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Advice from Outside the Square

Managing Indigenous Organisations

Good Partnerships Start With Good Preparation

As Indigenous organisations manoeuvre into social enterprises, or commercial businesses, into a world that many of them do not have experience of, they take the logical step of setting up partnerships with more experienced organisations or businesses. This partnership approach has many advantages - it allows one partner to mentor the other and allow the less experienced organisation to gain experience while mitigating risk. It reduces the cost of the investment, it allows the two partner organisations to bring different strengths to the table, and it scales the business or project beyond what one organisation alone is unable to do. There is one other major advantage to the Indigenous organisation, and that is that it allows that organisation to gradually buy out the partner thus giving time to build resources and experience. However, not all partnerships end well! (more…)...
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10 Ways To Boost Board Diversity

When I am consulting to Indigenous organisations, one of the most talked about issues is how they can create diversity in their Boards in order to better reflect their members and their activities. In fact, from the perspective of Director accountability and succession-planning, it is deserving of the spotlight. Board member renewal and the meeting of required skills matrices is a matter, not only for the Selection Committee but for the whole Board. When Board composition is at best-practice, so is the work of the Board. So what factors should you consider when your Board thinks about Board diversity and composition? (more…)...
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Writing Your Small Business Plan

In past blog posts, I have written about how Indigenous organisations can start small businesses and social enterprises. Participating in the broader economy is, in my opinion, an important part of success for any Indigenous organisation. This month, I wanted to write about how to provide a plan for your small business. Whether it is a small business or social enterprise attached to a larger Indigenous organisation, or whether you are encouraging your members to start their own enterprises, all small businesses need to have the support of a well thought out business plan. (more…)...
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Using KSI’s In An Indigenous Corporation

What are KSI's? Before I answer that question, what I really want to discuss is how you choose the right strategies when you are planning. You’ve probably taken some time off and wrote your Vision, Mission and Values Statement; you’ve probably brainstormed your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and worked out your goals for the year. But now, how do you choose between all the ideas to find the most critical strategies? That’s where your KSI’s come in. "KSI" stands for Key Strategic Issues. They are “Key” because the particular issue is key to your strategic plan’s success. Your plan may have to deal with a lot of issues, but "Key" strategic issues are those that must be dealt with in order for the rest of the plan to be achievable. For example, if you plan to introduce new services, while you may have to contend with issues such as hiring new staff and finding physical office space, a "Key" issue may be obtaining funding. Without funding, you cannot do all those other things you need to do in order to introduce the new services. They are “Strategic” because they are big-picture issues that sit on top of a pyramid – fix this Key Strategic...
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