Author Archives: Beth Kanter
October 30, 2012, 1:38 pm
I was in India this past summer to facilitate an intensive four-day training for Packard Foundation grantees working on family-planning issues. The curriculum covered a lot of territory on social media and online collaborations, but every day after we came back from a delicious Indian meal, the after-lunch slump would set in.
I planned for this by incorporating an after-lunch energizer that used movement to get people’s brains going. Energizers are activities designed to awaken a sleeping audience or activate a jaded one. Energizers are typically done right after lunch and during mid-afternoon breaks, when energy tends to be low, but they can be done any time. The energizer can be connected to the content or just a movement exercise or stretch.
In India, I designed the first one to celebrate the local culture: It was called “Bollywood Moment.” I asked colleagues from India what was…
October 27, 2011, 4:42 pm
Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are excellent for promoting your expertise, but as a consultant, you also need to stay on top of trends in your field. Social networks can help, but you need to plan how to absorb what you learn and avoid information overload.
To figure that out for myself, I borrowed ideas from the management consultant Harold Jarche, who advises thinking about this task into three approaches—seek, sense, and share. Here’s how I put his advice to work.
Social media can help you keep up with topics so you can be more effective in your work.
Start with making a list of the five to 10 of the best information sources that cover your area of expertise.
Find them on Twitter, subscribe to their blogs, connect on LinkedIn or “like” their Facebook page. Then create a dashboard by using an RSS reader and carve out regular time to read every day…
August 18, 2011, 2:27 pm
Much of my 32-year career working for nonprofits has been as a consultant who helps organizations make better use of technology.
As I look for ways to improve my practice, I get feedback from clients and (try) to keep up on a never-ending stream of technology information. But instruction on how to design workshops or consulting engagements, the cornerstone of my practice, is not quite as plentiful. Even more difficult to find are studies about what nonprofits are looking for in a consultant relationship. That type of information is pure gold.
And that is exactly what will soon be available from a study underwritten by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. I learned about the preliminary results at the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s conference, Better Philanthropy: From Data to Impact, where I attended a discussion with Kathy Reich, a program officer at the Packard…