What is “Sync up meeting on foot” means to you?

Let’s break it down,“Sync up” is basically a semi-casual business phrase used for talking about updating people on information. Sync up meeting means to have a meeting so everyone can catch up and is on the same page. We here at Philanthropy University do things a bit differently. We call it a “Sync up walking meeting”. In other words, most of our catch-ups take place “on foot” with the exception of the two key meetings we have on every Mondays (Weekly Sprint Planning) and Fridays (All Hands) where we rely on technology, ie.Trello, Zoom and the TV screen.

The Process of Conducting a User Discovery Call

A Discovery Call (DC) is a meeting with a customer who is a recipient of your service /product. The goal of the discovery session is to understand whether or not the user is happy with your service and how better you can align your services to meet his/ her needs. With this premise in mind, I conduct discovery calls at my organization, Philanthropy University to attune our course offerings to the needs of the learners.

Questions Worth Asking – An Interactive Forum For Philanthropy University’s Learners

Questions Worth Asking – An Interactive Forum

Questions Worth Asking (QWA) is the signature online community program hosted by Philanthropy University. Each month, we invite an interesting guest speaker from the development sector to join a handful of Philanthropy University learners to field pre-collected questions collected from its thousands of learners. “Questions Worth Asking” Q&As is held on Google Hangouts and live broadcasted to YouTube with the intent to have them serve as a resource for connecting, sharing knowledge, collaborating, and inspiring.

Building capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Global South

Building capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Global South

Building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Global South is an emerging theme in the development sector discourse. First, let’s define what is “capacity building?. The Capacity building is a common word that we have come to associate in the Development Sector. In fact, this has been a buzzword for many decades freely used by donors and practitioners alike. In essence, it is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes, and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in the fast-changing world.  Similarly, there is an alternative discourse about the effectiveness and the impact of the capacity building. Has it yielded the results it expected? All the while, some people cringe when they hear this word, as it has lost its impact. This is due to the fact that some of the intended outcomes, expected to address have failed while many countries and communities are still struggling to show a marked improvement. So how did it fail in some places while some places have great success stories to tell. It could be many reasons while some may be unique to the regions or those communities. To enjoy the fruits of capacity building, it requires leadership, policies, advocacy and above all a mission and a vision.

Capacity building can take different forms from sharing skills and knowledge to monetary donations while it also can be in-kind assistance. There can be many approaches to build the capacity of a nation, community to a grassroot level organization. Today, I am going to talk about Philanthropy University’s approach to building capacity of nonprofit leaders and grassroot organizations in the global south. The approach taken by Philanthropy University is to offer free online courses that will provide civil society organizations with the training, support, and resources they need to execute on the mission and achieve their goals. Philanthropy University believes that these organizations are best placed to deliver services, improve the lives of those they serve, and offer lasting solutions grounded in the context of their communities. By investing in the development of organizational infrastructure, through human resources, fundraising, and change management, for example, organizations are stronger and better positioned to respond to the critical issues in their communities.  

Hiring and Building a Team: Things I Have Witnessed In A Start -Up

Hiring and Building a Team: Things I Have Witnessed In A Start -Up

Hiring can be an exhaustive and equally an intensive process for any organization trying to recruit the best in the game. What are the fundamental factors we tend to consider in the final round of the decision making? Invariably, the final offer will be based around the skill assessment and the cultural fit. Sometimes, trade offs are also likely to happen compromising one factor over the other.  However, how much are we aware of such compromises? It could either make or break a company. This is especially very true, if you are a start -up. Your approach to hiring define the character of your company for years to come. I am in the process of learning, exploring and growing on how a new employee embrace the organizational culture as a whole. Especially,when one has been “disconnected” from the moments of it’s making. How one come to embrace these nuances without being alienated nor being regarded as a misfit.

What are OKRs?

How do we define OKR in an organizational performance culture? Before we get into the mechanics, let me confess that I am a newly- baptized to the world of OKRs. OKR is an abbreviation which stands for “Objective and Key Results” put in place to measure the progress of a company’s short term and long term goals. At first, it may sound tad alienating for a beginner to understand the technicality and how it works. However, the more you embody OKRs, it becomes a part of your DNA. This is a fantastic communication tool as well as a social contract that propel clear defined goals and a shared language within a company. Through this process, the individuals are held accountable both in an individual as well as a group setting. The striking feature of OKRs is how it allows greater optimization into accountability and transparency within the organization. The OKR is a public document within a company where everyone has an understanding into each other’s work streams.

What Is A Project’s Post Mortem?

We are all are drivers, collaborators and leaders In our respective roles in the organizations. We all have a stake in a project. We all work in teams using different project management tools to keep us accountable and transparent with progress in line with organizational KPIs. In spite of having the best tools to capture the progress and process are being put in place, still we fail as individuals or teams on certain assignments. In the space of product development, things going right or wrong can affect the overall product, the brand and above all create friction among team members.

How To Maximize Your Google Hangouts On Air Experience

The technological advancement we have witnessed in the 21st century in communications has broadened horizons to how we could communicate with one another on real time while being  oceans apart. This blog post is based on my positive experience of Google Hangouts on air application. My recent introduction to live “on air” experience with Google came out of the necessity to find a cost effective way to set up a talk show that would be video based and has the potential to reach a wider audience in different geographies on real time. To this end, let me tell you Hangout on air app has been remarkable tool.

Adding Value While Living By Values!

In this neoliberal economy, there is a value associated on everything, from services to goods.  A significant emphasized has been paid to the “value” we bring to a negotiating table. How much seriously do we take into account the interpersonal values we possess?. I have heard both “value and values” are been used interchangeably in different circumstances. This question is often asked, at a negotiating table, a job interview or even when launching a product to the market. However, the meaning of “Value” & “Values” are two different sides of the same coin. When both these aspects are in harmony, the chances of prosperity is greater, may it be a person or even an organization bound to excel when administered with due diligence.

Getting Away For The Weekend!

Working for a start-up company in the bustling city of San Francisco has its greatest challenges, learning opportunities and pleasures. As they say, you are creating your own destiny. In the same vain my team is paving the way to launch a product that could change the landscape of capacity building in nonprofit organizations around the world. While firing all my cylinders all week along invariably means I need to recharge myself at some point. Making a change in the world as well as living up to my values are the hybrid technology that fuels within me to run my engine on a daily basis. Just like a hybrid car my inner engine runs on two folds. I am known for my exuberance and energy that I bring to work every morning. No coffee would bring myself to powerhouse the energy that I prime through my daily interactions at workplace, on the train or a good a hearty conversation with an old friend.