employers could do to support to make that support explicit in the organization? What else do you like? My suggestion is one one is model as much as you can that it’s ok to bring your hosts off to work. And secondly, humility and talking as little as possible. It’s really there there’s so many beautiful voices that just aren’t heard on a regular basis. And if you could just sit and listen. What emerges to me? It fascinates me every single day. We have to spend another minute or so together see glamarys start, we started with you, we’re gonna we’re gonna book and you’re gonna be booking wrap up with you in a little less than a minute or so, you know, some encouragement and some motivation, okay? So that’s that’s the way to make a change to make change, to encourage the diversity that we’re talking about? Yeah, so again, for for within my work environment, we ended up sort of like creating our own way talk about this whole, like, sea at the table sort of thing, and so we just ended up making our own table, right? And so i think from there we have a fork work force development program, and we’re just were, you know, bringing people in from the community and giving him those skills, you know, that they’re not having the opportunity to get in other places, and our hope is that we’re just we’re going to be able to flood sort of in our field with eventjournal child held just flood the field with, you know, women of color, people of color who are going to be ready to go on to the leadership roles so that’s like a peace that we’re really that’s. How sort of were targeting that. So i really appreciate that approach. All right, that was glamarys azevedo she’s, a professional development specialists mamatoto village. And next to her in the middle is sabelo kayman north american digital campaign manager at three. Fifty dot org’s. And next to me is raja agarwal, president of provos provoc provoc provoc look provoc provoc provoc group provoke provoke. Thank you, roger. Good sport. This is an interview. Is sponsored by network for good. Easy to use donordigital and fund-raising software for non-profits. I wanna thank you so much for being with twenty martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc. Thank you so much to our panel. I need to take a break. Wittner. Cps. You know what cps do? Nine nineties and audits mostly, right? Although wagner does go beyond the numbers hear me say that it’s true started wagner, cpas dot com get comfortable in one dimension. Then go human-centered he coached whom? He’s been a guest. I know him. You know him? He’s been on multiple times. He’s. A good guy. No pressure is not like that. His number is. At wagner cps dot com, which is where you get started now. Time for tony steak too. Did you hear the one about the ninety six year old secretary who gave eight million dollars to two non-profits in her will? That’s? Not a joke. She spent her career at a law firm in new york city. It got it was very small when she started, it got very big. When she retired, she invested based on what her bosses were investing in. Because back when she started, secretaries would handle would do the investments. So she bought a little bit of the same things they were buying decades and decades ago left to charities. Ah, little over eight million dollars here in new york city. Very compelling story. Um, and i have an important takeaway from it about the way you treat your modest donors. She turns out she was never a donor, but the takeaway deals with treating your modest donors well. And to get that takeaway, watch my video it’s at tony martignetti dot com now it’s time for board change agents, and in order to do that, we have to bring in greg cohen returning greg cohen. Also multiple time guest he’s, associate director at cause effective the non-profit capacity building organization, he’s provided coaching and training to the boards and staffs of hundreds of clients. His expertise includes converting resistant boards into competent and effective fundraisers and developing board. Meaders he’s at greg cause cause effective is at cause effective and cause effective dot or ge he’s in the studio. Welcome back, greg cohen. Thanks. Really happy to be here. That’s a pleasure. This was a bit of a last minute thing, but i’m glad it worked out so well, sure. Um, so board change agents okay? Or board members as change agents. Um, how can boardmember is be effective as change agents. So this starts with how to think about your board overall, i’m going to say ah and step into a room and executive directors and say, list your top three headaches and, you know, that board is going to show up one or two on that relationship has got a complaint about their board. So the first thing that i say to exact directors is, remember it’s, not about the people. This is something systemic boardmember zar, your chief volunteers and you want to reflect on are you creating an environment that brings the best out in each? Boardmember and they’ll say, well, they’re tired, they’ve never i didn’t recruit them to fundraise, but now i need it. So the first thing to think about is when i’m thinking about changing my board am i changing the rules of the game for the people who are in the room? That’s the first thing where i might have recruited them where fund-raising wasn’t a priority now it’s important to me because my organization’s grown and then as we bring in new people, we don’t want to bring people in to that tired, bored culture where they sink down to the lowest common denominator. So here’s my theme, which is you recruit people who are ready to help you change that culture, you talk about it explicitly in the recruitment process and then you bring them in such a way that they start to provide leadership from the get go ng there your ally for change? Why would they want to come to a board? That’s i’m going to call it dysfunctional. You don’t use that word, but i