Newsbytes

Government of Canada launches call for proposals for grants to accelerate action on Sustainable Development Goals

May 7, 2019

Today, the Government of Canada launched a call for proposals on an ongoing basis under the Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program for 2019-2020 to support and leverage the work of stakeholders furthering Canada's implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Organizations interested in receiving up to $100,000 in grant funding for one-year projects aimed at building awareness, increasing partnerships and networks, and advancing research, are encouraged to apply. The government is seeking to fund projects that are up to 12 months in duration, and that implement innovative approaches or complement and augment existing activities, in order to achieve two or more of the following objectives in support of the 2030 Agenda:

  • Enhance multi-stakeholder efforts by promoting partnerships and bridging efforts across sectors;
  • Raise awareness and support for the SDGs;
  • Ensure that Canada's progress on this global effort leaves no one behind, including vulnerable or marginalized groups; and
  • Foster and integrate Indigenous and local knowledge into approaches and efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

 

Four strategies that leaders can use to improve intercultural relationships and productivity

May 7, 2019

Four strategies that leaders can use to improve intercultural relationships and productivity - Do certain strategies lend themselves better to the management of a diverse team? Could these strategies improve our interactions and relationships with people from cultural backgrounds that are different from ours? Would these strategies help to bridge cultural differences that affect productivity in our organizations? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “Yes!”

How to be an empathetic leader?

May 7, 2019

How to be an empathetic leader - How important is empathy as an attribute for effective leadership? To answer this question, let’s be clear on empathy in the context of leadership. The global Center for Creative Leadership suggests that it’s a leader’s ability to relate to employees’ thoughts, emotions and experiences. The Center explains that nearly 50 per cent of managers in today’s management pool are ineffective. One reason is a skills gap related to empathy.

On the front-lines of the future of work: Why managers need career tools and confidence

May 1, 2019

 

 

The world of work is changing. We see it in our own organizations, we read about it daily, we hear it at family gatherings and social get togethers with friends. With so much changing and so much at stake, it can be daunting to see clearly what needs to be done. Everything seems to be at the breaking point and resources are scarce.

 

Organizations struggling to attract and retain staff can look to five drivers to identify where current employer branding and recruitment efforts might not be positioned well for the future. Leaders might ask:

  • Are we capitalizing on the latest workforce demographic trends to appeal to the best talent available within our local market? Are we seeking out hidden talent pools we may be ignoring because of faulty assumptions or lack of information?
  • Have we identified how career ownership is shifting the relationship between employer and employee? Are we prepared for a more flexible workforce that has more control over their own futures? Do we treat staff like assets to be depreciated over time, or equity that grows in value – even after they’ve left us?
  • Do we understand the difference between a talent economy and a gig economy? Are we using freelancers to build overall value and success or is our use of contractor labour creating precarity and risk for staff and the future sustainability of the sector?
  • Is our core work changing? How are new, emerging platforms challenging the way we work and who we work with? What new opportunities arise if we think of ourselves as a platform? What skills will we need to explore and capitalize on these new opportunities?
  • Do we treat technology as a tool with an understanding of how it could make us better, faster and more effective? Are we focusing on humanity in our workplaces?

These are big, strategic questions that challenge outdated thinking and encourage leadership teams to be actors in shaping the future. They are good questions for boards and leadership teams to grapple with and explore together – without fear.

Yet, the day-to-day work of organizations doesn’t slow down. Even without a future-proofed workforce strategy, every employer needs to maintain an engaged, productive and positive workforce. In small organizations, this essential responsibility falls to the front-line managers.

Front-line managers have the single greatest impact on the productivity and staff and volunteers. Everyone is wondering how the world of work will continue to change and what the personal impact might be. Staff look to the intended and unintended messages they are receiving from their direct manager to determine how bright a future they may have, and they are making career decisions based on what they assume to be true. In researching Retain and Gain: Career Management for Non-Profits and Charities, I uncovered that front-line managers tend to avoid career conversations with staff. They report not having the time for such discussions and being afraid that they will not have the necessary resources to address any employee requests that might arise. These conversations are deemed too risky. But organizations feeling the impact of the five strategic drivers must have on-going, regular and meaningful career conversations with staff in order to dispel myths, allay fears and rally employees to be part of shaping a vibrant future.

The future of work is human and the ability to rally staff and collectively shape a future where everyone thrives requires a deeper level of career competence than is typically part of leadership development programs.

