Posts Tagged ‘Non Profit Organizations’

Once again this year it was my privilege to support our local Dress for Success here in Halifax, Nova Scotia by attending the annual Tea Party.  (more…)


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The last few weeks I have been volunteering for Junior Achievement Nova Scotia delivering the ‘Our Business World’ program to grade six students.  It never ceases to amaze me that kids are interested in business at such a young age.  And, wow, do they know a lot of stuff – go figure! (more…)

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How we help our clients change was a hot topic at the dining table today.  I spent several hours with five good friends and fellow coaches, consultants and trainers this afternoon and the topic of how we each work with our clients, our methods, and our beliefs around how we may or may not succeed in helping them change was certainly a well debated one.

This has me thinking about a fascinating tool I discovered in a book entitled “It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys” by Marilyn Paul.  She has created a ‘Seven-Step Change Cycle’ specifically related to organizing.

Here are the 7 steps:

  1. Establish Your Purpose
  2. Create Your Vision
  3. Take Stock of Current Reality
  4. Choose Support
  5. Design Systems & Solutions
  6. Take Effective Action
  7. Go Deeper to Keep Going

When I discovered this map, I realized that all of these steps are exactly what I do when working with a client.  It occurs to me that you can certainly understand the cycle and how it could help guide you through any organizing project.  However, I still wonder if answering  questions like:

  • “What will I see”
  • “What organizing systems will work for me?”
  • “What are the specific steps I plan to take . . .?”
  • “How can I change my thinking?” 

is difficult when you are completely overwhelmed by mental or physical clutter.  I believe that having the support of a professional organizer and/or a coach is one of the key components in building a support team to help you achieve long term change.  That person should be a good fit for your personality, have the credentials and experience to work with you effectively,  and be able to support you in a positive way while holding you accountable  for your actions and choices.

One thing we all agreed on is that before any individual or organization hires anyone in a consulting or coaching role they have to be willing and ready for change.  Allowing individuals to flourish within a changing environment requires trust and the freedom to make choices that are best for both the individual and the organization.

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This week I am pondering why my clients want to become more organized.   For many they believe it is because they want to accomplish more and get more done. But shouldn’t it really be about accomplishing less but doing more of the right things?  More of the things that are important to us personally?  Not doing more work and just being more productive? Should it be about getting your work done more efficiently and then having the time to make a bigger difference in this world?

Last week I attended the Maritime Philanthropy Awards here in Halifax which is what has me thinking about this for myself and others.  There was a 19 year old boy named Matthew MacDonald from Sydney who has somehow found the courage and determination to mount a one-man fundraising drive for the IWK despite his physical limitations.  And so many others who either work in the charitable sector or somehow find it within themselves to dedicate inordinate amounts of time to raising money for their favourite cause.

Therefore, if we all manage our time more effectively and get more done at work more quickly, do we not owe it to our communities and to the world to get out and do something truly important? 

I am involved with a number of volunteer committees myself with Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) so I get to give back to my profession and my focus this year is on the education side of the industry.  I am also involved with several committees through CAFE NS (an organization that supports family business in Nova Scotia).  And I donate a few hours each year to JANS (Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia) delivering their Our Business World program to Grade 6 students in HRM along with other activities.

I wonder if I really tighten up my schedule and delegate a few more tasks to a virtual assistant, if I can fit in one more non-profit organization?  I have the perfect one in mind.   Hmmmm….

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