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Lissa Piercy: Get Creative
Thought about poets and other artists as part of your board meetings, trainings and conferences? How about open mics? Lissa Piercy reveals why you need to consider these and how to get them done. She’s executive director at Strength of Doves. (Originally aired 11/20/15)
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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 and i’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of diagnosis if i became predisposed to the idea that you missed today’s show get creative thought about poets and other artists as part of your board meetings, trainings and conferences. How about open mikes? Lissa piercy reveals why you need to consider these and how to get them done she’s executive director at strength of doves this originally aired on november twentieth, twenty fifteen and now get buy-in technology is ever changing, and you need to keep up. Norman reese reveals how to get the buy-in and acceptance you need for your new technology decisions from your board, leadership and and users. He’s, project manager for technology at the center for court innovation this is from the twenty fifteen non-profit technology conference and originally aired on may twenty ninth. Twenty fifteen i’m tony steak too take time for yourself. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com and by we be spelling supercool spelling. Bee fundraisers we b e spelling dot com here is lissa piercy with get creative, dr a trip or journey in a car also an internal, biologically determined urge to attain or satisfy a need. It is after ten p m on a friday night, and i’m standing alone in a laundry room in boulder, colorado, a student in a social entrepreneurship program my whole life is waiting for me back in boston, i am watching the live stream of a national poetry slam competition. I am watching the first poet i added to our roster win a national poetry slam competition. I am fist pumping the air, i am stomping my foot, i’m screaming to an empty room. I’m remembering yesterday when i questioned why i had taken on the task of starting a business in the first place. I am crying and smiling and balancing computer and cell phone and laundry and coffee and laughing because this is what a start up looks like when i opened my computer one hour before tomorrow on a friday night and cringe at the emails that all seem urgent that all scream no sleep when the coffee wears off and the grant application start to blur when the mission feels miles away from my office when my office is really just a coffee shop or a living room or a kitchen, when i stare at spreadsheets that looked like foreign language, like potential failure or future like risk, risk a situation involving exposure to danger. Also, every time i have ever followed my gut, sometimes you’ve just got to throw out the plan and follow your gut, grit, courage and resolve strength of character. Also small, loose particles of stone or sand. And some days i feel like sand small enough to slip through the cracks of this foundation i am building. In those moments, i think of the poet who risks reputation on a national stage to proclaim her love of women. The poet who tells the story of her sexual assault so that a girl in a middle school classroom can finally feel safe confessing the violation of her body. The poet who rejects gender pronouns and reminds me that this world has never been binary. The poet who run straight into vulnerability and somehow comes out stronger for her honesty. These poets so purpose into fists i wanted. To raise at a world that took my father away, these poets raised their hands up don’t shoot taught me to proclaim don’t shoot in my name, these poets, the heart of these poets heart hollow, muscular organ also the center or innermost part of something. And aren’t we all just trying to find the innermost part of something? It took poetry and entrepreneurship for me to find the innermost parts of me. Lissa piercy she is co founder and executive director at strength of doves, an agency which is itself a non-profit the represents socially conscious, activist spoken word artists, the connect poets to venues and organizations, they’re at strength of doves dot com and lissa is at lissa poet this appears to welcome to the show. Hi, thank you so much for having me beautiful energy. Tell us what is the story behind that? Well, i was actually commissioned to write that poem by the center for social impact learning, which is part of a graduate program with middlebury it’s, located in monterey, california, and they asked me to write a poem for their launch of this social centre, so i put up a facebook status and asked my entrepreneurial friends to tell me the words they think of when they think of social entrepreneurship, and i got a bunch of words and a lot of number in that poem, so dr grit risk. And so then i put a poem together for the launch of their center, and the name of the poem is is called dr excellent. All right, so we’re talking about maur creativity inside your organization outside the organization, using poets and other artists to sort of open things up. Yeah, and let’s, let’s start with, like, uh, internally intern where where might we bring in? Argast s o i think that internally creativity and a non-profit you can start with your board meetings or even just kind of your regular staff meetings. So i like to say that you know, a lot of the time we think about innovation when it comes to our programming or our products. We don’t always think about innovation when we’re thinking about how we run a meeting on a monday morning or board meeting so it can start with kind of basic creativity, like, for example, there’s, an organization called the millennium campus network, they’re bored meeting one of their board members told me recently was the best board meeting she’d ever been tio they didn’t use poetry, but what they did was they created a hackathon in their board meeting, so they were really creative about how they put the board meeting together, which i thought was fascinating. So i talked to abigail, who had created that plan, and she said that for them, creativity started with the way they set up the room. So thinking about what’s on the walls of your room in your