Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Helping people. This is what working in a nonprofit organization is all about.  As a leader or manager, you work hard to make sure your organization stays focused on its mission and devotes maximum resources to service. I’d like to help you. In this column, I will share things I’ve learned that can help you in your role including best practices, industry news, resources to look at and even some fun tips and tricks. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

 

Make Opportunity Great Again

Nov 10, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

In light of recent election results, I couldn't resist this blog title. Regardless of which candidate we voted for, we now have to make do with the results. Here's my challenge: Let's look inside and outside our organization, let's reinvest in our mission, let's focus on our desired outcomes, and let's create the impact we know that we can.

 More

Change isn't bad...

Oct 06, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

…it's just different! I had this nugget of knowledge shared with me the other day. Actually, it's brilliant. What would happen if we all just looked at change from this perspective?

 More

Prognostication

Jun 22, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

Today is a big word day, and today's big word is prognostication. Webster's says that prognostication is "a statement about what is going to happen in the future." Leaders are prognosticators! So I dare you to start your next discussion with this statement: "Have I got a prognostication for you!" Then, of course, you need to accurately predict the future.
 More

Leadership Brand

May 10, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I spend a lot of time reading leadership books and articles. Every author has a great idea on how leadership style affects leadership effectiveness. For me, the bottom line always comes down to one thing: My behavior as a leader has consequences, both good and bad. And it's consequences I'm talking about, not results.
 More

Culture and a Curse

Apr 05, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Last night was opening day for my beloved Chicago Cubs. They started the season on a winning note, defeating the Angels 9-0. But that's not what this blog is about. It's really about the culture around an organization and how that culture can drive your outcomes.
 More

I Am (Not) Responsible

Mar 09, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Today's topic is responsibility. Yes, the “R” word. You know it. You may have even felt it. So here's my question:  Do you live it?
 
 More

Will It Help?

Jan 28, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

If you saw the movie “Bridge of Spies,” you probably heard this dialogue repeated several times by two of the main characters:
 
James Donovan:  “Aren't you worried?”
Rudolf Abel:  “Would it help?”
 More

Reflection

Jan 05, 2016
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

In my last blog, I wrote about the need to think. This generated some interesting discussion on the differences between thinking and reflecting. I hadn't really thought about this, and I want to thank those (especially Denny) who prodded me to think about the differences. 

 More

The More You Think...

Dec 30, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

 

…the less you ________ (I'll let you fill in the blank). One of my many pet peeves is that I don't see folks taking enough time to think. We've all become great processors of stuff. That is, we process our email, we process our to-do list, we process our projects, and, well, we process our stuff. How often, though, do we just step back and think about what we should be creating, doing, making, changing, etc.?

 More

Delete Tuesday

Dec 02, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

 More

Assume

Sep 29, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
As a company, we assume what our clients want. As an organization, we assume what our community wants. As a leader, we assume what our team members want.  More

Opinions and Truth

Sep 23, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)
I was listening to a news program the other day. The reporter was pressuring the person being interviewed to speculate. The person kept declining until finally the interviewer asked, "In your opinion, what is the truth?" I was dumbstruck. More

We Always Pack

Jul 07, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

This will be a short one. Something to think about as you pack for your trip to the 16th Annual Wipfli National Training Conference. Or even if you're not going, this should be something to think about packing when you go on your next learning adventure.

 More

Seeing With Others

Jun 17, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

Back when my kids were playing sports and other activities, I found an easy parental way to weasel into their worlds without causing them too much embarrassment. I became the official photographer of the activities in which they were involved. I would take pictures of all the kids and share them with the kids and their parents. Everyone (my kids, their kids, and the parents) loved it.

 More

You Are the Best-Kept Secret…Now Stop It!

Jun 02, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Tammy here, and I’m taking over Steve’s blog again.

