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Helping Organizations Thrive 
July 2012 Edition
Welcome to my July 2012 email newsletter. 

The mission of Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting is to help progressive organizations thrive.  I do that by assisting my clients with strategic planning, campaign planning, coalition building, fundraising, communications, and other organizational development challenges.

To keep people informed about my work, I set up this monthly e-newsletter.  If you want to unsubscribe, just look for the link at the bottom.   My most recent edition can be read in my archive.

For a complete lists of the consulting services I offer, check out my website.
What Works

Each edition of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works." 

Most editions include sections from one of two longer articles I'm writing.  Why Organizations Thrive  and Why Organizations Go Off Course detail lessons I learned while growing the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV), buttressed by my observations of dozens of other groups both in Oregon and across the country.


Collectively, I believe these lessons are a very useful set of principles that any Executive Director can use to improve their organization's capacity to fulfill its mission.


This month is Why Organizations Go Off Course Lesson 3:  Don't Lose Touch with your Deeper Purpose.


This lesson can best be introduced via a classic story about three bricklayers.


A man was walking down a street and came across someone laying bricks. The first bricklayer was dejected and doing a sloppy job as he laid bricks on top of each other. The man asked the bricklayer: "what are you doing?"


The first bricklayer's answer: "I'm putting bricks in a row and then putting another layer of bricks on top of them."


Further down the street, the man came across a second bricklayer. This bricklayer was workmanlike - doing her job in an apparently competent manner.


The man asked the second bricklayer: "what are you doing?"


The second bricklayer's answer: "I'm building a wall that will form the side of a building."


As the man walked even further down the street, the man came across a third bricklayer. This bricklayer was whistling as they worked, obviously happy, as he methodically put bricks together in rows, mortared them, and slowly built upwards.


The man asked the bricklayer: "what are you doing?"


The third bricklayer's answer: "I'm building the wall of a hospital that will save people's lives."


Is it any wonder that the second bricklayer was more productive than the first, and the third was most productive of all? The first was given a task, but had no purpose. The second had a purpose, but it was shallow. The third had a task, a purpose, and the purpose was framed in a deeper way that could arouse passion.


So how does this apply to nonprofits?


Read the rest of the article. 


Download the article as a PDF.  


Recent Success Stories and New Clients

I am in the middle of a strategic planning project for the  Denver Region Mobility and Access Council, which coordinates the Denver-region effort to provide transit options for people seniors, people with disabilities, and others with access challenges.  We held a great planning retreat in mid-July, and I'm now working with a planning committee to create a draft plan.  

I recently began the research phase of a strategic planning project for Recycling Advocates. 

I'm providing ongoing executive coaching services to leadership of Portland's Leadership & Entrepreneurship High School. 

I'm in the latter stages of a large strategic planning process for the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado.

I am continuing to work with the Oregon Chapter, Sierra Club on a new development plan.  A plan that will take them through December 2013 should be finalized by early August.

Check out my website for a complete list of all my clients.


Looking for a presentation for your organization or coalition's conference, workshop, or event? 

I've recently updated my website to more fully describe presentations I've delivered or am prepared to deliver.  Contact me directly for more information.  
Recent Blog Entries

Get it Done

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Tips for Being Innovative

Don't Take Board Relationships for Granted

Some Opening Thoughts on Leadership

Time is your Most Precious Commodity

Effective New Board Member Orientation Meetings

Tracking Time

Good Telephone Board Meetings

Don't Make These Mistakes in Selecting a Donor Database

Looking for one of my past blog entries on a particular topic?   I have now categorized my past blog entries.  Just go to my website and hover over the "blog" link on the navigation bar and you can see the topics and choose from among them. 
Contact Information
Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting
phone: 503-490-1234

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