Format: article

The 7 Levers of Large-Scale Social Change

Nora Silver, professor at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, discusses large-scale social change — the conditions necessary and the levers to use.


VUCA is an acronym used to describe situations or environments with high levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Job Crafting

The Job Crafting™ Exercise, discussed at the 2018 NAS Summit, helps you make your job…

Being a Team Leader

It can be a difficult time of navigating emotions, goals, and setbacks. Now, picture how…

C’mon Celebrate!

Although not all failures are productive, in fact, we’d reason to say that none of…

Leftovers? Again?

Needless to say, when she walked in the door not a mere five minutes later,…

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

While it’s important to learn and get advice from those who’ve come before us, it’s also important to realize our paths are our own. There is no one-way path to success and fulfillment in your career.

Finding Your Career Strategy

This post was originally part of a weeklong exploration of career paths on our ArtsJournal…

Identifying Skills

Trying to determine what your strengths and weakness are as you assess the next step or new step in your career? When making a change to this degree, we can often take for granted our most powerful skills.

Business Model You

This post was originally part of a weeklong exploration of career paths on our ArtsJournal…

A Map of Your Mind

This post was originally part of a weeklong exploration of career paths on our ArtsJournal…

A Career Path Matrix

An easy to implement matrix that can help you determine where your personal objectives are best met when it comes to making career decisions

Seeking wellness in the workplace? Have an impromptu Taylor Swift jam session.

Within only a few weeks of working at NAS, I’d taken notice to some pretty…

Finding (my) Place

This month has been about all things place. Where is my place in this fellowship?…

Move ahead smartly?

I was fortunate to be in community this past week with so many other creative…

A peek into Zappos

Wait. There’s more on Zappos. We told you it was a favorite. In January, Tim Cynova,…

Zappos: Testing for Core Values

We can’t have a conversation about values without mentioning Zappos. They’re one of our favorite examples.…

Marginal Thinking & Our Personal Boundaries

Clayton Christensen eloquently takes the conventional business idea of marginal thinking and applies it to personal…

Values: A Part of the Everyday

Our personal values relate to decisions we make every day. Even the most mundane according…

Do Your Values Actually Mean Something?

In this Harvard Business Review article, Patrick M. Lencioni discusses how constructing organizational core values…

Values and What We Do

It’s pretty easy to identify the values of a cultural organization or initiative. Most mention…

Failure or Success: What are we more afraid of? A Leading Innovation in Arts & Culture Conversation

Photo by Martin Fisch via Flickr This week, we are sharing some of the inspiring…

Do you need the matrix?

A board matrix is a tool that methodically attempts to first inventory the needs of an organization at board level, then the alignment between these needs and both current and potential board members.

Reading List: Hacks

The brains behind IDEO offer three quick creativity challenges to help you in getting unstuck.

Are You a Board Member or a Bored Member?

We frequently hear from executives about managing board relationships. In this post, Alorie Clark shares a board member’s perspective how to stay engaged.

Change Leadership Lessons in the Gettysburg Address

Nancy Koehn (Harvard Business School professor and faculty for the NAS Chief Executive Program) speaks about leadership lessons in the iconic speech.

Evaluating to Increase Impact

The story that I share today is about how one organization followed their curiosity and learned not only from the evaluation data but from the process itself.

Governance in the 21st Century

Editor’s note: As part of our blog event for The Summit at Sundance, we have…

Building Cultures of Innovation, Embracing Change and Becoming More Foxy

Editor’s note:  As part of our online discussion around The Summit at Sundance, we have invited…

Creating the 21st Century Board

Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll feature posts around the final convening of…

Developing Transformative Employees and Systems

Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll feature posts around the final convening of…

Goldilocks and the Three Bowls of Data

Barring residence under a rock or an other-worldly state of bliss, it is unlikely that…

Board Membership: Finding the Right Fit

As an emerging leader, it can be difficult finding a nonprofit board to join. I…

Training ourselves to see the invisible gorilla

A recent study found that we only find what we are trained to look for. What does this mean for arts and culture leaders?

Deal Making 2.0: A Guide to Complex Negotiations

“Deal Making 2.0: A Guide to Complex Negotiations” David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius…

How do cultural institutions balance being global and local?

Watch the following video featuring Mikel Ellcessor, General Manager of WDET in Detroit and a…

Is crisis necessary for change?

  Sometimes, but it’s risky. By Gail Crider Crisis generally means loss of strategic perspective,…

Can brainstorming be an effective tool in building a culture of collaboration and innovation?

Sutton and Hargadon examine how and why an organization, in this case, IDEO, uses brainstorming sessions. They’ve modified the criteria in Hackman’s effectiveness model to include three factors to consider when using brainstorming as a significant process in your organization.

Orchestras at the Cross Roads

Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, provides a clear-eyed view…

A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Making Complex Decisions

Giving our minds time to process information when not consciously focused on the decision facing us can result in better outcomes, especially for more complex decisions.

Sparking creativity in teams: An executive’s guide

Creativity is not a trait reserved for the lucky few. By immersing your people in unexpected environments, confronting ingrained orthodoxies, using analogies, and challenging your organization to overcome difficult constraints, you can dramatically boost their creative output—and your own.

“That’s the Way We (Used to) Do Things Around Here”

An article exploring the cognitive barriers at the individual level to change and suggest a more effective way to work with the brain’s wiring rather than against it.

Business has much to learn from the arts

A wry, brief paean to the arts and what the world of business has to…

Take Back Your Attention

In this post, Tony Schwartz gives some helpful hints for maintaining focus.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop rallies troops in brutally honest “burning platform” memo

This post very clearly illustrates a wonderful formula for change taught at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan: Discomfort x Vision x First step = Change

Stop Blaming Your Culture

The authors argue one is most likely to succeed using an organization’s existing culture to help change behaviors in the shorter-term. These behaviors can in turn change the culture in the longer run.

Outcome vs Process Oriented Thinking

Research on decision making in consumer behavior, perhaps with broader implications for nonprofits.


The book is divided into short segments with titles such as “Workaholism” and “Reasons to quit” and one of my favorites, “Emulate chefs.” So, if you need a break from the holiday food frenzy or from your great stack of reading, try this book.

Ditch Performance Reviews? How About Learn to do Them Well?

This article highlights some of the challenges to productive performance reviews as well as suggestions for how to overcome them.

Managing Under Complexity: Where is Einstein When You Really Need Him?

An interesting article on how we think about complex situations.

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