I have a rant. A soap box. A super-sized concern. And I need your help. I often travel to clients to offer internal training or consulting, and I have seen a trend that needs attention. I will go into a gas station, store, or restaurant and mention I am working with your local Community Action, Head Start, or other program, and wait for it…wait for it…they have no idea what I am talking about. Part of me says maybe that is good, meaning they have never needed your services. But really I am sad because of all the amazing work you do that is going unnoticed.

 More

Mission-Focused Even in Tragedy

May 21, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Those who make the rules say to never start a post with the word sorry. However, I am sorry. I've been searching for the right inspiration and it's taken me awhile. I've had no shortage of topics running through my head. There's been so much going on in our world. Digging a little deeper though, what I really find myself struggling with is not lack of inspiration, but rather my ongoing writer’s worry that the words written will have the hoped for impact. Good news, at least for me, is that I think I found it. You can all let me know.

 More

Leaders Must Not Exclude

Apr 01, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

I'm going to balance on a fine edge. Here's what I am going for: Leaders have a responsibility to help people understand where the organization is going and to include the entire organization in getting there. That said, here goes.

 More

Leading With Logic

Mar 07, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw me mourning the loss of Leonard Nimoy, a/k/a Spock. So let me air my inner nerd: I really liked and admired the character he brought to life on Star Trek. I share many of Spock's values. I think a part of me always wanted to be Spock, even though those who know me know that logic and my need to think out of the box are often in conflict. Okay, I'll confess, I was Spock: My project team in a mass media high school class created a Star Trek spoof movie in which I was the Vulcan. Yes, I was (and probably still am) a nerd.

 More

Hug a Stranger

Feb 16, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

Hello, Tammy Jelinek here. Steve is taking on transparent ghostwriters for some of his blogs. I am excited to “meet” you all.

As some of you may know, I have the privilege—and I do mean privilege—to offer training in various areas as part of my career. A colleague and I were presenting Leading With Legacy together, and as part of the topic I really pushed the audience to explore their true “why.” Why did they start in the program? And why do they stay? For some the answers are easy and not super emotional.

 More

Truthiness

Feb 09, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

A few years ago Stephen Colbert coined the term "truthiness." For those who haven't heard it, Wikipedia (the ultimate source for everything) defines it as, "a quality characterizing a 'truth' that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively ‘from the gut’ or because it ‘feels right’ without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts." Lately, this word seems to have entered the mainstream as a political term describing a situation in which a politician makes a statement of fact without factual backing. I like to call it “sharing of gut feeling” (except it’s falsely labeled the truth).

 More

Your Leadership You

Jan 28, 2015
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

My wife and I just returned from a few days of sun, a welcome relief from Wisconsin's winter. I love vacation. (Who doesn't?) Even though this one was short, it's always a time for me to reflect, reconnect, relax, and have fun. I (we) did all of those! :)

 More

Dream

Dec 29, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana. (BTW, I bet most of you have heard this quote but, like me, never knew who said it. An interesting guy…)
 
I love so much about this time of year. But there’s one thing I hate:  The endless parade of gurus writing about how we need to reflect on our failures from this year so we don’t repeat them next year. Even better, they have a perfect solution you can buy from them that will make you a great success in the next year. Well, here’s a bit of free advice:  Don’t buy it. Seriously. Don’t do it.
 More

Grasping at Straws

Dec 03, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow." - Aesop
 
We’ve all been there. We are leaders, and we look for solutions. We have a problem, and we can see the fix. In our nonprofit world, it’s even more challenging. We are understaffed and overworked. So we start grasping for the solution. We try it. and if it fails. we always have the next straw to grasp. In the words of an immortal anonymous person. “Just fix it!” is too often our leadership agenda.
 More

My “Thankfuls”

Nov 20, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
I've probably shared this before, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the family time, the food, the smells, the Black Friday ads, and the football games (although this year with my beloved Bears in the tank, maybe not so much the football games). So first and foremost, a happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.  More

Lost My Wallet

Nov 10, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
I hate to bother you. I know you’re busy, but the most awful thing just happened to me. I’m not sure if I mentioned we were headed to London for the week. Well, the taxi driver robbed us on the way from the airport to the hotel. Wallet, luggage, all gone. We need some cash quick. If there’s any way you can help, I’ll let you know how to get the money to me. We’re desperate. Thanks. More