don’t know lackadaisical, underperforming under performing. That’s okay, right now, that sack less judgment that’s still judgment, but right says it sounds harsh. Okay, why would why would they want to come to a board that’s like that? And and be the firebrand and the troublemaker, right? Well, it all starts with mission, right? Like everything else like fund-raising why people volunteer, they care about the work. So when you go out and recruit, you have tohave a narrative of change. We’ve built our organization up, we had a group of dedicated founding board members who put in a lot of time in the beginning, they were volunteers when we didn’t have staff, but now we’ve grown, we have staff and we need a governing board that’s that’s paying attention to the high level issues and out there finding money for us, right? So we don’t have that now. We don’t have that now and very often, as we were crew there’s a really fear if we talk about the fund-raising requirements now, they’ll never join the board. So first is front and center, so the narrative has to be we’ve grown, we have exciting opportunities in front of us. We need a board that matches the and can help add capacity so we can realize all our potential. So what’s offgrid teo just what’s offered to those candidates is the chance to contribute to building the organization to the next level. Okay, so it does. It needs to be someone that loves this mission and that’s true for any board. Candid. Okay, well, well, yes, it ought to be right. Okay, i think sometimes any good, but i’ve seen i’ve seen recruitment just on expertise. We need a lawyer. Well, i know a popular i know a lawyer. Who’s got a good network and she’ll raise a lot of money. So let’s bring her in, but but she doesn’t know the organization, and that leads to disappointment. She’s ended up doing it as a favor to a friend or something like that. Okay, all right, so this they love the mission and you can make very plain to them the gap between where we need the board to be to make that mission excel and where we are right and you’re going to say that you’re going to be that you’re going to be the bridge. You’re going to walk into a room where you’re going to see behaviors that are different than the ones that you were trained in, if you’re coming in, say, through united way or or or another program, i’m bringing you in to be a partner to change that board culture through your excitement about the mission, and you’re fresh ideas, okay? And people are going to look at you. Well, they’re going to be prepared. We’re going to get that because this is the existing board members need to be prepared for when we cover that now. Yeah, because otherwise they’re gonna be daggers in the back of this, only their boardmember are people just going to sit and watch right off my board? Models are consensual and collaborative. It’s not the it’s, not dallas it’s, not the back room. I was there to change this to change person changed person the reporters and prepare the worst is that they pay no attention and they behave the way they did, eh? So what we need so first of all, i’m putting the executive director and whoever’s on the board who’s there, partner in the recruitment in an active role of really thinking about the process of change. So you know there’s a science of change management, we have to articulate a narrative that says we’re on a journey with this organization. The needs for the board’s involvement have changed. We honor what you’ve done, we hope that you will step up to those new needs, but we’re moving forward regardless because the mission in the organization calls for it. So that’s the context and then we need some people with new skills, new networksnew capabilities and ah, willingness to fundraise. We hope you will join us. This is to the existing board, but but if not, we’ll find another place for you advisory board honoree board many forms aboard heaven that you can put people on, but we’re going forward, and we’re going to bring in new folks who are ready for this. Now, we’ve gotta have some allies on the board. We’re going, we’re going, ah, validate this message when it comes from the ceo executive director, i mean, you need is not one ideally suit. This can’t be a surprise, right? I mean, you have good leadership. Ideally, the chair of the board would be idealware well, it’s often you have a very tired from here. That’s the that’s, the source of the trouble you’re tired, you need one or two people and see the need for the change. You know where the allies they don’t have to be officers. Ok, is your back channel before this? Before this change announcement you can and you crack on with transparency. But that’s another conversation. It doesn’t have to be back channel. But you do have to find people who say who actually are the voice in the boardroom of the need for change. It’s more effective if it comes from appear then from the staff. Even the executive director. Okay, better coming from them. I feel like this board is that this is the is this a new business? They raise their hand. I feel like this board is not. I am one of the m one of the one or two. Yeah, sees the trouble. Right? I feel like the new business. I’m raising my hand. I feel like this board is underperforming way. Don’t raise the money we were had, like forty or fifty or sixty percent giving every year among the board. We’re not bringing in our networks. Well, i don’t. I don’t see excitement. On the board about the mission, we’re not engaged with what’s happening on the ground by identifying some potential. Is this is this how it happens? And then? Well, so that that’s the observation is but we have so much that we could do for our clients in this era, we have a waiting list, our staff is performing greatly. How do we talk to each other about bringing the necessary resource is and providing the oversight and stewardship of this organization that’s ready for