Today's must read is this post from the Standford Social Innovation Review: The Heartache of the Failed Hail Mary. It gives six signs that your nonprofit is in trouble and is a crucial thing to check out if you are in the nonprofit arts.
Read the whole thing, but I have to add a little bit to one of his six signs. This is sign number six:
Knights of the Dysfunctional Roundtable: "When you ask most people what kind of event they would like to go to if they had a free night, most might say they would like to go to a concert, see a movie/play or go root for their favorite team. If you can believe it, I actually love going to board meetings. I know it is sad and I should be committed but what happens in a gathering of board members can really be interesting. You can tell a lot about an organization by watching how a board meeting is conducted. How are the interactions? Who is talking and is anyone dominating? Where do they spend their attention? What mechanisms, if any, are they using to guide themselves? If you can step back and just watch the flow, you probably can get a really good sense of where the organization is. Make it interesting and watch it with headphones on."
Yes. Yes. Yes.
I've gotten to the point where I don't even need to ask somebody what the state of their nonprofit arts organization is. I can just go to 2-3 Board Meetings and everything becomes clear.
Once you see who is (or isn't at the meeting) or what questions are (or are not) being asked, you can learn a great deal about whether the organization is headed in a positive direction or off a cliff.
Give the entire thing a read. It is well worth it.
On a different track . . . I've got an idea and I want to share it with you guys in the universe and listen for your response.
One of the things I've been hearing from the people who bought Authentic Arts Marketing is that they have a tough time going through the exercises.
So what I'm thinking about is doing a workshop in mid May that would just for people who bought the e-Book.
Together we would go through the "mantra" and "values" exercises. The key to pulling this off is that everybody would have to be willing to participate and help each other. I wouldn't want to be the only one offering ideas. We would need everyone's wisdom and perspective.
I'm thinking about doing this in Chicago around the last week of May (maybe May 29). If it works, I'm going to find a way to do it for people who have the e-Book but don't live in Chicago. Maybe a tele-seminar or something like that.
As for price, I'm thinking $35 for people who have the e-Book and $45 for those who don't because I'm going to send them a copy of the e-Book before we all meet.
So if anybody out there thinks such a thing would be valuable, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Obviously no one is committed at this point, but I would like to measure interest in such a thing.