meeting and what? What are you doing to kind of create a setting that feels different than other board meetings? Do our other monday morning meetings? I think, for example, there’s a site called button poetry, it’s, a youtube channel and there’s tons and tons of spoken word poems. They’re they’re typically about three minutes long. You could even just play a poem at the beginning of your meeting, and it opens up a part of the brain that gets you thinking in a different way, and i just think so often we look at meetings is something that we dread going to and sitting through, so you start by. Infusing something different at the top of your meeting, it can really shift and change the whole energy of the meeting. Do you think it’s risky toe invite meeting participants, too? Do their own performance? No, i think actually you’ll get surprising results if you do that when i found i run open mikes at conferences, so like the opportunity collaboration, i did some stuff with the school world forum, and what i’ve found is when you invite the community to be part of being creative, they bring inside you, that you didn’t know that they had, and often those things can actually be used to infuse organization with new life. So yeah, bring in, bring in creativity from people that already you’re sitting at those meetings with you for sure, and we’ll see another side of people. Yeah, absolutely. It may not be poetry, i don’t know. It might be a song. It might be a guitar that they play someone’s a drummer. Someone has a poem and someone else plays behind them. I mean, the options are endless when you bring in creativity in new ways. You mentioned opportunity collaboration, which is very collaborative and that’s where we met just like a month or so ago six weeks ago. Roughly, yeah, in mexico. Yeah. And i run there open mike every year. And i talked teo jory and aunt over the team that puts it on every year. And they said that one of the reasons why they like having the open mic is that it brings collaboration in a new way on people rave about it because they get to see those different sides of people. Also, something that i’ve often said is, you know, if you meet me and we talked for five minutes, you might find out that i live in boston or that i run strength of does you’re not going to know intimate details of my life if you see me perform at an open mic, you know how hard it was to start my business, you know, personal details about losses that i’ve been through, and we connect in a deeper way, and then collaboration is richer because we care about each other as people, not just his business partners in a collaborative, collaborative setting. Listening to dr, we learned some very intimate details about your dad’s death. Okay, very energizing, right? Well, let’s, go out for a break when we come back. Listen, i’m going to continue, of course, talking about getting creative. We’ll have live, listener, love, et cetera. Stay with us, you’re tuned to non-profit radio. Tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy. Fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights, published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really, all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals the better way. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent live listener love got st louis, missouri, brooklyn, new york and new york, new york new york’s checking in excellent lovett i’ve listener love yes, let’s go abroad always have very loyal seoul, south korea of listeners. Remarkable. I don’t know if it’s the same person all the time where people it’s multiple multiple in seoul, anya haserot for mexico city, very close to where listen and i first met because we were in x top a at the opportunity collaboration we were talking about mexico city. Welcome live listen her love to you. What can i do? Keitel look it’ll there was my husband. Thank you anytime and also in japan, tokyo and osaka checking in konnichi wa live listener loved all of our live listeners and of course, we never forget affiliate affections for our multiple many am fm stations throughout the country. Affections if you’re listening on the terrestrial stations and oh that’s, ah, terrestrial affection! I gotta work on that there’s something there on dh station, affection, terrestrial and also podcast pleasantries never forget the podcast listeners over ten thousand painting houses, washing dishes whatever it is you’re doing as you listen pleasantries to the podcast audience. Okay, listen. Thank you for helping. Yeah. Now i have tried to get with any time spanish mexico city that’s. Why? I like opportunity collaboration because i get to be i get to speak spanish more than i do on my regular day to day life. Do you do to poetry in spanish? I have a couple of lines in spanish in my poems. Everyone smile in my international women’s day poem. I talk about the venezuelan constitution so i say constitution the venezuela but i typically i like there’s a line about using spanish because i’m not of dissent. That is latin at all. So i’m careful about how okay? You know what, that’s a much larger conversation about appropriation. And don’t betray yourself appropriately. You would feel yes, exactly. Um all right. So, let’s, keep talking about eso these internal. This idea of board meetings? Yes. Now i have had a lot of guests recommend. In fact, one michael davidson was just ah last last week recommending having people who are benefiting from your services come and deliver a presentation at every board meeting. Yeah. So they are sharing fashion their tears about how your organization saved their lives, improved their life, you know, maybe there’s some creativity there, you could ask someone like that to do a performance instead of just read some paragraphs. Yeah, so one thing that i think is really important to note is, especially with organizations that are working organisations working with youth tons toe already think about maybe creativity, poetry, open mikes. It doesn’t only need to be youth there’s a lot of opportunity to do some writing workshops in any demographic i really believe, and if you’re producing content like that, you can have someone come in. It also, though, gives the opportunity to let’s say, you’re an organization a non-profit that’s working outside of