I love Thanksgiving. It is a joy to be together with family, to enjoy longtime traditions and to create new ones as the family grows. It is also a time when I reflect on the year about to end and that for which I am grateful. Although this year is notable for celebrating 15 years of Wishnick & Associates, it is the work that makes every day special. Each engagement has offered the opportunity to renew client relationships or develop new ones and always to be part of an organization’s efforts to be more effective. Thank you to everyone I worked with this year and to those of you who referred me to new clients. Working with diverse clients – human services agencies, arts organizations, associations, and coaching individuals – I am continually observing and learning.
Here is some of what I learned this year:
- More nonprofits are using consent agendas. Boards of directors are freeing up meeting time to have more strategic and generative conversations. They are shifting the focus to look ahead and have more substantive discussions. Executive directors and board chairs are encouraged by this change.
- Onboarding has been at the forefront this year. With a new chief executive, success is supported by devising a plan and providing the new leader with a transition team. This has an enormous, positive impact on the new leader and the organization.
- Getting the message out and visibility continue to be on the minds of nonprofit leaders. No matter the mission or the age of the organization, nonprofits struggle with how to reach their diverse constituencies in a compelling way. The need to amplify the message continues to emerge in every strategic planning process.
- Nonprofits are looking closely at their core values and how these guide them. Organizations without core values statements are creating them while others are reviewing what exists. Nonprofits want to be more open and welcoming in profound ways.
To my clients, colleagues, and friends: you do so much for so many. Let’s continue to work together to ensure that every nonprofit’s mission is infused with energy and passion making life better for individuals and communities.
I am truly thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!