Category Archives: Non-Profits

Building Your Team

Building Your Team

Can You Wait for Your Kids to Grow Up

teamAs a new business owner, your role may  encompass all of the important aspects of the company. Sure, you may have had employees, but they were assigned specific tasks and you kept an eye on everything they did. You were the salesman, the supervisor, the customer service contact, the scheduler of the work, and even the bookkeeper. But as your business grows, you feel yourself pulled in many directions. You cannot effectively completely cover all the roles you filled in the past.… Read the rest

Volunteers

Working with Volunteers

volunteersMany organizations rely on volunteers to help provide services. These may include charities, recreational organizations, hospitals, social groups, civic clubs, and governmental services. These volunteers become a vital part of providing those services, yet in many cases they are taken for granted. Learning to properly use the skills and energy within these volunteers can be a major contributor to the success of these non-profits.… Read the rest

Part Time Employees

Part Time Employees

The Face of Your Organization

employeesCompanies and organizations often use part time employees to serve in a limited role. They are not paid as well as full-timers, sometimes do lower level work, and may have a limited career track. They may be moms who have priorities at home, seniors who no longer want a 40 hour work week, or college students looking to earn some money to supplement expenses. They are hired to reduce operating costs, fill leftover hours from full time employees, deal with an economic downturn, or seasonal requirements. Between 2000 and 2010 the number of employees working part time increased by 300 % or 9 million people.… Read the rest

Creating Success in 2016

Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016

successfulRLS Focused Solutions, in conjunction with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, is offering an opportunity to help you achieve a more successful 2016. The workshop will be offered on  Friday January 15th.  They will be held at the Chamber Conference. Room It will begin at 8:00 AM and conclude no later than 2:00 PM. A working lunch from the Purple Onion will be included.… Read the rest

Volunteers

Recruiting and Working With Volunteers

volunteersIn his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins states, “The first thing is to get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.” He, of course, is referring to the bus as being the company or organization. In our practice, we have worked with both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  In the for-profit world the people are employees, while in the non-profit world many of those people are volunteers. Strategic from 2013 have shown that 80% of the non-profit workforce are volunteers, total of 62.6 million. Leaders in non-profit organizations should recognize this important work force and learn how to best recruit, motivate and retain them. They need to appreciate why people volunteer, how to get them on-board and how to retain them.… Read the rest

Creating a Business Plan

How to Create a Successful Business Plan

business planI am often asked the same two questions. Do I need a business plan? What should I include in my business plan? I am going to answer these questions when writing this article. Do I require a business plan? For most businesses the answer to this question would be yes. For the majority of new businesses and ones which require investment by way of a loan or a business partner, a business plan is a must.… Read the rest

Plans That Work

Making Business Plans Work

plansMany of us have spent countless hours thinking about and documenting plans for either our business or non-profit organization. There is a sense of satisfaction with the completion of the final draft that is shared by all involved. Far too often that document is filed or left in a desk drawer to be revised in a year’s time. Many have even reported that they gave up on the planning process because it just didn’t work. I often remember the president of a very well-managed company once stating that the team had become expert on writing business plans, but not real good on making them a reality.

In their book Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan discusses this very subject.… Read the rest

Coaching

Five Tips to Becoming A Coach In Everyday Life

coachingBe the change you want to see occur in the world around you. We can’t make other people be more considerate, helpful, honest, etc., but if everyone were to work on him or herself and develop these attributes, our world would be a better place. In this article, we will examine five attributes to becoming a coach in everyday life.

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Boys In The Boat

Organizational Alignment

organizationalI recently read the book, Boys in the Boat. It was a true story of a sculling team from the University of Washington, who through hard work and discipline became national champs and went on to win the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It’s a great story, set against the dramatic background of the Berlin Olympics hosted by Adolf Hitler. It describes how a rowing team developed into the fastest in the world. Of course, the members of the team need to be strong and fit, but there comes a point when all come together in harmony to maximize their performance. It is said that the team is only as fast as its slowest rower, but once they reach that synchronized harmony, they outpace the rest of the competitors.… Read the rest

The Importance of Good Feedback

Enterprise Feedback Managementfeedback

Getting good feedback from customers and employees is vital for any business that expects to grow. Without knowledge, business leaders can not make educated decisions. Uneducated decisions lead to a higher rate of failure, which can have detrimental impacts on a business. Without high quality information, a business owner is flying blind.… Read the rest

Business Plan

Developing a Business Plan

There are many important steps to consider when developing a business plan for your iStock_000009265701_Fullcompany, but the first step is to fully understand the main uses of a business-plan. The four main uses of a business-plan are as follows:

  • A Business Plan is a written document that you can use in your search for external financing.
  • A Business Plan is a tactical planning and management tool for your business.
  • A Business Plan is a document showing the capacity of your team to control and manage all the aspects of the company.
  •  A Business Plan brings you new ideas to refine your project by checking and estimating the induced hypothesis.
  • Read the rest

    Board Engagement

    Board Engagement
    How Does it Drive Non-Profit Organizational Success?

    non-profitHaving worked with and been a part of a number of non-profit boards of directors, we have observed a range of involvement, producing a wide range of results. Some boards were highly organized and had very little involvement with the day-to-day activities of the organization. Others were more loosely organized but served functional roles, like fund raising, within the non-profit. To better understand the effect boards have on the success of organizations, we joined with Springboard International to conduct interviews the CEOs and Board Chairs. These leaders represented local, regional and national organizations. The complete results of this work is available in a white paper entitled, A Conversation about Board Engagement on our website: http://plangoals.com/offer/.Read the rest

    Success

    Success Is

    “Success is … the continual achievement of your own predetermined goals, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief.” – Resource successAssociates Corporation

    In real life many people get stuck in a professional or personal position where goals are defined for them. The result is frustration where no one feels fulfilled and the goals often are never reached.… Read the rest

    MBO

    Leadership Starts With Setting Clear Objectives

    leadershipTo achieve a goal, there is a process that you should implement. This process is to streamline and analyze your objectives. Begin at the very beginning at the smallest, specific part. These are the most important steps to take to meet the guidelines. An objective is a way of knowing what action or plan is to be taken and identifying the expected results. This plan provides a set of directions so that making the decision will not be as complicated as when the goal is just being considered.

    Peter Drucker documented a book published in 1954 entitled Practiced Management where in MBO, which stands for “Management by Objectives,” was introduced. This is a program that consists of simple, but very useful processes in order to meet commitments in an organization.… Read the rest

    Volunteers

    Enhancing Commitment from Volunteers

    Non-profit organizations rely heavily on volunteers to perform a number of important roles. They may serve on their board of directors, on an operating committee, in a staff role, or help with an annual event. Unlike a commercial organization where the employees are motivated to a large extent by wages and salaries, non-profit volunteers contribute for non-financial reasons. It is important to understand the leadership tools which can be used to properly motivate these valued contributor’s.volunters

    American psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a model which is known as the Hierarchy of Needs. His theory is that there are several levels of human needs where each lower level needs to be satisfied before the next higher can be realized.… Read the rest

    Conflict in A Group

    Minimizing Group Conflicts

    In our discussions with business leaders, they often express frustration with the inability of people in their department or company to work together without distracting conflict. They say:

    conflict

  • Why don’t they work well together?
  • Some refuse to even talk to a particular individual.
  • I don’t understand why people act the way they do.
  • Why don’t they see things the way I do?
  • Overcoming these issues is never simple, but the common approach is referred to as team building. This approach is often accompanied by direct types of game planning, where team members participate in a variety of activities. The games are helpful exercises, after which a facilitator helps the group discuss the lessons learned. We have used this technique on several occasions and we find the results interesting.… Read the rest

    Motivating The Staff

    Several  Mistakes in Staff Motivation

    motivationOur clients are often asking us to find better ways to motivate their staff. They are trying to get them more involved in a new challenge or are considering a financial incentive to spur productivity. They may be trying to encourage new ideas or overcome seemly insurmountable obstacles. Carolyn Dewar and Scott Keller provide us with several ideas in their Harvard Business Review Article, Four Motivation Mistakes Most Managers Make.

    Read the rest

    Change

    changeMaking Change Happen

    Realizing a compelling vision often means change, accepting new perspectives, and abandoning old habits and techniques. Many times the necessary changes require doing things differently. Lofty aspirations may involve outsourcing, merging, building strategic alliances, partnering, or acquiring other resources or organizations. It could mean selling off pieces of existing business that no longer fit strategically. It could involve restructuring your organization. What does it mean to you? There are tremendous risks in maintaining the status quo and doing it because “we have always done it that way.” It means that there is no longer validity in the expression, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” The operative phrase today is, “How can we make it better?”… Read the rest

    Change is Good

    Change is Good

    changeYou may be a member of a civic club or company which has operated in the same way over a long period of time. You may have observed that your club membership is not growing and maybe even shrinking. In the case of a business, sales are not what they once were. You may feel as though you are trapped and need to make some changes but you sense some resistance. To quote Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein, Change is Good… You Go First.

    Creating change in any organization is difficult. As that organization grows and becomes more successful, the leadership which made it successful is replaced by management, who intend to maintain that success. That maintenance is the management of the status quo.… Read the rest