Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Importance of a Good First Impression in Organizational Success

Boston-based organizational consultant Dr. Ari Betof is an experienced leadership professional who works with nonprofits and educational organizations. The president of Organizational Sustainability Consulting, LLC, he is committed to coaching leaders on various aspects of institutional effectiveness. In a recent article on his Medium website titled "Boston College’s Director of First Impressions," Dr. Ari Betof discussed the importance of making a good first impression.

During a visit to Boston College’s Cadigan Alumni Center, Dr. Betof was initially greeted by the Director of First Impressions, Maureen McGrail, who immediately made a positive first impression on him with her warm smile. McGrail embodied Boston College’s values and commitment to welcoming back alumni who visit the institution. Through her inviting manner, she demonstrated her passion for the college and its goals.

In his brief interaction with McGrail, Dr. Betof learned the importance of making a positive first impression. She demonstrated that a friendly smile can go a long way toward making people feel welcome. In addition, McGrail’s title of “Director of First Impressions” demonstrated an effort by the college to recognize the importance of all of its staff members.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Top Financial Challenges of Nonprofits

As the founder and president of Organizational Sustainability Consulting, Ari Betof provides consultations and guidance to senior executives in nonprofit organizations. Financial modeling is one of the key areas where he puts his expertise to work. As a consultant, Ari Betof ensures that leaders learn how to handle financial challenges in order to overcome them.

Nonprofits typically have fewer resources and less funding, prompting them to rely on donations, fundraisers, and grants. Finding sources and donors is just one challenge. Managing what little resources they have is another.

Finding a Regular Source of Funding

For nonprofits, it’s common to have multiple funding sources. Executives and board members need to have a clear strategy for maintaining the flow of funding from existing sources while looking for new supporters at the same time. They must be able to determine which sources to rely on for long-term sustainability and which sources are temporary.

Insufficient Collaboration

Many nonprofits tend to become too invested in the mission and forget about what makes fulfilling the mission possible in the first place. More often than not, those in the finance and accounting department are not involved in the client-facing work and may not receive frequent updates. All departments in a nonprofit should have a solid communication and collaboration system to ensure all aspects are handled, especially when planning a budget and distribution of funds.

Misconception on Sustainability

For many nonprofits, sustainability means having resources, no matter where they come from, and this makes them largely dependent on sponsors and grant makers. True sustainability is the ability to reduce reliance on a single source of funding. This diversification can be possible through proper assessment, planning, and optimization.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Importance of a Growth Mindset to Organizational Success

As founder and president of Massachusetts-based Organizational Sustainability Consulting, LLC, Dr. Ari Betof works with nonprofits, membership organizations, corporations, and other institutions to help develop the skills of new and existing leaders. Specifically, Ari Betof provides top-level consultation on best practices in areas such as organizational change. 

Handling change of any type within an organization can present significant challenges to leadership. Employees at any level - even an institution’s leaders themselves - can be extremely change-averse, and may therefore need coaching to build the kind of growth mindset that is more likely to result in success over the long term. 

Experts note that a growth mindset is key to creating a truly agile, responsive organization, as it serves to edit out practices that no longer serve the mission of the organization and develop those that better support its strategic goals.

Leaders who demonstrate a mindset centered on change and growth are willing to admit mistakes and use them as lessons to make more informed decisions in the future. When an executive takes the time to visit with staff and clients and encourages employees to talk openly about challenges, frustrations, and possible solutions, he or she gains valuable insights that can contribute to the growth of the entire team and organization. 

Facilitating a growth mindset at all levels of an organization can empower employees and executives to implement innovative and far-reaching change, allowing the organization to improve and adapt.