With more than 40 everyday activities, many taking less than 10 minutes to complete, playbooks, such as Retain and Gain (available as a free pdf download), are important new additions to new manager orientation programs. More than 70% of organizations interviewed indicated that they lack training programs and tools to help new managers adapt to their expanded role and responsibilities. While much attention is placed on new employee orientation or high potential leadership candidates before they become managers, these direct managers are the transmitters of organizational culture.

Front-line managers have the greatest impact on who stays, who leaves and who languishes. They are the critical players in the unfolding story of how the sector will transform and become thriving workplaces of the future.

Lisa Taylor is the author the Retain and Gain: Career Management Series published by CERIC. She is also the co-author of The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work (University of Toronto Press-Rotman). Lisa is President of Challenge Factory and lives in Toronto.

Health Canada is seeking advice on new ways to reduce youth vaping

April 30, 2019

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, launched consultations on potential new regulatory measures aimed at reducing the uptake of vaping among youth. Potential measures include additional restrictions for online sales, prohibiting the manufacture of vaping products with certain flavours or flavour ingredients, and restricting the concentration and/or delivery of nicotine in vaping products. This consultation will run from April 11 to May 25, 2019, and will inform decisions on future regulations to help protect youth from the harms and risks associated with vaping products.

‘Trans-forming’ the workplace to be transgender inclusive

April 30, 2019

‘Trans-forming’ the workplace to be transgender inclusive - Imagine spending your workday stressed out about which restroom facility to use and when, either because you fear harassment or because you just don’t feel comfortable in a bathroom that doesn’t match your gender identity or expression. This is the day-to-day reality for many transgender and gender-nonconforming people, who often run into unnecessary barriers that make their jobs harder than they need to be.

What it's like living and working with a chronic illness

April 30, 2019

What it's like living and working with a chronic illness - It’s 6 AM and your alarm is going off. You hit the snooze button, hoping for a few more minutes of sleep before you drag yourself out of bed. This is a morning routine most people are familiar with. But for workers with chronic illness, it can look very different.

RED Academy students available to work on marketing and design projects

April 30, 2019

Through their Community Partner Program, RED Academy students get to work with small and big charities, businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups and everything in between. Through this enriching experience, students are guided on how to best communicate with clients to help them gain the skills required for leading client-facing projects. If you are out to create an impact in the world, and are looking for a website, an app, or a marketing strategy, RED students are coached and trained to work with you as their client, to produce industry-quality work. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

New mental health program for Toronto youth leaving the child welfare system

April 30, 2019

A new Children's Aid Foundation of Canada program aimed at providing faster access to mental health supports is now available through a partnership with the Children's Aid Society of Toronto. Since September, Connections has helped 158 young people in Toronto access mental health services, art therapy sessions and assisted young people with the financial resources required to pursue counselling and therapy in the community.

The youth-in-transition mental health hub was created by Children's Aid Foundation of Canada in response to a persistent need by former youth in care who urgently require mental health services yet do not know where to turn to for help or feel discouraged from seeking assistance due to service gaps and long wait lists. They often suffer from unaddressed mental health issues due to early life traumatic experiences of abuse and neglect, which can cause lasting effects into adulthood. Children and youth in care are almost four times as likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder compared to children in the general population.

Many youth transitioning out of care starting at age 18 are referred to practitioners in the adult mental health services sector yet fail to make the connection to the service. Youth often don't have the support they need in attending appointments or experience a lack of trust in meeting with someone who was not part of their support network while in care of the child welfare system. As a result, after missed appointments, their file is closed and there is no follow-up, leaving former youth in care without access to the mental health services they urgently require.

Seven surprising things that could change the job market by 2030

April 30, 2019

Seven surprising things that could change the job market by 2030 - Everyone expects automation and other tech advances to eliminate some jobs and create others. But in a new report, Canadian futurists say there's a far wider range of trends that could influence the types of skills that are likely to be in demand — or not — in the future.

Why 'worthless' humanities degrees may set you up for life

April 30, 2019

Why 'worthless' humanities degrees may set you up for life - At university, when I told people I was studying for a history degree, the response was almost always the same: “You want to be a teacher?”. No, a journalist. “Oh. But you’re not majoring in communications?” In the days when a university education was the purview of a privileged few, perhaps there wasn’t the assumption that a degree had to be a springboard directly into a career. Those days are long gone.

