Leaders really need to pursue who they’re about. The point is not to become a leader, the point is to become yourself. You need to lead from who you are. Can’t try to be somebody else and be a leader. Start with yourself, become the person you started out to be and enjoy the process of becoming. When you realize who you are you’ll be a better leader.
The following is my content outline for the final paper in IDSC.
Final week of class
For my final MGNPO paper, I’m tasked with writing a critical review of a book related to nonprofit management. The title that I chose is Managing Leadership Transition for Nonprofits: Passing the Torch to Sustain Organizational Excellence by Dym, Egmont, and Watkins (2011). The following is my outline of the material.
Class themes were Emerging Models of Competition: Platforms, Class Wrapup in IDSC, and Integration and Course Wrap-up in MGNPO. This is the last of the assigned readings for IDSC and there were no assigned readings for the last week of MGNPO. 😎
I’m trying to tell myself to write like the deadline is tomorrow, so that when the deadline comes I don’t have to really push it then.
Tonight while reading the book on leadership transitions that I selected for my final MGNPO paper, I recognized that this part of the chapter on managing during the transition is also a really good framework for managing our CRM database implementation.
Class themes were The strategic leadership challenge for nonprofits in MGNPO and Mobilizing the power of social media in IDSC
It’s part of human nature to occasionally get worked up about something and then feel a bit silly about it later. Last week’s post makes me chuckle a little already, and that’s okay. The past week has been wonderful and I’m feeling inspired.
Class themes were Nonprofit role in public governance, domestic and international perspectives in MGNPO and Big Data, Leveraging the Power of Analytics in IDSC
Class themes were Hybrids, Social Enterprise, The Rise of the 4th Sector in MGNPO and Leveraging Intellectual Capital, Enterprise 2.0 Technologies in IDSC
The past week felt like a really long week, maybe the longest yet this semester.
Class themes were Internal Capabilities - Evaluating Effectiveness in MGNPO and IT Governance in IDSC
This week the increased B Term workload really kicked in.
Class themes were Internal Capabilities - Financial Management, Human Resources in MGNPO and Aligning IT and Business Strategies, IT Enabled Business Transformation in IDSC
Class themes were Governance and the Work of the Board in MGNPO and Information Technologies, Digital Transformation, Making Decisions about IT in IDSC
Spring break came and went since my last blog post.
A management memo on a case study about an ethical dilemma was due this week.
Class theme was Resource Environments, Philanthropy Social Enterprise/Commercial Income
It’s snowing again.
Class theme was The structure of resource environments
It’s a snowy late-February in Minnesota.
Class theme was strategic thinking; strategic planning
I was a couple minutes late walking into class as the professor talked about our readings on ethics. After a brief overview of the topic, he turned to addressing the paper due that night. What he really wants is for us to tell him what we’re learning. Don’t use space in the paper to regurgitate and summarize the readings. Don’t write what you think someone wants to see to give you a good grade, write an analysis instead.
A two page reflective essay on the role of nonprofits in society is due this week. The instructions are for the essay to be integrative across the topics discussed during this first section of the course. This is my outline distilled from course readings and lecture notes to date.
Class theme was The Ethics and Accountability Challenge, Self-Regulation and the Nonprofit Sector
For this half credit Stakeholder Analysis skills workshop class, there were three required readings. One of them was a resource section from John Bryson’s Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations which I read last semester in Prof. Bryson’s Strategic Planning course. I’m not summarizing that one here, as it covers techniques for practice rather than research and concepts. Of the other two readings, one was also a required reading in Management and Governance of Nonprofit Organizations, Week 4. The outlines posted here and for that class week are identical.
In between weeks four and five, here I sit writing a catch up blog post on class notes and reflections. It still feels like I’m slowly readjusting to school after the winter break, but that’s bound to change fast as the first papers of the semester are coming due.
Class theme was The Importance of Context
Class themes were The Distinctive Challenge and Historical Perspectives and Theories of the Sector
Three weeks into the new semester, I’m still getting past the inertia of the break to get back to blogging.
The final assignment for SHRM was to write a five page paper analyzing a case study about making a hiring decision. This was the big crescendo to the class, a chance to take all of the information and tie it together into this analysis. As such, I went back to the beginning of class and took the outlines here on the blog, distilled them down to sets of points which were applicable to the case study, then distilled those down further to lists of points related to each question in the assignment.
Class themes were __. This is the last reading of the semester!
In the process of drafting the slide deck our Strategic Planning group presentation, I went back through the course materials and lecture note summaries posted here and distilled them down to a course materials outline (which ended up being a surprising 27 page long Google Doc). I then went back through that and pulled out key these concepts, mostly from the lectures and Prof Bryson’s book, to keep top of mind.
This post is being written at 4:30am from a hotel room in Mexico.
Class themes this week were _ _ in SP. There is no SHRM class this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Class themes this week were Implementation in SP and How does a leader create a diverse workforce? in SHRM
I’m not sure what to write about this week.
Class themes this week were Developing visual, action-oriented strategy maps in SP and How does a leader manage labor unions in an empowered organization? in SHRM
After this week the semester is sixty percent complete. It feels like just as I’ve gotten adjusted a break is on the horizon.