Save: Sometimes It Really Is Simple

Oct 27, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

One of our greatest chores as a leader is sometimes the most obvious: keeping it simple. Last week I was able to get a firsthand peek at phase one of the reconstruction at Wrigley Field in Chicago, a very complicated four-year effort. As a lifelong Cubs fan who's been going to games for almost 50 years, I have a lot of memories tied up in that park. I get a chill each time I step through the tunnel into the stands and gaze upon the ivy-covered outfield wall. It's a constant that rekindles lots of feel-good memories at Wrigley (and being a Cubs fan, a few heartbreaks too).

 More

The Swirl (or Sometimes We Just Need the Ball)

Oct 08, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
There are times when the world presents us challenges. Lots of challenges. And all at once. Ever feel that? I know I do, and it’s happening right now. There are several work issues that need to be dealt with. My volunteer opportunities are demanding my attention. And there are a few personal issues to deal with on top of that. All of these hit at one time. All of these demand my attention right now. My first reaction? Look for my favorite rock and crawl under it. My second reaction? I need to own and fix each of these issues. Both of my reactions are wrong. More

Surprising Opportunity

Sep 12, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

 

I've always been a big proponent of creating "the plan." It's comfortable when the steps are laid out and the outcome is expected. And of course, the plan always works. Alright, I'm lying. I really like to fly by the seat of my pants, and things rarely go as expected (as if I knew what was expected). Okay, I may be stretching the truth again. I think as we all know, the answer is really somewhere in the middle.

 More

As If We Haven't Heard Enough…

Aug 29, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I've got to talk about it. It feels trendy, but it needs to be said.  But maybe I'll come at it from an angle we haven't talked about yet.  What is it?  You know, it's the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sponsored by the ALS Association. By now you should know what this is.  And if you don't, suffice it to say that it is far and away one of the biggest campaign wins I have ever seen a nonprofit pull off in a short period of time (And if you don't know, Google it.  There's lots of great info out there.)

 

 

 More

Feeding on the Nuggets Inside

Aug 01, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

As a kid, I loved watching vampire movies (as an adult, I've moved on to zombies—progress). My favorite vampire movie moment was always when the vampire (probably Dracula) needed his victim to look into his eyes. And once the victim did, they were captured. Hypnotized. Or maybe they just then understood what the vampire needed and their role in providing it. The victims were somehow convinced that parting with their blood to help the vampire survive was a good thing. Maybe the victims even figured it was a fair trade giving their blood for eternal life as a vampire (after all, a bite got you in to the club). Maybe it was just the age-old vampire sales pitch of what's in it for me (WIIFM)?

 More

Hot Dog

Jun 30, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

Nineteen years ago I moved from the Chicago area to Madison. I love Madison. But with the move came a few sacrifices, one of which is no local knowledge of how to build a proper Chicago hot dog. For those who have not yet come to appreciate this very delicious treat, it includes a Rosen's poppy seed bun, a hot dog cooked so that the casing pops (preferably a Vienna all beef), and garnished with unnaturally green relish, onions, a dill pickle spear, tomatoes, sport peppers, celery salt, and yellow mustard (ketchup is not even spoken of). I have searched the Madison area for this treat and have been unsuccessful . . .  until now. 

 More

Summertime

Jun 04, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
My last two blogs have dealt with fun topics like measures and accountability. (I can hear the excitement building as you hope I will share even more with you now.) Well, I'm not going to talk about that stuff, at least not in this installment. After all, summer is finally here! This is the time of year when we can work hard during the day and come home at night with just enough light left to play hard for a few hours too. Or maybe we just lie in the grass and wait for the stars to appear. More

The Big "A" Word

May 22, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)
Yep. I'm about to throw out the big “A” word in a public blog. I hope that you can put it into perspective and that you can forgive me for being so direct. Ready? Here it is... More

Measuring Measures

May 15, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

There's an old adage that says "you get what you measure" (or something like that). I also ran across a discussion of Campbell's law in a blog I read on a regular basis. Donald T. Campbell is a social psychologist who you can read all about on Wikipedia. Campbell's law states*:

 

 

"The more any quantitative social indicator (or even some qualitative indicator) is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."