CERIC funds research to support the professional integration of immigrants in Quebec

April 30, 2019

CERIC will fund a new research project in Quebec that will examine how services can better support the professional integration of immigrants in response to the struggles many face despite being selected for their qualifications and having high levels of education and training. The project will be led by Marcelline Bangali, a professor at Université Laval’s Faculty of Education and the Assistant Director of the Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur l’éducation et la vie au travail (CRIEVAT), one of the largest career counselling research centres in Canada.

Research for the project will be undertaken in partnership with the Service d’Orientation et d’Intégration des Immigrants au Travail (SOIT), a nonprofit employment agency in Quebec City serving newcomers and employers. The partnership with SOIT will allow researchers to gain a better understanding of how well the services offered by the organization meet the needs of its clients for lasting integration in a job that they consider decent and that aligns with their life choices. The end goal of the research is to design a service model that helps new immigrants manage this transition, with its inherently complex professional and identity issues.

Survey: Only 27% of companies in Canada are acing employee recognition

April 30, 2019

Are today's workers getting the recognition they deserve? Just over one-quarter of senior managers (27%) in Canada think they're nailing employee recognition, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows. For the remaining 73%, there is at least some room for improvement. While 66% of senior managers said their company coordinates some form of employee recognition during the Administrative Professionals Week, with gifts and office celebrations being the most popular methods, over one-third (34%) indicated they don't do anything to acknowledge their staff.

Mental wellness at the workplace: It goes beyond the occasional day-off

April 24, 2019

Mental wellness at the workplace: It goes beyond the occasional day-off - “Take a mental health day.” That phrase has become a catch-all solution for young workers facing burnout, and while we should appreciate organisations that encourage time off, long-term wellness is about a lot more than the occasional 24-hour break. What we need, is comprehensive mental health change.

New funding available to help preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings

April 24, 2019

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of its Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative, which offers funding and digitization services to preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings. This initiative is part of the institution’s Indigenous Documentary Heritage Initiatives (IDHI). This initiative provides funding of up to $100,000 per project to eligible Indigenous organizations to digitize existing culture and language recordings, and to help them build the skills, knowledge and resources they need to carry out this work in their communities. LAC invites all eligible Indigenous organizations to submit their applications by noon on July 17, 2019 (Pacific Daylight Time). Interested parties can find guidelines, eligibility criteria and the application form on the preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings web page.

Ask an expert: How to plan and host successful events

April 24, 2019

For many a charity, a successful event can make or break fundraising objectives; and, more importantly, advance the organization’s cause. But for people who work outside the realm of the nonprofit sector – and even for some on the inside, depending on the size of the charity - a mission-driven event just seems to materialize each year like clockwork, or manifests seemingly out of left field to raise money and awareness in either traditional or so-called “disruptive” ways.

Of course, anyone working on an events team knows that planning and creating an event is a time-consuming, intricate, exacting and exhausting process. From conception to execution, every step of the way is fraught with unforeseen hurdles, endless negotiations with vendors, pushback from colleagues in other departments who don’t get what all the fuss is about, and the need to constantly report back to leadership on the status (hopefully positive) of the particular event campaign. And then there’s the ever-looming countdown of the event clock. When it hits zero hour, things better be in a state of perfect readiness. There are people to “wow” and funds to raise.

Often, Events Team members don’t get their due. They work mostly behind the scenes, slogging through email or working the phone to set up media coverage for their organization, or to book just the right venue and/or caterers to make the perfect splash within the (very) limited budgets allotted. So let’s hear it for some of these unsung heroes; and let’s get some good advice for those events folks from a seasoned pro in the field.

Below is a recent Q&A CharityVillage conducted with long-time events and fundraising specialist and current Senior Coordinator for Partnerships & Events at Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC), Rob Weir. Rob has spent nearly 20 years in events and fundraising for various national and local charities.

CV: Hi Rob, can you tell our readers a little about your current role and how long you've been at PCC?

RW: Sure. It will be four years in May. It’s a privilege to work at Prostate Cancer Canada, where our events team punches higher than our weight class, since we are tiny compared to many other national charities.

CV: What led you to become an events professional?

RW: I started out by creating a memorial hockey tournament for my Dad. While growing that annual event was an amazing experience, it was taking up a lot of time. I was fortunate to be able to actually turn it into my full-time job and then expand it across the province. So what was, initially, a small community event that raised $1,000, turned into 18 years across 14 different cities; and went on to raise more than $2 million. Oh yeah, the cause? Funding for installation costs for AEDs (Automatic Electronic Defibrillators), some of which have since saved several lives! I should note that part of those funds raised also went to Heart & Stroke Canada for their most urgent needs across the country.

