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Category Archives: Managing Indigenous Organisations

Strategic Plan – Keystone or Cornerstone?

While we use "keystone" and "cornerstone" interchangeably in our speech, in building, they both have very distinct meanings. A keystone is the last piece of stone placed when constructing an arch and it locks the other stones into place in an otherwise fragile arch shape. A cornerstone is often the first stone laid when constructing a building and forms the reference of alignment for all other stones to be laid. So, is your strategic plan the start of your organisational development - the cornerstone of your organisation, or is it the final piece that seals your strategies - its keystone? (more…)...
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No Excuse For Sloppy HR Recruitment

Managing an Indigenous under-funded, under-resourced Not-For-Profit is difficult enough. But when you are recruiting for key positions and you don't prepare or have no protocols for interviews and selection, you cannot afford to be sloppy. Some time ago, I was asked to assist in recruitment interviews for a General Manager position by the CEO of an NFP that I have had a relationship with earlier in their history. Let's just go through all the things they did wrong! (more…)...
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Supporting Community Members’ Business Development

In this post-Determination era of the Native Title legislation, more and more Prescribed Bodies Corporate of Native Title groups are moving from protecting and developing Native Title assets into supporting community members in general economic development. One path is to provide pathways to employment - whether through Government-funded programs or through direct employment, many groups provide training and support services for their members to be workplace ready, and to be sufficiently upskilled to obtain employment in the private sector. Another path is to support individual members and families to start their own businesses. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive in all human beings but PBC members, particularly in remote and regional areas, are often behind on "entrepreneurial experience" lacking employment experience, sometimes lacking numeracy education, not being exposed to the commercial world and thinking, and lacking in the practical experience of what makes an entity - never mind a business - work. I would argue that this second path is just as valid and valuable a road to economic independence as is employment. But what can a PBC do to support and protect individual members in their aspirations to start their own business? (more…)...
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Choosing Your Advisors Carefully

How often have the smaller Indigenous organisation been in this experience: They are looking for an advisor and so they look around or they advertise, or someone approaches them because of what they are doing that has got into the news. The person they are in contact with looks "the goods". They talk well; they seem respectful; they give advice that seems carefully considered. In fact, some of that advice is pretty spot on. They gain the trust and confidence of the Board or of the people. Pretty soon, they're reliable to have around and they seem to be trustworthy. Soon they are employed, or they consult on an almost full-time basis, always appearing and smiling and helping. Then, one day, either they are gone along with all the money they were paid (or worse), or people realise that this person hasn't really helped them but in that time have got their grips into the organisation and have almost total control of it. (more…)...
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OTS Management