 More

Post NHSA Conference

May 06, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)
In reflecting on an excellent National Head Start Association (NHSA) conference, I thought I'd share a few observations from my time there… More

Bad Leadership

Apr 23, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (3)
I try to stay positive in my blogs, focusing on the characteristics that make a good nonprofit leader. Today, I'll admit I'm feeling a little funky and want to share with you some of the characteristics I see in bad leaders. Alright, that's kind of mean. Let's call it less than effective leadership (yep, that's bad leadership, but it sounds nicer).  More

Thinking More About Change

Apr 09, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

I just read an article about an Israeli company that is developing a device which will recharge your phone in 30 seconds. That's exciting and very convenient. However, I couldn't help but think of the even more important implications down the road. Let's go there for just a second . . .

 More

Pick Your Future

Mar 27, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
Times change. Although that's obvious, I keep seeing people miss the change. For the last few weeks I've been watching a local retail institution go out of business. It's just across the highway from my office, and I can look out my window and see the large "Going Out of Business" sign over the front door.  More

Inspire, Don't Solve

Mar 18, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
Every once in a while every leader I know feels surrounded. And I don't mean surrounded with love and affection. Instead, it's the endless parade of problems, issues, concerns, gaps, etc. That is, we get pummeled with the "hey, boss" questions: • I'm having a problem with my coworker. Can you fix it for me? • I'm stuck on this project. Can you tell me what to do next? • Did you hear what this other person did? What are you going to do about it?  More

Leaders See

Feb 27, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

Photography is one of my key creative outlets. I love the thinking and the planning that goes into a shot. Even better, I love the luck that sometimes surprises me with the really great shots. You can check out some of my shots at www.slipton.com.

 More

What Now?

Feb 10, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)
Many of you will think I'm writing just to the Head Start (HS) community. Bear with me, since I think this story applies to everyone facing uncertainty. HS and Early Head Start (EHS) programs have some reasons to celebrate starting this calendar year: Funding is back and in a big way. For many, Sequestration can be a memory (at least for now). All HS programs need to do is flip the switch and immediately return to full strength. Right? Well, maybe there’s a little more to it.  More

For Clients Only

Jan 27, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (3)

I was getting coffee in an office yesterday. They had a Keurig® machine with a nice selection of coffee. The machine had a sign: "For clients only." Next to the nice selection was a standard coffee pot on a warming burner. I guess that could've had a sign too: "Good enough for those who work here and help our clients."

 More

Your Legacy

Jan 16, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (3)

I have to admit that I was struggling a bit this week on the subject for my blog. As always, the best ideas come from unlikely places, and this one came from a very unlikely one during a walk after a business meeting: a cemetery.

 More

Nothing Is Impossible

Jan 02, 2014
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
First and most important, I wish everyone the happiest, most successful year ever (that is, until next year when I will make the same wish). For me, this week of Christmas and New Year is about reflecting on and refreshing my personal plan. And I do mean plan, not resolutions. Resolutions are too hard to keep and just don’t work. I only have to look at last year when I resolved to improve my photography skills by posting a picture a day on Facebook. I don’t think I got past the third week of January before that resolution was lost. More

Technology Gifts

Dec 03, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
A happy holiday season to all!! What a great kick-off this year with a combination Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (or as my family called it, Thanksgivnukah). My only complaint is that it seemed unfair I was forced to do my gift shopping before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. At least this won't happen again for another 70,000 years. I hope all of you are weathering the shopping season and walked away with some outstanding deals after Thanksgiving. For those who are still pondering, and since I'm often asked, I thought I'd share some of my recommendations on the hot technology toy (tool) categories this year.  More

Bat Leadership

Nov 18, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
"There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us." - The Dark Knight Rises I love a good threat. It gets me motivated, challenges me, makes me think of the many ways I can help lead to victory. You only need to look at the title of this movie to know how Batman responded to the threats made to his community. How are you responding to the threats in your community? More

What Is My (Your) Purpose?

