Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Diary Doodles of a Distracted Blogger

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Decided that diary is the wrong word. Even though I’m chronicling my foibles and attempts at online networking, the day of the post doesn’t imply any real order. The day of posting only illustrates what oozed to the top of my brain. The Free Dictionary defines doodle as scribbling absentmindedly. Verbal doodles are more appropriate to describe my blogging.

Prior to exploring (lurking) on various discussion boards at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), I actually started posting some responses. A recent one discussed the appropriate/inappropriate use of social media for screening potential employees. Because I love taking the opposite view, I posited a different scenario and asked:

…finding the right fit in any recruiting and hiring situation is a two-way street. As the economy improves (albeit slowly there are signs), key employees who have the skills, experience, and knowledge that make the organization hum may choose to leave.

Potential applicants to your organization, too, can explore multiple job opportunities without personally speaking to anyone in your organization. What if a really good potential applicant decided to explore your organization’s website and social media before applying? How comfortable is it when the shoe is on the other foot?

Not only that, but it seems prudent for prospective employers to mind their Ps and Qs when using social media. Michael Wyland said:

My partner is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and a certified senior professional in human resources (SPHR). I asked her about this issue, and she was adamant that, based on her training (including recent training), that those involved in hiring should avoid social media searches. Her opinion is that this is one of many areas of the law where the law has not kept up with technology access and capabilities.

One reason for avoiding social media searches, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, is that such searches allow prospective employers to access information legally prohibited from being considered in hiring decisions. If it can be proven that a social media search was conducted, it becomes more difficult for the prospective employer to protect themselves from a hiring discrimination suit brought by an unsuccessful applicant.

The “safety valve” some employers use is to employ third-party recruiting firms to screen applicants. Some employers use temp-to-hire arrangements to allow them to see a person not *their* employee and learn all about them before making a formal hiring decision. Most of the laws and regulations protecting employment applicants envision the employer doing the hiring directly; they rarely address the actions of third parties in the hiring process.

I went to Michael’s bio and profile on ASAE to let him know about this post and realized…aaagghhh! I don’t have any Twitter or LinkedIn widgets anywhere on my own stuff! Well, maybe tomorrow.

Diary of a distracted blogger

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

The first thing you’ll note about my blogroll is that until this post, my home page is like Grandma’s attic: full of stuff from long ago…

With so many social media opportunities, I’m the epitome of a kid in a candy store with a quarter in my pocket. So many choices, but which is the best one? Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, MyLife. Oh yeah. And Facebook. Each offers a different flavor and connection sensation. Distractions abound.

My next few blog posts (who knows how many I’ll actually do?) will be dedicated to my exploration of the social networking candy store. Most readers are going to be far more savvy than I am and they will get a chuckle. Some people might gain a new idea or two. I invite your responses for the good of all.

Mostly, it just needs to be fun or it’s not worth doing!!

Oh, and check me out here: Sherry’s picture to End Polio Now. Couldn’t resist being part of the world’s largest commercial. Why am I pictured in front of a partially open door? Because polio still has it’s foot in it and we need to slam the door shut — NOW!

See what I mean? I’m like Dana Carvey’s portrayal of George Bush speaking about a dire national issue and in the middle saying, “Oh! Look at the kitty!”

Update to: Cooperation, collaboration, or coopetition…whatever works.

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

An update to what was written here. This group is still together but we’ve moved beyond Policy Governance to conceptualizing what it takes to create beneficial change in organizations that results in better communities and healthy societies. We are now called The Xylem Group and our new website will be live soon!! If you are a thought leader about what it takes to measure corporate accountability and sustainability, please stay tuned. I want to invite you to join the dialog and discussion with Xylem. In upcoming blogs, I’ll show you where I’m going to join dialog started by others.

Policy Governance practitioners and users are a small ecosystem in the realm of governance. To move Policy Governance consulting from a collection of individual consultants into the next generation, several individuals have banded together in a cooperation experiment called The Governance Corporation. What is behind our cooperative enterprise is developing and evolving the practice of Policy Governance. The main idea is investing in expanding core capabilities through collaborative learning and reinvesting returns into the ecosystem to provide a place for future generations of practitioners.

By pooling development of leading edge governance practices, we believe clients will receive the benefits. Our collaboration will lead to clients having a competitive edge through effective governance. We believe the rewards to the client are products, services, and practices that no one of us could bring individually; or at an affordable price to the client. Our cooperation, collaboration, or coopetition is not just for our mutual benefit but for the benefit of the clients. It’s a win-win-win situation. I win, my colleagues win, you win.

Go to the Governance Corporation website, if you’re interested in watching our experiment unfold. Check out our blog. I’ve started a rant on the current state of governance. Add your comments, join the dialog, or start a debate! All are welcome.

Twittering?…follow this!

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Terrance Barkan asks:
“Is ‘Social Media’ going to significantly change your organization?”
Take the short 12-question survey!
What do you think?