The group project that I’m working on for Strategic Planning is a paper analyzing equity strategic plans produced by municipal and regional governments. In the course of planning for our paper, we’ve gathered up the following cache of resources:
This week’s SP video lecture covered the topic of strategies and strategic plans.
Class themes this week were Strategies and Strategic Plans in SP and What is the future of benefits in the public/nonprofit world? in SHRM
This was a pretty difficult week. Similar to week five there were multiple assignments due and it was a challenge to squeeze the work in to the time I had available. This time though I planned the workload a little better, stayed calm, and felt like I was in control of the challenge the entire time.
This week’s SP video lecture was extraordinarily valuable. Rather than listening to most of it sped up, I jumped back often and even slowed this one down in order to keep up taking notes.
Class themes this week were Identifying the fundamental challenges and/or policy choices facing the organization in SP and How do you motivate people, and how much of it relates to money? in SHRM
For the five page leadership memo assignment due for SHRM this coming week, to write to the leader of a public or nonprofit organization and address the question “What are the pros and cons of our current performance appraisal system, and what would you recommend the organization do to improve the system (if you believe there should be a system. If not, explain why not.)?” This is my raw outline to work from:
It was another week of top quality learning at the Humphrey School. In Strategic Planning we heard from a great guest speaker and did a competency mapping activity. In Strategic Human Resources Management we had a robust discussion about performance appraisals.
Class themes this week were Distinctive Competencies and Livelihood Schemes in SP and Should performance appraisals be used and, if so, how? in SHRM. The SHRM readings for this week are all about performance appraisals and performance management. The week five readings for SP also covered performance management. In that case the readings were focused on the organization level rather than individuals, but there are a couple of similarities.
Fall semester is 40% done at this point and summer is clearly gone. The weather has changed and autumn colors are on full display.
Class themes this week were external and internal environmental assessments in SP and What is performance management and how does it relate to work organization and job design? in SHRM. The readings for the two classes were quite different this week. SP readings largely focused on community strategic planning, discussing the tactics, strengths, and critiques of that process. SHRM readings included a look at job analysis, a comparison of job design to strategic human resources management, and a fascinating theoretical argument for human capital resource management.
This past week was difficult. Like, really difficult. But it also felt like a week where I turned a corner.
At 5:15pm tonight I was having a panic attack. My heart was racing, breath shallow, feeling like I was about to burst into tears as I raced to finish my five page case analysis paper. I had fifteen minutes to submit it and get out the door on time for class. It was only half-done. How did I let this happen?
A component of the Strategic Planning class is pre-recorded video lectures which are assigned to watch prior to some classes. I’ve been taking notes as I watch these, but haven’t quite been sure if or where to fit them in the blog. I might start incorporating them in with the reading notes or class notes posts going forward, but for now am going to catch them up by summarizing the first three weeks here.
Class themes this week were external and internal environmental assessments in SP and how to recruit, select, and promote the best people and volunteers in SHRM. The readings in the two classes were quite different this week, aside from an intersection where the Maidment article from SHRM mentioned the importance of having a performance management framework in place to help keep employees motivated, while the Kroll article provided an in-depth exploration of the use of performance information to create public value. This week’s SHRM articles built upon concepts from past weeks, moving from culture and leadership to issues of downsizing and employee retention. In SP this week’s readings took a turn toward the tactical, diving deep into assessment systems and models.
A five page leadership memo assignment is due for SHRM this coming week, where we’re supposed to imagine ourselves in the position of being appointed as the new leader of a public or nonprofit organization and address the employees of the organization with an explanation of how we intend to improve the organization and HR. The instruction from Professor Jay is to digest all of the material from the first four weeks and draw upon that for this exercise. So, I’m starting with going through the class notes and reading summaries that I’ve already posted and distilling them down further to identify a handful of specific concepts to work from. And here’s what that yielded:
“Ambition is a choice.”
Class themes this week were mission and mandates in SP and leadership in SHRM. Readings in each class centered on organizational culture, although from different angles. SHRM readings emphasized the importance of leadership that nurtures, advocated for a paradigm where leadership is understood more as a verb than a noun, and showed how conditions which foster intrinsic motivation lead to better results than command-and-control regimes that rely on coercion to drive results. SP readings focused on organizational culture from another standpoint - that when an organization does well at understanding its own identity and can clearly articulate its purpose, that helps fosters a strong bond with the individuals within it, which in turn leads to a greater sense of mission promoting intrinsic motivation and leading to better work outcomes.
This is the last catchup post to get this blog up-to-current. The timing is serendipitous, the first SHRM paper is coming due and the instructions were to digest the first four weeks of material. So here’s a great chance to go over that.
I thought I was here to learn management. Four weeks into the semester it's become apparent they're teaching leadership. That's a good thing— Jason Samuels (@jasonsamuels) September 27, 2017
A major purpose that I hope to use this blog for is to write short synopses of class readings. The intent is to reflect on what was covered in them, for the purpose of better understanding the material and seeing linkages between themes covered in the two classes.
Week three broke my biking streak as there was one rainy day and another which involved a pre-work meeting that necessitated driving that morning.
During week two of classes the student life felt like it was starting to sink in.
I kicked off my return to campus by attending the student welcome reception hosted by the Dean of the Humphrey School.
“The very best strategic thinkers make a concerted effort to reflect”
This is mostly a space to transcribe my class notes.
But I should write more about the project here soon.