takeoff? And we need to examine ourselves to see, are we in a place to do that, or do we need to step aside and bring in new people now? Somebody other than the one or two right? I think we’re doing fine. I don’t i don’t see the troubles your eye, all the reports we get are that are the people are fed, are you? Our recipients are benefiting? We’re making impact in the community? Uh, i like the way the board meetings run the preparation for them. I don’t i don’t see these troubles that you’re that you’re kicking up. If if if if if all is well, then no reason to change. The border let’s presume, but there actually is going to be just fine with the resistance. Yeah, so the idea is that we’re having to create a sense of urgency in the boardroom that one of two things is the case, something that we value about our programs and our services will be lost if we don’t get more involved or something or more importantly, and we hope when there’s opportunity and a group is flourishing, things that we want to call into existence components of our strategic plan, expansion of services won’t happen until we step forward. As aboard the staff has exhausted its resource is now the board must play its full governance and fund-raising role, that condition of urgency must be present or it’s rational that people don’t change their behaviour. Ok, urgency, okay, um, let’s, go back to the coast and then it just to say there needs to be a narrative in the boardroom, you know, brought by the staff and those allies that makes it clear that there’s a need for change on an organizational basis. It’s not about the performance of individual boardmember no finger pointing, no blame. We’ve grown up the organizational. Curb the board needs to now catch up with where the organization is that’s a very common situation that the growth of the organization’s development moves faster than the boards and then the board needs to catch up, and some people have put in their service and they’re tired. They don’t want to step up or they need help. And that’s where bringing in some new folks in new energy, new talents, new networks as change agents really could make the difference. You can’tjust reform your existing complacent board without bringing some new element into it. Ok, ok, all right. But i want to address the resistance because right, everybody not going toe be subservient. Go on. All right, all right. So i feel like very articulate with that. Thank you. Alright, let’s, go back to these potential change hs. Now, um, how do we identify the skills that that we’re looking for? The personality? I mean, that’s got the personality is a bigger deal in recruiting these couple of change agents than it has been in recruiting our board for the past fifteen years. Right? So what we’re looking for, right? So first of all, i i said i don’t kick them my eyesight, the executive who’s, your hands, but not your feet, the executive director and those allied board members are are in a place of being the helping b the agents of change. This is an active strategic process, not a passive one, so the recruitment process is of the past may not work up front. You’re looking for people who have experience running and motivating teams. If fund-raising is important, then you want prior fund-raising experience and you want to talk about your goals so it starts with those doing the recruitment, being able to describe clearly what they’re looking for going beyond just we need a lawyer who cares about kids who’s willing to write a check that this is being more demanding and looking for the kind of people you’re bringing to the board table because you need them to drive change. All right? They got the motivational articulate. Yep, right? They’ve got to be pretty insightful to. They’ve got to be ableto handle the pushback not only in the public meeting, but you know, in their committees that they’re going to get assigned to in any back channel communication that might be from other boardmember zoho resistant there’s got to be able to manage yeah, i’m not sure i want to be the manager now. It’s nice if you find someone that’s a very high level skill, but they need to not need credit to be able to lead from behind and put their energy and heimans and they need to understand the background of the need for organizational change. So to understand the journey that we’re helping, they take the board on complete value back-up buy-in so that that’s what i don’t have to have served on the board before, but they have to be good listeners on dh and willing to work as allies. Let’s, take a break and ah, that is for tell us, tell us monium lee elementary school foundation receiving a monthly donation from tell us for the credit card processing of a company one of our parents owns likely the easiest donation source we’ve ever secured. End quote the elementary school that’s, the monthly pass of revenue i’ve been telling you about think of people who are close to your organization who owned businesses. You start with the video at tony dot m a slash tony tell us and go from there. Now, back to aboard change agents with greg cohen. Um, but greg has to sit tight while i do live. Listen, love and podcast pleasantries and affiliate affections. I’m sorry sam prompted me. Yes, the live listener love goes out. Where is it? Cut where’s it going to? Well, it goes to the universe, but specific places within within that that universe. Staten island, multiple new york, new york. Always count on that brooklyn, new york. Um all right, s o we got where’s, where’s, the bronx and queens. We don’t see them today. Alright, historia. We’ve got a story. A queens. Is there? Where’s, the bronx? Not checking in. Well, let’s. Not focus on the negative. Live love to the four boroughs that are with us. Queens, brooklyn, manhattan multiple and staten island. Also down to tampa, florida. A state kongers, new york. Lots of new yorkers love it. Um, hubert, north