Aug 01, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Sadly, I'm a frequent traveler. I do it for only one reason, and it's not the miles. I'll share my reason in a moment. First, I will share an incident I witnessed at the airport this morning while waiting for my flight (on my way to speak at the California Head Start Association meeting).

 More

Thanks

Apr 15, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
Needless to say, it's been an interesting few weeks. We've had sequestration and now the Preliminary Winner List for Head Start (HS) grantees who faced recompetition. Sequestration is forcing many organizations to make hard choices on service delivery and operations. The list of grantees brought out some winners and some who did not win. Oh yeah, and then there's the proposed new federal budget, which looks like a win for HS and Early Head Start (EHS) and something less than a win for CSBG and programs like LIHEAP. I guess these are not just interesting times, they are indeed challenging times.
 More

Good Change

Mar 13, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

This time around I'd like to use my blog to share with you some exciting news about some good changes (no zombies in this one). I'll apologize in advance if this comes across as a sales pitch—that's not my intent. Rather, I am simply proud of this effort and strongly believe that the new and updated service will help many of you do what you do even better.

 More

Zombie Apocalypse

Mar 06, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
Anyone out there watching The Walking Dead? For those who don't know, it's a series about life after the Zombie Apocalypse. My wife and I just got hooked in to it by some friends of ours. Unfortunately, as often happens, I start to connect these very strange goings on in their world to some of the things that are happening in our world.
 More

Tell a Good Story

Jan 31, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Every once in a while you see a story that grabs you and makes you realize that maybe the world will be okay. 

 More

New Year, Same Uncertainty…So What?

Jan 22, 2013
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I always think it’s funny how the new year inspires me to get going on things I've procrastinated on, while the end of the year seems like the perfect time to procrastinate. After all, they're separated by just a few days. So, here I am in the new year with a clean slate and ready to tackle the things I should be tackling. I suspect some of you are in the same place as well. 

 More

After the Event

Jul 20, 2012
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

This is one of those rare times that I may have too much to talk about (stop laughing). Maybe it's because it's been a while since I shared with all of you, and for that I apologize. It also may be because I'm in day four of what I believe is the seven-day recovery period after hosting our largest event of the year, the Wipfli National Training Conference. Whew...

 More

Keep Trying

May 01, 2012
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Have you ever just given up? Let's face it, from time to time we have all thrown in the towel and uttered those famous words: "I can't." I hear that a lot these days. 

 More

This Year It's Even More Important

Feb 23, 2012
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
I am personally inviting you to attend the 13th Annual Wipfli National Training Conference for Nonprofit Organizations and Units of Government this July – if you've already registered, thank you! At the 13th annual conference, we are going to challenge you with more than 90 great sessions complete with many fantastic learning opportunities and action items geared to help you succeed in today's reality. We're proud to be able to help you. Watch a short video from last year's conference.
 More

Insecurity

Feb 16, 2012
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
I was saddened this weekend when I heard about the death of Whitney Houston.  My head immediately went to the untimely death of many celebrities, often because of choices they have made in their lives.
 
 
 More

Achievement

Feb 06, 2012
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
We spend much of our day as consumers. That is, we consume e-mail, blogs, Facebook posts, tweets, news stories, TV shows, etc. I bet if you sat back and added it up, most of your day is spent consuming information presented by others. And when we consume, we are passive. We accept and ponder what we consume.
 More

My New Three Words

Jan 18, 2012
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Last year I introduced you to a "sort of" resolution process for the New Year involving three words (thank you again, Chris Brogan, www.chrisbrogan.com). These are words to reflect on and help answer whether what you are doing now is moving you in the right direction.

