As leaders, we tend to approach business challenges with tactical, battle-ready mindsets. However, with this mentality, relational obstacles can often separate us from our teams and the goals we hope to accomplish. Here are three ways to practice empathy and triumph over interpersonal barriers:Read More
Our world is increasingly complex. Gone are the days when an NGO could operate in conflict zones or areas of instability without significant risks and physical, reputational and/or unintended consequences. Today more than ever, militaries and NGOs are embracing the need for stability operations that deliver a holistic interagency approach unified behind the common goal of sustained peace.Read More
Social Innovation Conference Keynote Speaker on Passion As Your PurposeRead More
Just a few days ago I was sitting in Afghanistan with a group of women from all over the country. I went with the intent of getting qualitative interviews, but what happened is… I heard their stories. On an intimate level. And every one of them was full of pervasive inequality and suffering.
The Taliban enforced some of the most violent and egregious limitations on women’s rights in modern statehood. And I know this audience is clearly aware of the violations. As you know these restrictions were severely and brutally enforced, the consequences included public stoning for even being accused of adultery or dishonor, they’ve been physically tortured, beaten severely, brutally mutilated, burned alive or had acid thrown at them—as well as being forced to marry at a very early age, raped or sold into prostitution, with many engaging in self-immolation as a result.Read More
Corporations, in particular, have the infrastructure, supply chains, experience and relationships to help respond quickly. It’s great when companies contribute their assets to relief efforts, but sometimes the best intentions actually cause more problems than they solve. For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, we saw a candy company donate bags of Halloween candy to the affected children. Can you imagine children — who have just lost everything and, in many cases, family members — opening up skeleton-shaped candy suckers?Read More
When aid workers see suffering, they don't respond with pity or shake their heads at the sorrow in the world. They respond with compassion so deep that it moves them to risk their lives to provide food, supplies and hope to people in need.
But good intentions don't always lead to positive outcomes. As the global community shrinks and technology keeps us more informed and connected, the nongovernmental organization (NGO) landscape grows increasingly diverse and complex, creating difficult operational conditions.Read More
The collective goal of disaster response NGOs is to save lives, relieve suffering, and foster hope and resilience that will empower people to begin rebuilding. In Nepal, $422 million is needed for these efforts, yet only 30 percent of that amount has been raised at the time of this writing. Collaboration and coordination between agencies is imperative, and the development of public-private partnerships is also critical. Lessons learned must be quickly applied to future disaster scenarios.Read More
Women in nonprofits have long been perceived as needing different skills and holding different life goals than women in the for-profit sector. But as corporate responsibility takes hold and more for-profit organizations become mission-driven, the line between nonprofit and for-profit is blurring.Read More
The response to the disaster made history, too: It marked the first time that unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were used to save lives and provide relief in the aftermath of a storm.
UAVs were sent into the disaster zone to provide 3D mapping of the devastated landscape and to locate survivors. The UAVs were even loaded with supplies such as water, medicine, and radios. All of this happened before boots ever hit the ground.Read More
Empathy is misunderstood. It's confused for pity, and it's associated with victims, "soft skills" and fuzzy feelings.
Even "experts" from a well-intentioned nonprofit can get it wrong. They'll land in a poverty-stricken community and start building schools, flying in foreign volunteer teachers, donating truckloads of school supplies and shipping in biweekly deliveries of grain. But in trying to end the cycle of poverty, the organization only creates another devastating cycle--one of dependency.Read More
Speed is everything in today’s tech-driven business world. In an effort to speed up even more, some so-called progressive business leaders are scrapping in-person meetings in favor of the latest high-tech solutions.
But this prioritization of speed over face time grossly underestimates the power of human interaction and the importance of face-to-face communication. If the point of business were simply to accomplish as many tasks as possible, then yes, an email would probably do. But that’s not what real leadership is about.Read More