the united states, but your board is primarily in the united states. If you do a writing project with the people that you’re working with on the ground and you bring back some of those writing samples and they’re available on the table during the board meeting during the coffee break, that’s the kind of thing that people in your board can look at even if you don’t have time to be reading. Their material or having a guest come into the actual board meeting. Okay, i mean, even in that case, you could have maybe someone who’s trained reading those store absolutely a voice artist, something like that freshbooks rather than just the one dimensional reading painting with a broad what else? Any other ideas? You know, the internal internal creativity as well. So one thing that comes to mind is, you know, every organization faces kind of pain points, things that they’re struggling with. There are a lot of conversations now around diversity, and how do you talk about diversity within organizations? There are other challenges the leadership changes that happen or, you know, anything that happens internally. I really think that that organization should think about looking to more creative ways of having conversations around those tough things. Later on in the show got loose on this. Gomez, who the really amazing poet with the dialogue arts project, is going to be reading a poem on air and their organization will come in and do a full training. And they use spoken word poetry at the top of the training to get everyone’s kind of juices flowing, and then they do trainings around diversity around pain points within organization? So for those organizations that are going through maybe a transitionary moment or need some kind of a different training instead of just checking the box with oh, we talked about diversity, think about looking for creative wri sources that are out there to bring into those training’s you’ll have a better experience and your staff won’t feel like you’re just checking the diversity box, which i think is really important. Am i out of touch if i keep saying poets instead of spoken word artist? No, no, i have i missed twenty fifty five. I missed the change of century, i think. First, i think the biggest distinction that often happens is a slam poet versus a spoken word poet. Slam poetry is a form of spoken word it’s a competitive style of spoken word at least that’s the way i distinguish. But yeah, spoken reports are definitely poets the way that i think about it and this definition is different depending on who you talk to is spoken word or performance poetry is performed from like the tip of your pinkie toe to the tip of your finger out. The top of your head and you can also be a written poet that is publishing books as well. We’re also thinking about how am i presenting this poem beyond the page and that’s? Kind of what a spoken word are a performance poet is doing in my definition of it. Okay, so so if i say a spoken word artist. Yeah. That’s that’s what? I mean, that could be the same as poet or official versus slam performer. Yes, exactly. Slam is dafs. Yeah. How did americans turned poetry into a competition sport? Well, it’s gotten a lot more people paying attention to it. That’s for sure. So hey, that’s, it started. It originated in chicago. A guy named mark smith who is a construction worker, and then here in new york. There’s the moth that’s like storytelling. There’s also the nia recon is another location that does poetry slams your recon. Say it one more time. You knew your weekend. Okay, mahogany brown is a poet. She’s actually on our roster. And she’s, an amazing poet who hosts their poetry, slams their team when you compete against their team. You come prepared, let me tell you. Okay, new. York has some great poets. Okay, now, what’s your background. You have. Ah, what zoho around? Yeah. How did you get into poetry? I started doing open mikes in college after i lost my dad and i went through two and a half years where i lost seven people in my life. And this is a lot of grief and poetry was the only thing that could really motivate me to get out of bed and go to things. I was running the open mic group on my college campus and then actually turned down the opportunity to apply for a fulltime social work job to figure out how more of these amazing social change poets could be earning a living from their poetry. And now we have strength of doves where we put poets in performance opportunities and workshop opportunities toe to really bring this to kind of communities that haven’t necessarily thought about spoken word poetry as a tool because it really is a tool. And the other thing i’ll say is the reason i think spoken word in particular. I think all forms of art are important and open up our brains in new ways. Spoken word. Is extremely accessible, so a really strong spoken word artist, in my opinion, is using poetry and using language in a way that someone who’s maybe never thought that they liked poetry or never thought of themselves as a creative person before can now access a really creative art form and begin to open up the idea from themselves that, hey, maybe i could write, or maybe i can open up this creative thing, but what do we say to the people whose eyes glaze over? Oh, poetry it so it’s beyond may i don’t get it, you know, it just doesn’t reach me. Listen to to watch two videos on button poetry or go search dialogue, arts, project poets, strength of doves, poets i really have never seen it happen where someone said, i don’t like poetry on when it’s exposed to a couple of videos and said, i still don’t like poetry, it’s just not what you’re thinking of when you think of poetry. If you had a boring english class on poetry, poetry does not need to be born. I promised give me a subject that you like, email me a subject you like and i will. Send back a poem that you will like about that subject. Okay? Do you want to show your email? Oh, yeah. It’s lyssa at strength of does dot com. Okay, listen, l i s s yes, challenge me. I guarantee i will be able to draw you in with someone. Else’s problems. Okay. Cool. Let’s go outside our organization just like a mirror. So before going to bring in carlos yeah. Conferences, galas, gallant fund-raising events. Why are fund-raising haven’t still boring. I’m sorry if i’m