 More

The End With a New Beginning

Dec 20, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

This will be a short one. First and most important: a happy and healthy holiday season and new year to all. This includes Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Joyous Kwanza (and anything else I may have missed).

 More

Brilliance Assembled

Nov 15, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)
I did something today I feel like I don’t do often enough. And then, I quickly got out of the way. It's really an easy story (and a short one). 
 
 More

Scapegoats

Oct 13, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
It's baseball playoff time, and once again my beloved Cubs are not there. In some respects this spares me the pain of post-season failure while giving me additional time to get over regular season failure. And this year there was a lot of failure. The best analogy I can give is that being a Cubs fan is like jumping out of a first floor window over and over and over…you get the idea.
 More

Looking Back (Forward?)

Sep 27, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
This morning I was having coffee with one of my buddies, and as always, our conversation turned first to politics and then to how leaders lead (no, I'm not about to talk politics, but I am about to talk leadership). "That's it!" I said. Not only do I have my blog topic, but I also have some good material for an executive round table I'll be leading this week at the Minnesota Community Action Reunion and Training Conference. Not bad for a Sunday morning…
 More

Avoiding Panic

Aug 30, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (1)

One of my team stopped me in the hallway several days ago. There was a crisis. (Isn't there always?) We ran through the options, and as we talked we began to get to the root of the problem. We found that with a little problem solving not only could we resolve the current crisis, we could solve the problem that caused it, thereby preventing a future reoccurrence.

 More

Think Big. Start Small. Act Fast.

Aug 04, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
Think Big. Start Small. Act Fast. I shared those words at Wipfli's 12th Annual Management Conference, and at least for me, those words generated a great deal of feedback and conversation.
 More

Leading Rain or Shine

Jul 07, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

This spring Wipfli launched a new program for nonprofit and government clients designed around taking our future success into our own hands. The leaders and agencies involved in the year-long effort are off to an incredible start, innovating and finding ways to lead and execute in this time of uncertainty.

 More

Managing

May 23, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

We need to keep in mind that managers are measured by what they get done. Often times, we forget that the "how" we get it done can change. The "how" isn't measured. The results are. Manager's simply need to focus on getting to the result in the most effective way possible and stress flexibility on the "how".

 More

Reaching Out

Apr 04, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

In case you've been hiding under a rock for the last few years, there's this little thing called Social Media that has created new communications between people and organizations. Not only has it helped foster political revolutions (e.g., look at the Middle East), it's reignited old friendships, ended a few friendships (and probably marriages!), helped businesses sell things, and has helped organizations increase awareness and donations.

 More

Three Words

Mar 18, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I'm a fan of Chris Brogan (www.chrisbrogan.com) and read his blog every day. Being a fan doesn't mean I always agree with him. I do like that he challenges me with ideas different than my own. Earlier this year, one of Chris's entries challenged his readers to create three words to focus on for the year.

 More

Get Inspired

Mar 04, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I was wrestling hard this week with my opponent - the empty blog topic. For most of the week, the empty blog topic was winning. For the last few weeks, I've written about the concerns facing our nonprofit world. They are very real and very big. It's just getting so darn depressing and I couldn't bring myself to write about it.

But then something weird happened. I was thinking of all the negative words: anxiety, fear, worry, etc. Then the old Jamaica tourism phrase popped into my head: don't worry, be happy. This of course led to thoughts about the movie "Cool Runnings." The movie was about a Jamaican Olympic athlete who, for some reason i can't remember, was unable to participate in the Summer Olympics in his sport (track, I believe). However, he couldn't overcome his desire to somehow get to the Olympics.

 More

The New Normal

Feb 21, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

The New Normal. I do not like that phrase. To me, it's a little bit of a cop out to avoid the bolder statement:  Change or Die. This phrase hit home to me via author Alan Deutschman in his book Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and In Life. I don't agree with everything he says nor all his methods. But I am willing to learn from his hypothesis that we need to change our behaviors to deal with the realities of our situation (at least that's what I think he said).

