Monday, February 20, 2012

Picks of the Week: February 19 - 25, 2012

Website of the Week -- Data Without Borders

Data Without Borders seeks to match non-profits in need of data analysis with freelance and pro bono data scientists who can work to help them with data collection, analysis, visualization, or decision support. Big companies like Google and Amazon recognize the importance of dedicated data science teams and can support fulltime analysts, but non-profits, though they may have rich and interesting datasets, don’t have the resources to capitalize on their data or may not even know the value of the data they already collect. Data Without Borders aims to close that gap through a data scientist exchange, bringing exciting new problems to the data community and helping to solve social, environmental, and community problems alongside nonprofits and NGOs. If you’re a non-profit who could use some data analysis or a data junkie who wants to pitch in and help, Data Without Borders encourages you to make contact. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Before Onboarding: How to Integrate New Leaders for Quick and Sustained Results by Michael K. Burroughs

From the publisher: Recent studies show that the attrition rates for outside hired executives is high. Some say between 30 and 50%, and many of these failures will occur within the first two years. The statistics are not much better for internally promoted leaders. The first 90 days of a new leader's tenure will often determine ultimate success or failure. Onboarding programs are prolific and helpful, but they are not designed to prepare new leaders to secure early successes while avoiding costly mistakes. Something else has to be done to reduce this alarming attrition rate. The author is a veteran executive recruiter and coach. He has placed leaders from CEO to director level in the US, Asia and Europe. While an organization development executive in the Fortune 500, he developed and refined a New Leader Integration "pre-boarding" process that significantly compresses the time it takes for new leaders to be effective. The new leader arrives on the first day with a "blueprint for success" in hand and has been thoroughly briefed regarding the expectations of the boss, peers and direct reports. The outcome is a new leader who gets the right results quickly and sustains them over the long term. This book provides a template that clearly defines how to implement a New leader Integration program in a variety of organizations. The process is appropriate for leaders at all levels.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Engagement Levels of Nonprofit Employees is Dangerously Low

Opportunity Knocks (OK) has released their a report, Engaging the Nonprofit Workforce: Mission, Management and Emotion, and it indicates that the current engagement level of nonprofit employees is dangerously low. According to OK, "55% of respondents plan to continue working for their current employer. Of those planning on leaving their current organization (45%), more than half plan on leaving within the next two years." OK does not consider these low percentages to be surprising. According to their report, nearly half of the respondents of their survey felt that "fulfilling all of their job responsibilities did not improve their chances of being promoted and only one third are satisfied with their pay level." The goal of their report is to better understand the ways in which nonprofit employees are engaged and the impact of employee engagement and disengagement upon employees, nonprofit organizations and communities. To access the complete report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Building Future Leaders" Diagnostic Survey

According to a Bridgespan Group survey of more than 150 nonprofit leadership teams, leadership development and succession planning for senior leader positions is the single greatest organizational weakness nonprofits face. To help address this challenge, Bridgespan has developed a free diagnostic survey to help leaders understand where their organizations are strong – and what can be improved. You can take the survey, see how your organization compares to others, and jumpstart your thinking on what successful leadership development could look like in your organization. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Quickly Change Font Size in Word

To quickly increase or decrease the font size of selected text by 1 point, do this:

• Select Text
• Ctrl + ] to increase by 1 point
• Ctrl + [ to decrease by 1 point

This trick seems to works in all versions, including 2007 and 2010.

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