The results are provided in a free report to everyone that participates and the aggregated statistics will be shared publicly. Even if you are just thinking about social media use, the short 12 questions in the survey will stimulate some important thoughts on this hot topic.

A Failure of Leadership

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Last week, President Obama spoke of a “failure of leadership” at GM. What happens to GM affects their employees, vendors, retirees, contractors, dealerships. However, failures of leadership happen everyday. A failure of leadership in my community last week caused poor and marginalized people locally to lose services. A private agency closed its doors to these people because of a difference of opinion between the board and staff.

Typically, agencies that serve individuals who are poor and marginalized because these folks are incapable of maintaining a permanent situation due to psychological difficulties; or it may be because they can’t qualify for other public or private agency services. Now, a service those folks came to depend on is closed. Disruption of services for marginalized citizens can be worse than not doing anything at all. All that leadership could say was that it happened before and will likely happen again. A sorry state of affairs, I would say.

The shameful part of this entire situation is that it could have been avoided. Apparently, a disagreement between the staff and board caused the disruption in funding and services. The board accused the staff of not providing information needed. The staff wanted to be on the board. Volunteer or not, as a governance professional, I would recommend that the board and staff become crystal clear about their roles and responsibilities. Marginalized people lost vital services that allowed them some degree of self-sufficiency because of governance policy, not public policy issues. An opportunity to re-start this organization exists in the form of an interim board.

Re-starting this service, the board clearly needs to have a commitment to the specific mission to serve the poor and marginalized. The board’s responsibility is to ensure organizational performance. When the former board didn’t deal with problems and differences regarding decision-making, the clients suffered. The new board needs to get its values straight. Decisions of all sorts, as clearly argued by Drucker (The Effective Executive, 1967, pp. 113-141), rest on principles and generic understandings. Without setting down in writing these principles of how decisions will be made, this board will continue to have difficulties. The former board got so caught up in an event-driven incident that they forgot to focus directly on perspectives and values. Therefore, organizational behavior was dysfunctional and the fundamental services provided by the organization were lost to those who need them.

Blog Journey

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Sherry Jennings of Sound Governance (www.soundgovernance.us) embarks on the wonderful journey through the blogosphere. This writing was originally published in the International Policy Governance Association newsletter for board leaders and governance consultants.

Board Leaders: Do You Know Where Your Members Are Lurking?

Prior to a presentation on global trends and challenges for associations, I had the opportunity to speak with the presenter Rohit Talwar (a leading international futurist). I’m always interested in what books these folks are reading so I asked him, “What are you reading these days?” Imagine my shock and surprise when he said, “blogs.”

Huh? I have a 20-year-old college student and a 17-year-old high school student in my life. Aren’t blogs just a lot of personal (sometimes too personal) diaries a la “Myspace” or Facebook? Well, yes and no.


According to Wikipedia (a free content, multilingual encyclopedia written collaboratively by contributors around the world), a blog is “a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.” What Rohit Talwar helped me discover is that the blogosphere is so much more than journals – it’s a journey. To get me started, Rohit recommended that I take a look at these:

  • openBC – the world’s largest truly global networking platform for professionals
  • LinkedIn — an online network of more than 7.5 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 130 industries
  • Ecademy – a social network for business people
  • Spoke – world’s largest online business-to-business prospect database of its kind

In John Carver’s book On Board Leadership, Carver poses the question: “Has [the board] heard from the bold, the radical, the unthinkable – whatever opinion challenges the wisdom of the day?” Carver says that “a board should strive for a wisdom that is not driven by safety or ordinariness, even though it is planted firmly in reality.” Are we board leaders, really challenging our current wisdom?

Thanks to my futurist guide, I now know that the blogosphere can help us scan for and assess the impact of trends, external forces and ideas that shape our owner communities or markets. Blogs can help us research issues and find new ideas. Blogs contain information and insights on emergent and convergent trends to help us determine if those trends are taking us toward or away from our desired End results.

Do we board leaders, know where our owners and clients are lurking? (A lurker is a peripheral participant – someone who doesn’t post ideas.) Blogs are major social networking platforms. It is practically certain that many of the people that matter to us are at least lurking out there. Do you need to do a better job of finding out where they are? How about your board considering blogging as a new channel for ownership linkage? Why not subscribe to two or three blogs that serve the needs and interests of your owners and create postings to encourage input and convey information? Finally, consider creating your own board blog to facilitate an online connection with owners or owner collaboration or to tap into owner expertise and trial new approaches. Membership associations are already well into this new game and you might like to get started on your journey in the blogosphere by visiting some of their blogs such as the following:

On each of these blogs, you’ll find recommendations for other blogs as well as recommendations for good old-fashioned paper-and-ink books. I warn you – it can be highly addictive!

On a personal note: My friend and professional colleague Robert Ballantyne provided the map for this blog journey. Patience as I get my bearings, please! To read about Robert’s own journey through the blogosphere go to http://howesound@wordpress.com and click on Blog Site Development.