From World News

Feeling blue? Chin up, get to work, there’s lots of thinking and planning to

Yes, the election left me gobsmacked.

But this is no time to act like a deer in the headlights. Hundreds in my community and across the US are already thinking and planning to prepare to act strategically.

You don’t have to be for or against the incoming administration to recognize that a lot is going to change.

As a board and strategy consultant, I’m troubled that very few of the boards with whom I’m working are talking about planning for scenarios that might be heading their way. While front line advocacy organizations are already moving forward, I’m not seeing discussions happening in very many other sectors.

I understand that there is considerable uncertainty. I recognize that it might feel like a waste of time to talk about the unknown.

But isn’t that your job as a governing board? Shouldn’t you be considering best case, worst case and starting to prepare a plan of action? Haven’t you enough evidence of the policy changes that are likely to be made to start planning for those changes?

Your board has a lot of thinking and planning to do.

Need an example? We’ve already in a profoundly new world order. Jobs are vanishing fast, not necessarily because of global trade, but because what can be automated will. And there are very few jobs that can’t be automated.

What does this mean for your clients? What about your donors? Your community? Your employees?

Here’s another: How is the shifting landscape of philanthropic giving affecting your organization, where the rich are giving more and the rest of everyone less?

And the big one: What policies have the new administration and the majority party been championing over the last eight years or eight months? How will that affect us?

If there was every a time for both strategic and generative thinking, it’s now.

When the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, it may be too late to mobilize a satisfactory response.

  • I’ve felt that way at least three times before in my voting life. But yes, this one seems completely different. Having been a member of Amnesty International for more than four decades, I’ve read the stories on how democracy can be lost seemingly overnight. 


“A Radical Revolution of Values”

mlk-card“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway.

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from “Beyond Vietnam” Riverside Church April 4, 1967.

I’d like to recognize all of our clients for their service, remembering that “everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”

On this holiday, I’m also sending a very special note of gratitude to our clients, past and present, who work tirelessly to end or reduce poverty, homelessness, war, injustice.



Take action this Earth Day

This just in from Women’s Voices for the Earth:

Our backyard compost bin

“Support & Strengthen the Safe Chemicals Act”

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 was introduced in Congress on April 15th by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) to overhaul the nation’s failed chemical policy laws.
“This landmark legislation would do a lot to protect the public from toxic chemicals. For example, it would require basic health and safety information for all chemicals, ensure that chemicals meet a health-based safety standard that protects vulnerable groups, including workers and children. It would also provide fast action for some of the most notorious chemicals, like formaldehyde, lead, and toxic flame-retardants.
“The bill can be strengthened by making it harder for potentially harmful new chemicals to arrive in the marketplace, and easier to take known toxins out of the marketplace.

“For example, one provision would allow new chemicals on the market without having to meet the new safety standard. If ensuring consumer confidence and protecting public health are top goals in this reform, this needs to be fixed in order for the final bill to be truly protective of American families.

Click here to take action today by asking your Members of Congress to co-sponsor and strengthen the Safe Chemicals Act.”

Add your voice for women worldwide

Today is International Women’s Day. “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for all” is the theme of this year’s commemoration.

From our vantage point here in the US, it can be easy to forget that many women around the world experience profound discrimination every day without protection of law. And millions of girls and women experience rape, domestic abuse, genital mutilation, and other forms of violence against women, regardless of where they live.

If you are at a total loss for an action to commemorate this day, you can add your voice to a petition being circulated by Amnesty International USA asking the United Nations to develop a stronger agency for women. You can find that petition here.

Haiti relief: first, do no harm

It’s hard to be hard-headed about giving to Haiti when people are hungry, thirsty and injured. But before you reflexively hit the DONATE NOW FOR HAITI button on the first email (or text message) you see, take a moment to consider your own values. Even in emergencies, perhaps most of all in emergencies, it’s important to try to give in ways that can help to avert similar disasters in the future.

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