carolina live love to north carolina. You know, i love north carolina. We’ve got listener in iraq. Iraq is occasionally with us, but not too often live love to you out in shanghai seems to be our only china listeners. Shanghai ni hao, let’s, go to the u k we don’t know which country is masked. We don’t know the country all right. United kingdom, listener live listener love to you and ah, it covers it so far. All right, that’s, the live love and the podcast pleasantries on the heels of that has to come three over twelve thousand pushing thirteen thousand listeners weekly. That’s not a monthly number. That’s each week each episode very glad that you’re with us. Pleasantries to the podcast audience and the affiliate affections to our am and fm station listeners. Also throughout the country. Affections to you. I’m very glad that you are listening. Analog. Never let that am fm die, it’s never it’s it’s not going to die. It may be declining. It’s never going to die. Media is too personal. You’re with us affections to you now for greg going. Thank you for being patient. Um, go show the gratitude, you know, all right, okay, let’s, go back to these people. Where do we find? Where do we? Okay, right. Thank you. Thank you. Big request i was school past screening past screening, right? Where do we find? Where do we find him? So typically people think, well, we only have the usual circle of people and they go out and i’m going to use a dating analogy, and so and people go out and right away they think about asking people to become board members after they meet them. But being a board members really the most rarefied form of ask it’s, easier to donate it’s. Easier to be a volunteer it’s. Easier to come to a gala it’s. Easier to be on a host for much time limited not a big ask way at the end of the spectrum for engagement with a non-profit is being a boardmember time, money, reputation, all those things right? So don’t rush into the process, our suggestion for a processes that if you can’t find candidates, think about people who are the well connected people with for people of a certain age. The best roller texas those big role in texas who know everybody in their industry they’d never be your boardmember may because they’re already overcommitted or they’re not quite right, but you go to them with that narrative of your organizations, growth and aspirational future and the kinds of people that you need in the board room to help you get there and you ask them, who does that make you think of in your circles? The more specific you are? We’re looking for a person of color who’s the sepia with a fortune five hundred company, or maybe has technology knowledge, the more likely people going to come to mind in their mental roller decks and give you a suggestion that you say, would you mind calling that person and opening the door for me to go meet with them? They’ll be happy to write. So now, instead of just going to people who are maybe maybe not board candidates, you’re using other people’s networks and using their ability to filter through their contacts to suggest prospects. One, two you’re getting in front of influential people with your aspirational story about where your organization is so it’s a cultivation event, even even if they don’t give you any names or they give you a few, you’ve created the opportunity in front of that person to bring them up to date and show yourself a strategic so that’s a key thing which is don’t rush into rushing to prospects and saying, would you become a boardmember think about some indirect ways and also then cultivate as you screen. Okay, excellent. And you’re doing this with people who know people who have exactly good networks. Good role, exactly right? Good, strong. You can even add ad hoc people to your nominating committee who aren’t board members to help for a limited period time in this process of identifying and screening people. But now these people are coming from your from those folks networks they don’t know you’re or go the way we just said they gotta love your mission ten minutes ago s so we got a quaint thes potential board members with the good work we’re doing and the much better work we could be doing and make them the bridge between those two, right? Exactly. So this is this is not going to be a six week process. No, this is where the best practice for board recruitment coming. Like we need a process. Teo, introduce people to our work. Have at least two interviews i would say with the e d and one with the boardmember i like three. I like to different board encounters, so people offer different judgments, and and the candidate gets to see the different people that be interacting with and then a third thing, which is essential, they have to go out and see the work. Now, when i say this to executive rector’s, first of all, they hold their head in the hands i need boardmember tomorrow. Yeah, well, that’s not realistic, right? The second thing is, if the person doesn’t have time to participate in this process, they’re not gonna have time to show up to board meetings and show up prepared and take a leadership role. So these air enforcing them to show their commitment exactly for you before you invite them? Yes. And they may in good will be excited about your work and the idea of being a boardmember but not really testing it against their reality. These are threshold measures that left both sides figure out. Is this really going to work now? I just heard this at one of the ntcdinosaur views we haven’t played this one. Yet we’re talking about hiring. There was someone who likes three, three, four interviews long hiring processes so that you’re that you’re making the candidate prove their commitment to your mission before you offer him a job there. You got long hiring process, you can’t show up for the fourth time, you know, we will find someone who can well, and that sounds crazy to some people t ask for