offending anyone out there, but i just think we need to address this. So these gallows where you have a dinner, any of a bunch of speeches and so there’s a moment at a lot of these events where, you know, people are eating dinner and kind of talking to each other, and then you want to get everyone’s attention. So someone clicks on a glass, someone in charge of the organization says, welcome, everyone kind of turns their attention begrudgingly to the stage, and then they’re a bunch of speeches sometimes there’s really fascinating stuff in those speeches, but we’re not really our attention isn’t necessarily drawn immediately to the stage. The person saying welcome, welcome zoho please hide me. I wanna hear my gladstone brandraise oversignt neo-sage chimes here in a fancy paint none none bungalow. Exactly. So it’s dead. I think everyone should try finding a spoken word poet and putting them on that stage. That’s, the way you get people’s attention don’t even say welcome like we just opened our secondly, just drive a trip or journey in a car really loud, really punchy everyone’s going to turn to you if you want to go a step further, you can hire a poet to write a commission to poem about your organization. And now in three minutes you’ve explained everything you’re doing. You’ve got everyone’s attention and you just invested all this money and all this time in creating this event. Don’t you want to vent the people going to talk about after the fact they’re going to be more likely to talk about it? If it’s different bringing a poet? And if you don’t for some reason believe, listen with all their energy and zeeland enthusiasm, think about what happened in beginning this segment we threw you in with lissa was completely different different format you said you turned into what? What is that? The same way, like college did it with their marketing campaign recently. All right, we got carlos andres gomez, award winning poet member of the dialogue arts project, on twitter, he’s at carlos. A g live. Is there anything you want to introduce before before carlos carlos, let me say, just say, welcome, welcome to the show so much. Tony thinks my brother carlos eyes everything you want to say. I just want for everyone out there. That’s not, you know, always listening to spoken word. This is such an amazing opportunity. Godless is kind of a titan in the community and just does really amazing work, using poetry to have really important conversations. Carlos, please, thank you so much. This poem is called stansted. I’m holding my friend gino’s hands and asking the army recruiter for more information about the marines. Please, i say he fits with his cufflinks, pause it, his necklace through his shirt drags the back of his hand across the close shaven sand paper of his chin. Gino is staring him down through the island. Artie wears like a middle finger. We watched a stranger caught between the train movements of a machine and the churn butter in his body. Just like mine. Two months before, when i said, hell no toe a trip to the gay club, i just don’t want to leave anyone on it be like colonizing the space, i said which sounds a lot better than i’m uncomfortable i wouldn’t know how to stand what do i do if a song i like come on in zambia i walked the dirt roads of a slum my pinky finger intimately wraps around the smallest digit of the most infamous guy on the block. He was my friend. It is how friends walked the streets there. When i greet my iranian friend’s father, we embrace chief twice in thailand. My host casually patted my leg the first family dinner, i nearly jumped out the window, thinking he was reaching for something else. Everyone laughed, probably confused as to why this strange foreigner had been trained to be so foreign to the gentle touch of a man. A passer by gives me and gino matching name i tongue the word around in my mouth. Feel the tender sting, make a home in my torso, stare at the word brotherhood splayed across the camouflage banner. The recruiter stares down the table, and though it holds the secret code to life’s, great questions, it’s corrected, stutter and suddenly overcompensating stands blend into the decorations behind. So much so that i can barely even tell he is still there. He pretended, if we are not, begin sorting and then re sorting the three lonely pamphlets dwarfed by the large rectangular table where they now six boys. Please. I’m just doing my job. His mouth bags in a voice so small and so human. It makes me feel like i have just blurted out a secret. This man has given his life to guard like freedom. Carlos andres gomez! Carlos, thank you so much. Thanks. Kottler thank you so much. Let’s. Send tony. I don’t know why i have watery eyes. I just first listen, you know, i would need to think about it more, but but it moved me because i do so that’s the kind of thing that dialogue arts project workshop would start with wood with poems to kind of open up a new space in everyone’s head and kind of i mean, the energy, even in this room, while we’re listening here in the studio, just comes down and there’s cubine start having conversations about your own experiences that can lead into deeper conversations for more shared understanding within your organization. Carlos, we have just like, a minute and a half or so. Do you want to share anything about that? About the poem? Yeah, sure. I mean, i think there’s there’s so much to be there’s. Someone is so easy to have a very i think superficial, topical conversation if we if we wantto engage someone about gender sexuality or any of these huge hot button issues or topics or anything related to identity and i think the biggest thing that dialogue arts project believes, is that using personal narrative and using something artistic as a medium for that personal narrative that is the most that is the most, i think dynamic way to enter a conversation, because that that holds the true story right about me walking down the main walk with the university of pennsylvania, and i think me telling that story it immediately invites other people that share stories in a way that that i think invites people into a vulnerable space, as opposed to having an intellectual discussion that doesn’t have any stakes involved and ultimately is not a meaningful conversation. Carlos and lissa, we have to leave it there. Excellent cardinals. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you, much less a piercy cofounder, executive director at strength of doves, its strength of doves dot com and again on twitter she’s at lissa poet thank you, thank you. Thanks a lot. Now get buy-in with norman. Reece is coming up first. Pursuant. Their newest content paper is called breakthrough fund-raising it’s free. It walks you through break through thinking where you will learn three things first how to solve the challenges that are facing your non-profit second, how to set a breakthrough outcome and number three how to create a culture of breakthrough in your office there are some good ideas in this paper it’s called breakthrough fund-raising you download it at pursuant dot com and then quick re sources and content papers always free love that and we’d be spelling spelling bees that raise money. It’s a fun night out at a local place and it’s not your seventh grade spelling bee. Good thing for that for me, i got knocked out on the word lettuce. I know exactly how to spell let us, but you can’t make any mistakes and i said, you have to say it and then you spell it and then you got to repeat it again after as i said, let us l u e t you see, let us two, eight knocked out it can’t make any mistakes and the winning word the winning word was aeronautical a r o n a t e and a u t i c a l i would i would’ve got it alot if i made that mistake, i wouldn’t have got it, but i probably would have made it i could have made it to earn article, but i got screwed on lettuce anyway. You need to raise more money. You can do it with we’ll be spelling. Check out the video at we b e spelling dot com now time for tony’s take two memorial day has passed. We are into summer whether you’re ready or not, it’s here and i really don’t care about summer solstice. This is what’s telling in emerald isle, north carolina prices have gone up and the beach stores are open. You know those you know the beach stores, those places where you, they will sell you a ninety seven dollars beach towel and you get a free hermit crab and you spray it with water and it dead in three days. That means summer is here and it’s. Time to take time for yourself. I hope you’ve booked time away already. If not, you need to get on it. The point is getaway decompress. Get away from the office where you’re not checking e mail, voice mail or texts. If you want to do your best work in the social sector and taking care of other people you need to take care of yourself? Nobody of this week because i took time off just some friendly advice. That is tony’s take two here’s norman reese with now get buy-in. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of the non-profit technology conference and tc fifteen day too. We’re austin, texas in the convention center. My guest is norman reese he’s project manager technology at the center for court innovation. Norman welcome. Thank you. Thank you for having me. My pleasure. Good to have your first time. Um, your topic is winning one hundred percent buy-in from staff and board for your next non-profit technology adoption that’s a that’s. A real narrow niche, but critical if we’ve gotten, we’ve decided that we need new software and we’ve gone through the due diligence and the process of identifying the right new software for us, whether it’s, cr, m or accounting or combined. Now we need everybody to agree with us. Where do we start? I think sometimes when you you pick out a new system there’s somehow this assumption that the board and the management are all behind it. And in reality, that’s not always the case or even if it is the case. Things can change once the project is planned or once the project that started, so it really has to be something that’s, a continuing effort that even even if you take the time and you get people on board at the beginning and they fully support, you know, and they’ve been with you through the process, yeah, to really check in with them while the processes going on and make sure that they haven’t been diverted by other things. Or that as new people come in two management or to the board that they don’t suddenly have a change of heart. So it’s really kind of crucial to make sure that a system actually is goingto have the result that you’re hoping for when you when you first selected. Yeah, all right, so we can have sometimes turncoats. They’ve been with us through the process, and now they’re abandoning, they get nervous or they what they feel we made the wrong decision. We made a mistake somewhere in the process, there’s so many things that could get in a way, i mean, even people with the best intentions, something just comes in that distracts them or they have a friend. That tells them about a different solution or different. So it’s really well intentioned friend. Yeah, i mean, it’s really a zoo? A technology. Is it’s really critical to build those relationships with management and with the board all the time, even before the project is even envisioned? And if you haven’t done that, if you’re operating in kind of a silo, then soon related that’s going toe that’s going to hurt you because you need to work. You need to partner with these people when you especially when you’re bringing in a new a new software platform, a new system. They have veto power? Absolutely. And they can do that any time. Yeah, yeah, i love that. You know, the friend my friend was just telling me about, you know, something we didn’t look at it. All right? So the importance of relationships even when you don’t need their buy-in the people’s buy-in but but always working together collaboratively just day to day. Absolutely. Okay. All right, all right. But that’s ah, let’s speed ahead to the process now. Like i said it there as i set it up. Um, we’ve chosen something and they’ve been part of the process we’re talking about staff from a senior staff and board getting did julie from both it’s really about working with staff that are going to be using the system as well as management as well? It’s really across the board? Because if you get the management and the board to buy-in but the staff don’t feel like they’re included, they’re not going to cooperate, and then they may not use the system once it’s rolled out. If you get the staff, but you don’t get the management