CV: That’s amazing. Congratulations. In working as an events specialist, what tips can you give people working on other teams in a charitable organization about how they can best support you and their events colleagues?

RW: One of the best tips I can offer would be to cultivate a "strike team" that could be made up of volunteers or colleagues from other teams, who arrive at the end of an event (instead of at 5 a.m.) and at the end of a long day are purely there to help tear down and pack up. The bonus is: they don't have to be there for the inevitable super early setups that we generally organize. Those early mornings are tough!

CV: Related to the previous question - how do you and your events colleagues best support other teams within PCC?

RW: We try to integrate other departments by inviting guest speakers to speak about the research mission that we provide research funding to; or bring in prostate cancer survivors to tell their stories and help raise awareness on early detection. This helps focus my colleagues on the importance of hosting a successful event that achieves both its revenue and awareness targets.

CV: What trends are you seeing in the event space?

RW: I can't think of any specific trends. However, it’s interesting to note that online giving through apps is becoming more of the norm. I’ve noticed much less use of cheques and cash, that’s for sure. Next up, we’ll need to add easier Bitcoin option for payments at the event!

CV: What is one particularly creative thing you’ve seen done (or that you've done) at a recent event?

RW: For a hospital hockey fundraiser, I built a plastic ice rink with boards and netting then had some NHL Alumni throw on the skates for a shinny. It drew out a lot of media.

CV: What are some of the biggest/most important "learnings" you've had along your career path that have helped you become a better events specialist?

RW: I know it sounds trite, but thinking outside the box is essential. Proceeding with a safe-but-crazy events plan can help you gain some great media / social media attention. Don't be afraid to try and do something different! But get sign-off from your leadership first, obviously.

CV: What advice do you have for rookie event managers in the nonprofit sector?

RW: Back up plans are great where possible, but when things go sideways, take a second to breathe and then look at how to solve that random thing that goes wrong. And always be sure to meet with your team shortly after the event for feedback and don’t forget to include key volunteers, as they have a valuable perspective and are also valued team members for the event.

CV: What tips do you have for finding volunteers and then managing them at an event?

RW: The main thing with volunteers is that they have clear instructions on what they are going to be working on. They typically do not like surprises or finding out they are now working on something completely different than what they were trained for. If your volunteer team enjoys the event and you maintain a great database where you communicate regularly, they will stay connected. This is an outcome to strive for, as similar to donors, it is much easier to retain volunteers versus finding new ones.

CV: Can you share your most embarrassing event story and how you worked through it?

RW: At one event, we had a burger vendor show up and for some reason their grill wouldn't start. They had donated all the burgers and we couldn’t cook them. We had 100 stair-climbers coming back to potentially no lunch. All the local pizza shops were closed since it was an early Sunday morning event. Thankfully, our office was nearby and I recalled that we had our own barbecue on the rooftop patio. We quickly formed a BBQ retrieval team to go get it. In the end, it all worked out perfectly and none of the participants ever noticed any issues.

Nominations now open for Canada's National Volunteer Awards

April 24, 2019

The call for nominations for Canada’s Volunteer Awards is now open and will run until June 21, 2019. This is the chance for all Canadians to nominate exceptional individuals, a not-for-profit organization that helps to find innovative solutions to social challenges, or a business or social enterprise that demonstrates social responsibility in its community. This year, 21 awards will be presented during an award ceremony in April 2020. Recipients will also have a chance to give back; regional award recipients are eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a $5,000 grant, and the national award recipient is eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a $10,000 grant. Nominate an individual, a not-for-profit organization or a business today! For more information and to submit a nomination, visit Canada.ca/volunteer-awards.

NextGen Leaders: Seven tips for overcoming Impostor Syndrome

April 24, 2019

NextGen Series: This is the fourth article of five in our new series focused on the next generation of leadership in the nonprofit sector. Read the firstsecondthird and fifth articles. There is also a corresponding webinar for new & aspiring leaders - please click here for information and to register.

