Skip to main content

Leading a professional nonprofit

Two small professional nonprofits that I founded and led taught me a few things I'm sharing here. One organization was focused on business process management and the other on user interface design. Both were based in India. In spite of the challenges, both were successful in meeting organizational objectives in terms of realizing audience needs.

Challenges

We found it hard to get:
  1. Volunteers who can help run the organization and the events
  2. Conference papers with original content
  3. Audience participation.
And this is how we overcame ... we used these solutions:
  1. My team members as volunteers
  2. Only foreign speakers
  3. Fail fast.

My own team members as volunteers

Jefferson and Kshama welcoming audiences in two different conferences
 
Topics covered by the organizations were of interest to my team members at Cognizant. These folks willingly took up volunteer roles. While I had the control I needed, they gained a broad new exposure and enjoyed it.

Only speakers from the West

Richard Anderson at one of our events in Bangalore
 
Most conference papers submitted had plagiarized content. So we decided to only have speakers from the West. This met the objective of bringing new knowledge into the country.

Fail fast

Audience participation at our business process conference in Mumbai
 
We did try the usual things that professional societies do, such as regular meetings, memberships, and newsletters. When one did not work, rather than keep trying, we quickly moved on to another. The IT industry folks were not interested in any of these. So we focused on hosting one big annual conference that practitioners would look forward to. All events were hosted in 5-star hotels. People came from all over the country and the events were rated high year after year.

Thanks to . . .

While one of the two organizations brought user interface education to India's IT industry, the other one kick-started business process management – back when these topics were new and needed by companies. I want to thank all those who contributed to the success of the two organizations, including Arun Christian, Kshama Vijayakumar, Jefferson Cornelius, Ramachandran ES, Prashanth Venkataramani, Edwin Benedict, Mukund CS, Divya Ruth, Keerthibushan Jala, and many others. A big thank you to Richard Anderson (in pic above), who mentored me every step of the way – from starting up to finding speakers.

Comments

  1. AnonymousJuly 25, 2013

    It would not have been possible without Pradeep leading us from the fore-front. His thought leadership was the game changer here...Regards, Mukund.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Explorer mentality Vs conqueror mentality

A fixation on competitors and on beating them is evidence of what Amazon's Jeff Bezos calls a conqueror mentality. In contrast, people waking up in the morning thinking how to innovate for the customer -- and having intense fun innovating -- is evidence of an explorer mentality.

The explorer mentality resulted in Amazon allowing negative reviews of its products. Reacting to this, a book publisher objected, saying "You make money when you sell things." But Bezos thought, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." So explorer mentality also demands a willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

During his 16 years as CEO, Bezos' Amazon has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266% (industry-adjusted), and the company's value has grown by $111 billion. More in HBR Jan-Feb 2013.

Before you watch another news report, watch this whistleblower

If the leftist media was biased back in 2001, it is an outright mafia today Bernard Goldberg, a 28-year-veteran at leftist media outlet CBS, has exposed the "pettiness, hypocrisy, and bias inside CBS ... Just turn on your TV set and it’s there … but it’s there too often in too many stories."

Shockingly, you see not only political bias, but social bias as well.

In both political and social topics, the leftist media puts out content that dupes both loyalists and new-comers. Why are they so biased: self-serving purposes such as ratings and manipulation for votes.

Goldberg exposes the leftist media.
Manipulation Leftist media constantly attempts to manipulate people's mind with the following tricks.

1. They lie. Or misinform.

2. They hide certain things, as though these things did not exist or did not matter.

3. They won’t let the other voices be heard. More recently, author Sharyl Attkisson was not allowed to freely air segments that exposed Obama scandals such as Operation…

M&A perspective: IT staffing Vs IT consulting

This report is a simple analysis by HT Capital -- a boutique investment banking firm in New York. It basically makes the point that being a staffing company (Vs consulting company) does not provide adequate returns to most investors, especially from an M&A perspective.

Peter Rozsa, co-author of the report, is a Senior Managing Director at HT Capital. He was also my "classmate" at a Columbia Business School executive education program. I have Peter's permission to make the report available here.

Click to download PDF report.