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News + Updates: Diane Burton Theme

Learn to innovatively use your biggest resource in NAS’ Managing People seminar

While there’s a great deal of talk about innovation throughout the field, it tends to focus on programs, attracting audiences and finding new revenue streams. But what if you started with thinking innovatively about your biggest resource – your people? What are their strengths and how can you creatively use them to propel your success? Are there things about your organization – for instance the way jobs are designed or particular aspects of the culture – which prevent your staff from being able to work to their full potential?

The NAS Managing People seminar is your leadership team’s opportunity to explore these issues with two top management professors. For two days, your team will engage in case studies, class discussions and team exercises as you work through a process to align your organization’s culture and infrastructure with your mission and strategy. You’ll be pushed to think creatively about how both formal and informal components of your organization impact how your employees achieve your mission, including what attracts them to your organization and what keeps them motivated and engaged while they’re there.

Apply now to bring your leadership team to Seattle, September 8-9 for Managing People. All participating teams will receive an Organization Fellowship covering the full tuition for a team of 3-6 and must apply to attend. Additionally, teams from outside the Seattle metropolitan area will receive up to $600 per person to help with the costs of travel and lodging.

The deadline to submit your application is June 24. Apply now »


Work with two experts in organizational behavior during Managing People

Join Professors Diane Burton, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and Jesper B. Sørensen, Stanford Graduate School of Business, for the NAS Managing People seminar in Seattle, September 8-9. During this two-day working session, these dynamic teachers will engage your leadership team in case studies, class discussions and team exercises. Together you will examine how your organization’s culture and formal policies can align with your strategy and enable better mission achievement.

Diane BurtonDiane Burton is an expert in organizational theory, human resource management and entrepreneurship whose research focuses on the effect of organizational systems and practices on organizational performance and individual career outcomes. She has published articles in numerous academic journals including American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization Science. Prior to joining Cornell, Professor Burton taught at MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Professor Burton earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Universities before receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology at Stanford University.

Jesper B. Sørensen  is a sociologist who specializes in the dynamics of organizational and strategic change, and their implications for individuals and their careers. His research on firm outcomes has focused on the impact of organizational structure and culture on organizational learning, performance and innovation. His work on the dynamics of teams has led to new insights concerning how people respond to changes in the racial composition of their workgroups. He has won awards for both his published work and his teaching, and has served as both Associate and Consulting Editor for the American Journal of Sociology, is on the Editorial Board of Administrative Science Quarterly, and is a Senior Editor of Organization Science. Professor Sørensen earned an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University.

Managing People is being presented with Organization Fellowships covering the full cost of tuition for all participating teams. Teams from outside the Seattle metropolitan area will also receive up to $600 per person in travel support to help with the cost of travel and lodging. All teams must submit an application by June 24 to be eligible to participate.

For more information about the seminar and who should attend, visit


Don’t miss Thursday’s online discussion about attracting, motivating and retaining staff

Thursday’s Talk with an Expert is your opportunity to explore your questions about overcoming organizational management challenges to provide staff with the support they need to be effective and motivated. We’ll provide you with a recorded presentation by Professor Diane Burton of Cornell University before the event, so you can spend the entire hour-long discussion with her exploring and expanding on the ideas the video introduces.

Participation is strictly capped at 12 logins, and there are only a few still available. We encourage you to invite some of your colleagues to join you to participate. The cost of a login is $95 and includes unlimited access to the video recording (about 18 minutes) as well as the live event for you and your team. Register now to join us October 21, 1-2 PM ET.


What motivates your staff?

Many jobs in nonprofits arts and culture organizations are very demanding – requiring long hours and often for less money than people would prefer. So what is it that keeps your staff motivated to go the extra mile to meet your mission? This is a question that a lot of people have been asking. There’s a growing body of research about what motivates people to give their best, and the answer is probably not what you’d expect.

For most of your staff, giving them more autonomy, mastery and purpose will actually help them perform better. But how exactly do you ensure that your team has the freedom to be self-directed with a strong sense of purpose, and has opportunities to improve their skills and mastery? During Talk with an Expert: Attracting, Motivating and Retaining Staff, Dr. Diane Burton will explore your questions about how to creatively design jobs and institutional policies that will help give your staff what they need to stay motivated.

Professor Burton is an expert in human resource management at Cornell University. She specializes in organizational theory, entrepreneurship, and the affect of organizational systems and practices on organizational performance and individual career outcomes. During the October 21 Q&A session, she’ll explore these topics with a small group of 12 participants. Prior to the event, you’ll have access to a recording in which she discusses the unique management challenges of arts organizations, what attracts people to organizations and how to create “good jobs” that keep staff motivated and focused on mission achievement.

Participation is strictly limited to allow for the highest levels of engagement. Team participation is strongly encouraged; the tuition is $95 per login.

Register now »


How do you keep your staff motivated and mission-focused?

The current job market is challenging. Even though your employees may not be jumping ship, they may not be giving you their best work. So how can you reinvigorate your staff to achieve your mission, especially when additional monetary rewards are an unlikely option? Join NAS and a leading expert in human resource management, Diane Burton Ph.D., October 21, 1-2 PM to explore your team’s questions about what attracts people to your organization and how you can design jobs and policies that reinforce the things people value most about working for your organization.

Talk with an Expert: Attracting, Motivating and Retaining Staff is an hour long Q&A session featuring, Professor Burton of Cornell University. In advance of the live event, your team will have access to an online recording in which Professor Burton shares insights about what attracts people to jobs – and what keeps them there – as well as strategies for building on that knowledge to design jobs that enable you to achieve your mission and keep your staff satisfied.

This discussion is especially relevant for senior management teams, and team participation is strongly encouraged. Participation is limited to 12 organizations to allow for the highest level of interaction, and tuition is $95 per organization. Register now »