Many years ago, a friend and I were walking back to our offices after having lunch together. We had both recently been promoted to managers and were enjoying sharing the ups and downs of being new leaders. All of a sudden we both stopped in the middle of the street and told each other how funny it was that we were now ‘in charge’ because ‘what did we know?’ Our laughter subsided into nervous giggles. And then we stopped laughing altogether. Because the joke wasn’t funny anymore. We were both feeling like a fraud for taking the promotions, the money, and having more power. Who were we to lead others? Why did we think we should/could be in that kind of position? What if we couldn’t do it? The feeling of inadequacy hung around for a while too. And, as I made my way into roles of more responsibility, it came back to visit. ‘How did YOU get here?’ the voice would ask. ‘You don’t know what you are doing and everyone will find out’. It wasn’t until years later that I found out it was actually a real thing – ‘impostor syndrome’. It’s a feeling of inadequacy and the fear of being exposed as a fraud. And it happens to everyone at some point.

However, I am going to put forward that it’s especially rife in the nonprofit sector. We don’t invest in leadership development and there isn’t a school for Executive Directors/CEOS (although I have always thought there should be! If anyone wants to work with me on starting one, let me know!) We often isolate ourselves from others by immersing ourselves in the work and failing to build our networks, leaving us no one to learn from or with whom we can share our challenges/successes. When we move up, we do it by having to figure everything out on our own. We do it by making mistakes and compiling a list of ‘what not to do’ for next time. And that’s okay. It just takes a long time and can be hard on the ego. This is true of all leadership but in the nonprofit sector where ‘admin’ is seen as an evil budget line and where professional development funding has all but disappeared, it’s particularly challenging. And the expectations of leaders are extremely high. A senior leadership position requires us to learn and do many different things that we have never come across before. The idea of ‘faking it until we make it’ seems truly terrifying and we worry that we will never in fact, ‘make it’.

Over the years, I have also realized that the fraud feeling never goes away completely. With every new position where I have stretched myself, it returned. However, I have learned how to deal with it. And the most effective way to do that is to face the fraud head on. Ignoring the feeling can lead to an increase in anxiety and it doesn’t go away. It’s still hiding there. Like Pennywise, the clown from IT hiding in the sewer (sorry, but it’s just like this!), we don’t want the fraud feeling to jump out at the wrong moment or sit there eating away at our confidence. So, direct confrontation is the only way to move through it.

Here’s how:

1. Don’t ask ‘why’ you are feeling this way. It’s just a natural feeling when taking on something new. Trying to analyze it will lead you down a dark path toward all your insecurities. And, again, like Pennywise in the sewer, it will be impossible to get out (sorry, I did it again, but that clown!)

2. Accept that the fraud feeling exists because you are in a new situation. Learn to recognize it.

3. Acknowledge its existence: ‘Hello imposter syndrome. It’s nice to see you. I guess I am stretching myself again and that’s a good thing.’

4. Invite it to leave: ‘Thank you for visiting but you can go away now.’

5. Be on the lookout for it whenever you get more responsibility or try something new. New situations can trigger a lot of emotional responses. The fraud feeling is one of the worst because it is set deep in our insecurities and can make us defensive. That is never a good thing in a new position.

6. Build your network. Your to do list seems to be all important I know. But, having a network of your peers that you can grow with and learn with/from is extremely important to a leader.

7. Remind yourself that you are good enough. You were given the new position or responsibility because someone thought that you could do it. You just need to think you can too.

Don’t let the feeling that you may not be ‘good enough’ get in your way. You are and you will be. As mentioned in a previous article in this series, leadership is about ‘becoming’ so you will always be learning if you are doing it right. Find a friend that supports you on your journey too. My friend from all those years ago is now a very senior manager in a for profit company and we will laugh when we think about how we got to where we are now. But it’s not because we don’t deserve it. It’s because we kept going despite feeling like frauds who didn’t belong in a leadership position. We did and so do you.

Until next time,
Lianne

Lianne Picot is a leadership coach, trainer and speaker that helps new & aspiring leaders to become INSPIRING leaders. Lianne has worked in the nonprofit sectors in the UK, Ireland and Canada for over 25 years as a practitioner, Executive Director and CEO. She is a Certified Executive Coach and a Part-time Instructor at The Chang School, Ryerson University, teaching in the Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Management Certificate program. Lianne is also the creator of ‘The Leadership Leap’, a 12 week online leadership program that helps new & aspiring leaders to develop a leadership mindset and key competencies. Connect with Lianne at lianne@bluemorpho.co or find out more about her services at www.bluemorpho.co and www.theleadershipleap.net.

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