 More

Fear and Change

Feb 14, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

I'm writing this looking out my office window at the quickly dwindling snow piles here in Madison. Hard to believe a little over a week ago we had a major blizzard with nearly 20 inches of snow followed by extreme cold with temperatures around minus 12. Now our temperatures are in the 40s and last night it didn't even get below freezing! And that's nothing compared to the folks in Texas and Oklahoma (and many other places) where they've had temperature extremes  approaching 100 degrees. All this gets me thinking about that "change" thing.

 More

Cuts are Coming

Feb 04, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

After 2 years of pretty darn good federal funding (also known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), we are facing what appears to be a lengthy period of lean federal funding.  The first salvo fired was an announcement from the Obama administration that Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding in the proposed budget is reduced 50% with awards to be based on performance similar to Race to the Top.

 More

Strategic Thinking

Jan 19, 2011
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

I've given a lot of thought lately to Strategic Thinking.  Most of us at one time or another have completed or participated in creating a Strategic Plan.  Strategic Planning usually includes a process around setting goals, strategies and actions (and sometimes just creating a binder for our shelves).  Let me be clear:  Strategic Planning is not the same as Strategic Thinking.  It's not even close.

 More

What happened to the "o" in ok?

Sep 21, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I just finished a text conversation with my college age son. The conversation ended with a simple, one letter text: "k".  I put my phone away satisfied that the conversation was done. But then I got to thinking. Did we really finish?

 More

Value of Trouble

Aug 26, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

In talking with leaders in many organizations, there seems to be one consistent thought - stay out of trouble! After all, with trouble comes pain and dealing with pain is awfully hard. Let me ask one more question, though. What happens after the pain? Or to put it another way, what is the outcome of trouble?

 More

Reflections on a Week

Jul 29, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Read about Steve's take on Wipfli's 11th Annual Management Conference for Grant-Funded Programs, which was held July 12-16, 2010 in Las Vegas.

 More

Emotions and Change

Jun 15, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Have you ever tried to get a coworker, friend, loved one or maybe just a casual acquaintance to change behavior? Or, heaven forbid, a teenager? Think about what's involved in the process.

 More

Risky Decisions

Jun 01, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

I hear there's a little oil leaking in the Gulf of Mexico. Wait a minute, the leak seems to be getting bigger. Oops, can't seem to plug it up but everything is being tried. Oh, and it's even bigger than first thought.

I can hear you asking, "what can an oil leak can possibly have to do with leadership and management in my organization?" The answer is nothing (regarding the leak, that is). What it does have a lot to do with in your organization is how that leak was managed both before it occurred and after.

 More

iPad - Do You Need (Want) One?

May 12, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)
 More

Time's a Changin'

May 04, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

We are on the verge of some very new ways to use technology in business. The old days of buying a server, buying lots of storage, buying software, buying people to support it, and buying big PCs to access it are fading.

 More

Where Does Strategy Come From?

Apr 28, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (2)

Here you go nonprofit leaders. Time to do that Strategic Plan again. Get it done. Cross it off the list. You'll meet with the board and some of your leaders. Then, you'll meet with your staff to share the brilliance of the strategic planning team. The staff will be asked to execute the brilliant strategies. And in the end, nothing happens. Has anybody heard this story before? Some of you I'm sure have.

 More

Grab a Saw

Apr 21, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Did you ever want to just do it? You know what I mean. You walk in to your organization and there it sits. The problem.

 More

Got Risk?

Apr 02, 2010
By Steve Lipton
Comments (0)

Great opportunity is knocking on the doors of nonprofits in your community...but what kind of risk is this creating?

 More

Blogs


Bank on Wipfli
Financial Institutions Practice Team
Get Dynamic - the Wipfli GP Blog
Wipfli's Microsoft Dynamics GP Team
INSide Thoughts
Wipfli Insurance Team
Management and Leadership in Nonprofits
Steve Lipton
Manufacturing Tomorrow Blog
Wipfli Manufacturing Technology Team
TaxThink
TaxThink Team Blog
Wipfli's Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog
Wipfli Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team
WipfliSecurity