and the board, then you won’t have to support you need to have a successful implementation, get the rolling. So you have to go both ways. Okay? All right. Good. Thank you for straightening me out. All right. How are we going, toe? How do we start this? Well, assuming we’ve had this these good relationships all along, but now there’s some some defectors or where it was the best way to start the but the topic together. I think probably just the initial stages when your first envisioning that you need something new. Whether it’s a replacement for something you already have. Where something entirely new that you’re imagining for your organization, you really need to being you need to be in communication with everyone about why you’re doing this, because what’s obvious to you is probably not obvious to other people, even though it may seem logical and a natural evolution, it really needs to be talked through, and different people have different ways of absorbing information. You can’t just send out an email to the staff and say, this is what we’re doing. You have to really take the time to seek out people, sometimes one on one, and explain why not only is this good for the organization, but how is how is this new system going to make their lives easier? Why should they bother? I mean, nobody. I mean, i shouldn’t say nobody, but most people have problems with change, and everybody kind of gets used even bad systems because they know, you know, they know what it’s like, they know the howto work around things that don’t work, and even though you’re introducing something that is, seems to be a clear win for the organization, not everybody has that wider focus. Some people had just focused on their own responsibilities and their own position and some people may see this as a threat because a new system may mean that some people’s jobs changed their what they need to do during the day, their routines, their routines air going, teo and and some people would see that as an opportunity. Other people will see that as a threat, and you will have people that will will try to take it down. And if you don’t try to deal with that, earl, as early as you can, it’s just going to a back fire down the road, okay? All right, so we’re explaining why and certainly including them in the process, right? Should they should should should people from all levels? I mean, maybe this is obvious, but be part of the the committee that is making the decision and hearing the hearing the different, getting the different presentations from all the different potential vendors for their b stakeholders from all well, i mean, i mean, the reality is that it’s, hard to invite have everyone at every meeting because people don’t have time, large meetings can get a little unruly, but you have to give people the opportunity to be involved, all right? And some people will take it, and some people will say they’re too busy or they’ll send a representative, but you have to find a way to make people feel like they’re part of the process if they feel like this system is being imposed upon them or that it’s being chosen by someone else who doesn’t fully understand their needs, then they’re not going to be supportive. So it’s really it’s kind of a fine balance between not having too many, but, you know, really seeking out beyond the obvious people that are going to be directly using the application. But anyone who might want to get data from the application who might want to get a report from it, it’s, usually and as a project manager, i so didn’t know you have to really seek out stakeholders foreign beyond what you initially think, because people outside the organization they’re going to be affected by this, too, and they need to have a you’re saying this is well, okay, so at a minimum, you’re keeping all the stakeholders apprised of maybe milestones in the process, okay, okay. And, you know, especially reliance on email on lee, which seems to be what? A lot of people do now, i mean that’s kind of shallow, you have tio, especially people who are different locations, you may have to go out there and actually sit down with them. We just invite him out for lunch and talk about what’s going on because the humane, i mean, i’ve seen the email reliance in my office where people said one hundred feet away from each other and they hardly ever talk to each other and that’s, you know, that’s not a good practice when you’re trying to win people’s support for a new project, yes on dh needing them to feel a part of the process and, you know, it was kind of shallow, and you’re not getting any of, you know, you don’t see the facial expression, you don’t hear the tone of voice, you know, you don’t really know, i mean, they may be saying one thing and actually feeling something entirely different. All right? What else? What other advice do you have strategies do you have for getting this this critical buy-in anything specific to the board that might not apply for staff? Anything special there? Well, every non-profit is a little different. As far as how the board works, some sometimes the board will work only with only with the d and sometimes the board has more relations with staff. But i think you just need to be aware that the board is operating in, you know, in azaz an age of management, and sometimes they will want to be actively involved. Sometimes they will have a more surface involvement. But it’s, just, i guess, just a kn awareness that that they do have a role in this and that if you ignore them suddenly, at one point a boardmember will come in and maybe drive the project in another direction because you haven’t taken the time to apprise them of what’s going on. So i think just justin awareness that they may not be in your field of vision because you don’t work with them at your office or you don’t work with them on the day to day basis, but they have to be part of part of the team. Yeah, it could be easy. Derailment from from a boardmember the way it happens all the time. Yeah. You know, you have some bad stories about that personal experiences. Well. I mean, i’ve worked in organizations where the board dealt mainly with the and the staff really weren’t even aware of, you know, things that were happening, and it didn’t seem to make sense, and until we actually found out what was going on with