Doug’s Open Letter to Community

 

IMG_3264Six (well, ok, eight) months in – a reflection and a look forward.

I was asked the other day about what’s on for the next 12 months at Propellus. I thought that since I’ve only had coffee with 179 of you this year, the rest of you might be wondering what’s in our heads.

Let’s frame this up before jumping into it. So, a Volunteer Centre has four pillars. In short, they are Promote, Connect, Strengthen and Lead. You can read all about that here.

When we look back over the last few years, we’ve been very focused on the Strengthen pillar. You know this about us.  It’s allowed us to develop some really great stuff to help organizations get stronger. I’m really proud of how Propellus has focused on evaluations and assessment.

When we brought on the role of Evaluations Specialist, in addition to strengthening our own measurement, it led us to initiate an Evaluations Learning Community, which offers peer learning to our members. This year the Learning Community advisory council worked together to plan an evaluations conference. We are so pleased to be offering conference this fall where we host Michael Quinn Patton!

We’ve listened to you. So our assessment tool, which helps you get a quick snapshot into learning needs of your organization, has been up and running for almost a year. Also we’ve heard many of you describe yourselves as ‘the jack of all trades, master of none’ who needs quick access to tools you can use in your day to day job. We launched our resource bank earlier this year to provide you access to those tools!

Again, we want to go for coffee with you . . . Lori and Andrea would absolutely LOVE to hang out with you and review your assessment/point you to resources/connect you to opportunities for further learning!

As I’ve met with many of you this year I’ve heard the confusion and frustration you feel about this question, “where is the Volunteer Centre of Calgary?”

We’ve heard you. While we’ve continued to promote the volunteer opportunities on our database and host conversations, even a learning community for volunteer engagement, that is not enough.  After all, there are over 117 million hours spent volunteering in this amazing community of ours.  I agree, we can do more to support you!

So what does that mean? We haven’t got it figured out yet, but here are the steps we are taking:

  • We have expanded our volunteer team to include Tyler, Chandni, Shreya, and Manisha.
  • You can connect with Jeff as his role is changing and he is learning from the community what promoting volunteerism means.
  • We are exploring some fantastic opportunities to partner with organizations like MRU, Volunteer Alberta, Ignitech and more. Let Janet and Kelsey know who else we need to be meeting with. We’re listening!
  • Of course I’m still coming out for as many coffees (actually, it’s tea) and events with as many of you as possible because I love hearing your stories! Be sure to invite me to the places I don’t know about yet.

I hope you can see that we want to include you in shaping the future of this community organization.  What does the next twelve months look like for Propellus? Listening, acting on your advice and finding fantastic partners, so together we can continue to create a thriving engaged Calgary for each and every person!

Doug

Is a Joint Venture or Strategic Partnership right for my Organization?

 

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Written By: Jeremy Busch-Howell*, member of the Board of Directors

In an earlier post I discussed joint ventures, strategic partnerships and mergers as strategic alternatives that non-profits should consider as part of their strategic process, and how such strategic alternatives are particularly relevant in our current economic climate. In this post I will discuss certain matters that should be considered prior to entering into a joint venture or strategic partnership (for ease, joint ventures and strategic partnerships will be referred to jointly as “joint ventures”, recognizing that there are certain differences between the two). Continue reading

Fortune Favours the Bold: Unlocking Value during Tumultuous Times

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Written By: Jeremy Busch-Howell, member of the Board of Directors

Things appear grim in Alberta. While dwelling on our current economic uncertainty is more than a bit unpleasant, nearly every reputable bank or relevant government agency correctly predicted a mild recession for 2015 and, with the price of oil remaining incredibly low, are predicting a mild recession for 2016 as well. Continue reading

See our Guest Blog Posted on Imagine Canada: Succession Planning Made Easy

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Jamie Niessen, our former CEO, recently wrote about our CEO transition for Imagine Canada’s blog. Check out the post here. For more details on our transition, check out this post from the fall.

If you’re thinking about earning Imagine Canada’s charity and nonprofit accreditation check out their Standards Program for all the ins and outs. Good luck.

Becoming CEO of Propellus

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Written By: Doug Watson, Director Member Services & Operations

I guess it starts with dropping out of high school (oops, not supposed to tell people that). Actually it’s true. One of the reasons I didn’t just drop out once but three times is because I didn’t like the way things were run. Even in my ignorance I understood that things could be a little neater, a little tidier, even take into account the person you are serving when deciding how things will happen. Continue reading

What I Learned About Leadership Through a 360 Review

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Written By: Doug Watson, Director, Member Services

I did a 360 review in 2013 at GILD (The Global Institute for Leadership Development). The model used to assess was developed by Warren Bennis. I must say it’s really informed how I think about the competencies, skills and responsibilities. I will do my best to relay four of them from GILD here (the rest to follow in the future). Continue reading

Making Your Leadership Team, Team #1

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Written By: Jamie Niessen, CEO and President

If you’ve ever worked on the leadership group of an organization then you’re probably familiar with this scenario: Everyone shows up to the meeting as a representative of their department or area of responsibility. Strategies, plans and problems are all discussed and each member of the leadership team dutifully represents his or her respective constituency. Continue reading