that, but more often than not, i hear from people we recruited someone looked like a great person on paper, but then we’re disappointed they didn’t show or they didn’t bring them for their full selves to the table when they did show, and you would say, you have yourself to blame because you didn’t you didn’t adequately, uh, you know, they’re not getting their commitment and it’s like a job interview, but the power relationship is more equal. You want to carry out a transparent project process so that either side at some point can say, you know what? I’d like to be helpful, but not as a boardmember maybe i’ll serve on a committee on the host committee or a board committee without being a full member. Excellent. That’s a home run if you don’t let him on the board if they’re going to be end up being one, these disappointments very important i’m now seeing the time that’s required, and i don’t feel like i have that kind of time to be aborted. I’d like to help you some other what there’s, another component arches, you’re not wasting any of your time in the search sound. First of all, you’re going to have to go through a lot of candidates. Most people don’t have the time to be boardmember the best ones already committed. Yeah, right, but what we want is a process that says, i’m i love what i hear about your guy position i love what i see, i can’t be a boardmember and then you want to say, well, there is another way you could be involved. So the idea is you have a spectrum of involvement with boardmember ship at the end that the most demanding part, but you’re actually trying to get everybody you connect with who responds to your mission to be connected in some way. Donor-centric attendee volunteer, a member of a board committee without being on the board, there’s so many ways to engage those people, so you’re not losing that time because they didn’t become a boardmember you’ve added people who are supporters, but maybe not at that very demanding level of very boardmember all right, what do you say to that ceo like you saying ceo but executive director that says, i need boardmember is next week, what do you tell them? I need to raise the money for my kidscollege education next week, but it’s not gonna happen in a week things take to do it well and strategically, it takes time. If you start to do this on a systematic year round basis, you start to build the bench, you should have a regular process cubine ongoing process, al, you’re watching these people who are volunteers, and you’re treating them well and maybe in two thousand eighteen, they didn’t have the time to be a boardmember, but in two thousand nineteen, all of a sudden they discover this is one of the most important things in my civic life. I’m ready to step up so once you start the process, it’s really like farm team through teo being a boardmember it gets easier and easier. Because you’re feeding it it’s, not an ad hoc one shot think ongoing exactly be are going through your right, and as you revitalize your board, you’re placing this function in the governance slash nominating committee. So also it’s moving partially off the shoulders of the e d this should be in a well performing bored the revitalisation of the board process through bringing new people on it should be aboard function, driven by board members. How do we empower them? We just have a couple minutes left. How do we empower them once they’re on the board to hit the ground running as change agents? Great question, so they’re at their at their point, twenty minutes there at their point of maximum enthusiasm and then begin a one, right? So we actually say, work out a plan for engagement, right? So here here, the things that are coming up where we’re going to want to do fund-raising what are your ideas? Where can you be involved? Here are openings on committees, what most interests you were ready to make you committee chair or if you’re not ready, we have a boardmember who will mentor you so that within six months you could play a bigger role. So you’re actually reviewing all your needs with the person right up front and engaging them to commit up front rather than hang back a year, see how it goes, i’ll figure out my place. No, no, we want them engage from the gun. All right, actually, maximum, you mentioned mentor. You and i have been on you and i have talked about this before. Board he’s. Thirty seconds on the value of aboard, buddy. Absolutely essential. You know, particular someone’s. Never been on a board before they come in the room. There are all kinds of acronyms. There’s. An existing culture among that complacent board of friends and family or whatever it is you need. Someone who’s easing you in explaining what’s going on that’s a familiar face in the room when you walk in because you’ve met with them before. So aboard, buddy is an essential piece of that onboarding process. Very smart guy. We gotta leave it there. Greg cohen. Pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for sharing he’s at greg. Cause cause effective is at cause effective and cause effective dot org’s. Next week. Gene takagi returns with unrelated business. Income tax and fringe benefits for your employees under the new tax law. Do you know this? If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com were supported by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuing to radio weinger cps, guiding you beyond the numbers. Regular cps dot com bye tello’s, credit card and payment processing, your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tello’s, our creative producers, claire meyerhoff. Family roots in the line producer shows social media is by susan chavez, and this music is by scott stein of brooklyn. You with me next week for non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and i agree. You’re listening to the talking alternative network, waiting to get in. 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