the board and with the and sometimes you win an organization that’s more transparent than others where you know you’re edie, will we’ll communicate well about what’s actually happening in other cases, things will be happening that you just have no awareness of, and suddenly things are going in a new direction, and you have no idea what so it’s just a matter of just taking the time especially, you know, in a technology role, which is what i do in my organization, you really need teo go beyond the tech group and make sure that you’re you’re talking with other organisations. The other thing i also just as a precaution, is that something that happened to me in the last year? You have to be really aware of your boss’s position in this whole scheme of things because you can’t be viewed as somebody who’s going around your boys or you’re trying to have a relationship with a boardmember and he’s. Not all. She is not aware of it. So you have to be respectful of who you’re working for. But on the other hand, you also have to make sure that you have relationships with people other than your boss, because your boss could leave tomorrow. And then your future with the organization will depend on those other relationships you’ve built or not. 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I’m jonah helper, author of date your donors. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. You’re doing another workshop at ntc on getting people to actually use the technology that that is adopted yes, that’s it flows perfectly from this so let’s let’s spend the next well the rest of it, we’re about ten minutes or so together about half our time. Perfect talking about getting people to use it once it so now we’re past the decision stage and it’s implemented. Is that where we are now? And yeah, i know and this i’m really going by my own experience. I’ve been in my car enroll for almost four years now, and i’ve had a couple of situations where we rolled out systems that we thought rolled, you know, when everything went, you know, as expected, and we checked in with the users later on, and we found out that they had gone back to their old system, that they were going back to excel, and that’s really it’s really it’s a point it’s really? I mean, i found that you can have the best technical solution which you know which seems to make perfect sense, and it’s a good future path for the organisation, but because people don’t feel like it’s there’s, nothing. In it for them that they just and the other thing is that if you don’t take the time to actually beyond sight with people and again, this goes back to what i was saying before about over reliance on email if you if you have different sites that are going to use the system, as most organizations do now, you have to actually go over there and talk to people, and sometimes people will say different things in one on one than what they’ll say in the group, so you just can’t, you know, just hold a meeting and just invite everybody and say, ok, what do you think you’re gonna have to go over and actually sit with people on dh watched and talked to them at their desks? You may need to get them out of the office where they feel safer to talk without people overhearing a conversation saying, well, what’s really going on here because it’s really a shame to go through the process of vent this election and months and a lot of organization, money and time has been devoted a and then russia and then three, six months, three to six months later. In the same position again, you’re back using the old system. So if again, i mean, this sort of goes back to what we were talking about before if people haven’t bought into the whole idea of why they doing this and not only that is that people need you need to get training on our ongoing basis, you can’t just go in the day after you roll out of systems, okay? We’re going to train you for the next week and then disappear. You need to be on site on a regular basis because people move around, they leave new people come in or people forget and you can say, oh, i gave them documentation, but, you know, we know nobody’s going to really read that stuff, so you need to really probably plan a good chunk of time after the rollout to be on site, working through problems, because no matter how much you plan, always things come up that need to be need to be work, work through and if you take the time to plan for that and you don’t just immediately say, okay, i’m wolf on another project now and good luck to you and you need to take some responsibility for that. I mean, it doesn’t happen by itself. All right, all right. What? Ah, we still have plenty of time together. What else in the in the use of the technology, other other strategy’s tips you have for ensuring it’s going to be used? What else can we say about that? Ah, well, just in the conversations i’ve had with some other people since i got here this week here in austin, you need to take the time to really go through the business processes that you’re trying to deal with in this system early earlier in the in the in the selection and understanding back-up back-up that at the time that you’re really thinking about let’s, say you, you be the picked the system or you’re you’re at the final stages, you need to really understand what you’re trying to achieve and what the workflow looks like in the organization and it’s very hard to know that and the other tips that does that mean? Well, before we get to another tape, old, you got your brimming with tips, but wait, let’s, dive into this one. That means spending time with them. Watching them in their processes well, sitting side by side, maybe you made you probably want to do that because what i found is that there are some situations where i would talk to the manager of a group on dh she or he would tell me that, you know, they need certain things, you know? And then i find out later that the actual people who were sitting at the computer is doing the data entry. They really don’t do things the way that the manager things they so then i get involved in in between the staff and the manager, and that can be a tricky situation as well. But it’s better work to find that out early and to get the trying to get your staff on the same page, then to roll out a system based on what a manager tells