Monday, September 1, 2008

Picks of the Week: August 31 - September 6, 2008

Website of the Week -- Center for Civic Partnerships

The Center for Civic Partnerships, based in Sacramento, CA, is a support organization that strengthens individuals, organizations, and communities by facilitating learning, leadership development, and networking. The Center has extensive experience providing technical support to over 200 cities, communities, and organizations in California and across the nation. In addition, the Center sponsors educational programs and develops resource materials for funders, local policy-makers and government administrators, nonprofit organizations and community members. The Center’s main areas of focus are community-building and organizational development with a cross-cutting emphasis on sustainability. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Discussing the Undiscussable: A Guide to Overcoming Defensive Routines in the Workplace by William R. Noonan

From the publisher: Since his 1990 landmark book Overcoming Organizational Defenses, Chris Argyris has extensively researched and written about how well-meaning, smart people create vicious cycles of defensive behavior to protect themselves from embarrassment and threat. In Discussing the Undiscussable, Bill Noonan enlivens the scholarly work of Chris Argyris through the use of reflective exercises and easy-to-read chapters that illuminate the basic human experience endemic to the creation of defensive routines. This book offers hope for altering organizational defensive routines by leveraging the greatest opportunity for change—the way we think and act. Discussing the Undiscussable provides a set of practical “how to do” exercises for detecting, surfacing, and discussing organizational defensive routines in a safe and productive way. The combination of text, business fable, and interactive and reflective exercises is versatile in its application to both individuals and groups. The companion DVD contains video vignettes of the book’s business fable where the actors model both defensive routines and virtuous cycles of behavior. Readers will instantly recognize what has long been going on in the workplace, and will be able to develop the skills to talk about it productively. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofits Target Millennial Generation Workforce

America's nonprofit organizations are focusing on their missions to attract and retain the next generation of employees, according to a new report released today by the Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Listening Post Project. By emphasizing that the nonprofit workplace can offer a greater sense of personal fulfillment and flexibility compared to many jobs in the for-profit world, nonprofit practitioners are finding it possible to respond to the staff recruitment and retention challenges they are facing, according to the participants in a roundtable convened by Johns Hopkins researchers. Appealing to the millennial generation is one of four key workforce recruitment and retention strategies identified by the nonprofit practitioners and other workforce experts participating in the Johns Hopkins roundtable, which was convened to follow up on a prior survey on nonprofit workforce challenges. The other strategies are:
• Selling the "context" — the physical environment, the work environment, and particularly the "mission."
• Approaching recruitment proactively. Given the lack of knowledge young people have about nonprofits, organizations are actively reaching out to potential recruits.
• Redefining work and the work environment. Organizations are redesigning benefit packages to adjust to new family structures, offering flexible working hours, and utilizing focus groups to stay attuned to worker concerns.

The full text of the report "A Nonprofit Workforce Agenda: Report on the Listening Post Project Roundtable on Nonprofit Recruitment and Retention" is available online. Go to:

Resource of the Week -- YouTube Nonprofit Program

Does your organization have a compelling story to tell? Do you want to connect with your supporters, volunteers, and donors but don't have the funds to launch expensive outreach campaigns? YouTube can help. Video is a powerful way to show your organization's impact and needs, and with a designated "Nonprofit" channel on YouTube, you can deliver your message to the world's largest online video community. The Nonprofit program is currently only available in the United States and the United Kingdom. YouTube is continuing to expand the program, so check back to see if other countries have been added in the future. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Upgrading to Access 2007

If you are upgrading to Access 2007 one of the first hurdles may be opening your Access file only to find your code won't run. The solution is making sure your database is in a "trusted" location. To do this:

• Click the Office button
• Click the Access Options button
• Select Trust Center
• Click the Trust Center Settings button
• Select Trusted Locations
• Click the Add new location button
• Browse and select the location of your database
• Click OK

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