Navigating Major Life Transitions

Originally published at movethisworld.com.   It feels like the world has changed so much in the last ten years, let alone the last 3,000, when Heraclitus uttered the first iteration of, “change is the only constant in life.” Many changes can feel daunting, scary or overwhelming — like preparing for first-time motherhood while writing a curriculum overhaul and leading organizational growth from California to Texas to Tennessee. Let me tell you straight from the heart: it’s been an incredibly challenging time. I’ve had to adjust my focus, work with my team (my team in the office and my team in my husband), and develop new strategies for success — at work and at home. But I also feel that I could not be more prepared for such a herculean task; in fact, I’ve been preparing for this every day of my life. Flexibility. Openness. Empathy. Forgiveness. These are all core elements of our work at Move This World, and we practice them individually and as a team every day of the week. We practice laughter. We meditate. We workout. We Move This Day. We work, and we play. It’s what has allowed us to change locations, shift our model, and work around the world while staying focused on our greater mission. At the end of the day, we don’t really know when major transitions are going to take place. We might have hints or ideas, but life comes at you quickly. The only way to prepare for the inevitable is to be proactive, to work the mental muscles every day. We need to be flexible. We need to be open...

Dealing with an Overwhelming Workload

 When the work starts piling up it’s always tempting to give up and take a nap instead. Sometimes when there are way too many tasks demanding your attention, it looks far more appealing to forget about all of them and take a break from it all. But attractive as it may sound, this procrastination isn’t sustainable. Here are our top tips to help you tackle the workload: Divide and conquer Divide bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks and then deal with each of them as a separate task. This will make it look a lot less daunting and far more do-able. It will also give you a clearer picture of what exactly you are supposed to do and how to go about accomplishing it. Prioritize Prioritizing is key. As mentioned above, breaking up larger assignments into smaller portions can help you to begin forming a list that consists of what needs to be done in order of priority. It is worth the time and effort to dedicate a few minutes to prioritize and organize your to-do list. This way you will be able to give enough attention to each task, thereby ensuring you not only finish the job, but also do it well. It might then be a good idea to start off with something small and easy to get the momentum going.  Just get started Deciding where to start is often difficult if your to-do list is cluttered with several small, but equally important tasks. Instead of tackling several tasks simultaneously, it is better to just select one and finish it before starting on the next. If...

Rethinking Six Management Mantras for Better Innovation

As originally posted from the “Stanford Social Innovation Review” by: Polina Makievsky Innovation is no longer optional for social sector organizations. In the face of constant fiscal pressures, growing demand, and a quickening pace of change, we all need to build innovation-ready cultures. A report commissioned by our organization, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, looked at the financial data of more than 200,000 nonprofits in the United States and found that community-based, human-service organizations are in financial peril. Nearly one in eight human service nonprofits are technically insolvent, and nearly half have a negative operating margin over a three-year period. Yet there are a number of “north stars”—opportunities for the sector to move forward and better face these challenges. One important opportunity is the sector’s development of its innovation capacity. Participants at an Alliance for Strong Families and Communities innovation summit. But what does it take to build innovation capacity, and how can nonprofit leaders set the right conditions for innovation to flourish? During a series of two-day innovation summits last fall, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities brought together more than 300 people to participate in a condensed human-centered design process we developed in partnership with Greater Good Studio, a design firm committed to working with social sector changemakers. The goal was to use human-centered design to examine longstanding challenges and new opportunities through a different lens. We aimed to build our “innovation muscles” so that we could begin to tackle old challenges in new ways. In the process, we realized that the creative problem-solving methods we were applying were breaking some of the typical management mantras that have dominated our...

How to Balance Your Personal and Professional Self

Here are our top tips to secure your dream job in 2019: During the interview stage, people often ask us how to strike the right balance between standing out from the crowd and putting their best professional profile forward.
When an opportunity comes along, showing your personality is certainly a top priority to every hiring manager. 
Here are some tips to help you during the interview process: What is the company culture? Ask your recruitment consultant, ask your friends, look at the website. Most, if not all, companies will have some information on what is important to them. If not, the language and style of marketing will give you a good indication of the type of message they want to put out to their clients.

When you first visit the office for an interview, observe the behaviour of the employees and managers. Are they walking around and socializing or does everyone stay at their desks working? Does the environment seem structured or open? Use your skills. When you are in interviewing or meeting with your hiring manager, use an example of a skillset from your own personal life. Use something that you can decipher the reaction and interest by the company representatives in the room. If you play a sport or have been involved in physical activities, you can use examples of resilience or teamwork. Here you may spark an interest that can lead to further conversation to show what you love to do in your spare time.   If in doubt – leave it out! You should always start at zero on the scale, you are a professional and your skills and qualifications are up for...

The Unintended Consequences of Reorganizing Your Workspace

Original post from “The Conference Board of Canada”  by: Jane Cooper If you look at the latest trends in office design, you would be forgiven for thinking that sofas play an outsize role. There is a lot more to reorganizing the workspace than just putting in soft seating. Many organizations are increasingly concerned about helping employees collaborate on the job. This includes creating comfortable spaces where people can gather to relax, share ideas, and generate new insights. The outcome, they hope, is a more innovative organization. But are there costs? The jury is out on the role of sofas in driving innovation, but it is clear that the drive to increase collaborative spaces in the office can have unintended consequences. The Conference Board of Canada’s new research series Transforming the Way Canadians Work looks at changes to the nature of work, where work takes place, workplace culture, and how the success of these changes is measured. Our research has raised some practical questions that organizations may want to consider before they tear down any walls: Will shrinking the office footprint have the same effect on quiet work as it does on collaboration? With high downtown rents, both public- and private-sector organizations want to reduce the number of square feet per employee in their offices. Our research suggests that when offices shrink, the space for quiet, focused work is more likely to be cut than the space for collaboration. Workers still need access to space both for working together and for quiet individual work. But as offices become smaller, trade-offs are being made, and space for quiet work is losing out. Will your...