you only to find out that the staff that work for that manager actually have a whole different view of what they’d like to really have it in a system. Yeah. So the end user the actual yeah, hands on keyboards. Those are the people you want to be talking to and and maybe even observing yeah, i mean, ideally, if you could spend some time just shattering them as they do as they go through their day, then i don’t kind of really tell you what’s really happening because it’s one thing to talk through it, it’s another thing to actually spend a week or spend a couple of days out of sight and see what people are dealing with and see how one of the other things that i found out is that ah, there’s sometimes other systems in the mix that people are dealing with. I ruled out a system about a year ago that people weren’t using, and i found out later that there was a hole of the system that they were required to use because of a grant that we had. The grant required them to put data in this other place, and you have no idea i had no idea, i mean, that nobody nobody mentioned it, and it didn’t occur to me to ask that question. But now i, you know, when i’m doing a new project, i was make sure to ask, what other systems do you maintain and sometimes those other systems, maybe paper to mean, surprisingly enough not, you know, there are a lot of people who don’t want to give up the traditional tools and sometimes it’s what works fine with a small system will not work fine as it grows and that’s just a growing pain, sometimes of an organization that wants toe really centralized data. And, again, what’s obvious too to ah, tech team that, you know, that’s looking at all the sexy things that are available now, a lot of people don’t feel that way back on the ground, the ground so you really need to respect their where they are. You have another tip that you were going, you’re going to throw out and i made us dive into the the one about the end users probing the end users more. What else? Well, this one i actually think i included in my block i have a blogged that i thought for several years now what non-profit bridge, where i talk about technology and communications and fund-raising and something i blogged about recently was that we were working with a vendor that wasn’t quite getting what we needed, so we literally just took we took screens and we annotated them and we we showed them, is that this is exactly what we want, and sometimes you actually need to use graphics and visuals to to show on. It also helps you kind of work through the process of how the workflow is so really giving that kind of documentation to a consultant or a vendor or anybody who’s helping you implement a new system. I can really help them understand, because you can’t expect someone who comes into and works with you for two or three months on ana implementation to fully get what your organization is about. So it’s, really your responsibility to educate them on this is what we need, and this is how we need to do it. And, you know, some of the same way that you need to over communicate with staff to make sure that you deal with people who like to absorb information in different ways. You need to you need to make sure that your vendor or consultant really understands your business needs and how your business works and and whatever that method is, whether it’s, extensive conversation or you need a diagram it but it’s really not the vendors responsibility. To get it, it’s it’s, your responsibility to know your business well enough that you can explain it to someone and have them really, really understand it. Okay? We have just like a minute or so men and a half left anything. Well, i’m sure there is so throughout some or whether it’s ah it’s getting the buy-in or getting the users to use the new technology sheriff there’s a more. Well, one thing i would definitely advise people if you’re not already part of this and ten community, this is the place to be, because very often, when you get wrapped up in a project and you only see things in the vision of your own organization, you need to talk to other people from other places that it doing similar things that you are and just being here for three days and just having conversations with people on how are they dealing with similar situations, approaches that you may not have thought of on your own? You need to really be in in the community. And the great thing about being here at ntc is that you actually can see people and have the conversation. I mean, you can’t do everything on social media and on email, and you need to sometimes just pick up the phone and talk to someone and this is a great environment and if anyone who’s there who’s not taking advantage of this community, especially small on non-profits they don’t have a lot of resource is important to know it’s, not only for technologists and absolutely no intent is not only in fact, one of the reasons i like and ten is that it’s, not it and it’s sort of like the way my block covers communications and fund-raising if you look at the session is that we have in, they cover a wide gamut for people who do different roles in a non-profit so there’s something here for everyone, and i would really recommend that if even if if you’re not here at ntcdinosaur year there’s, a lot of other ways to be involved in the end ten were very active and it’s very rare, and i’ve been a member for years. It’s very rewarding, excellent, good shot latto intern our hosts and ten and they’re at inten dot or ge auntie em and yeah, as well as the online they have. A lot of there. There are meet ups throughout the country. Small, small groups meeting lots of places. School. Thanks, norman. We’re going to leave it there. All right. Okay. Thank you very much. My pleasure. Good to have you. Norman reese, project manager in technology for the center for court innovation. And this is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of and tens and tc the non-profit technology conference twenty fifteen. Thank you so much for being with us next week. What business is that of yours? I’ll do whatever the hell i want. This is my show. I’m in command. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled, and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers. 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