Whether it's introducing new ideas into your foundation or offering constructive feedback to a grantee, grantmakers can develop personal strategies to meet the "soft" challenges of grantmaking. Effective personal strategy helps practitioners use their understanding of self and role - as learner, analyst, bridge builder - to manage the tensions that come with the job. In this guide, contributors discuss the elements of personal strategy and how it helps grantmakers to leverage their strengths in service to their objectives. The guide also explores why some grantmakers are able to think and work like "naturals" - and how the rest of us can emulate their style.
1. ANALYZE YOUR FRUSTRATING INCIDENTS.
Frustrating incidents provide good opportunities to reflect on personal strategies that haven’t served us well. By taking the time to revisit those incidents, we can better understand weaknesses in our strategies and prepare to address them.
The power of an analytic framework is that it provides a way to understand explicitly things we already do but don’t usually reflect on. A framework like this can be helpful in two ways:Read More »
Time is a scarce commodity - a reality that's as true in foundations as in any organization. Grantmakers need to spend time wisely on activities that add value to their daily work and increase their ability to do good work in the future. By those criteria, learning ought to get high priority, yet it's often the case that learning gets squeezed out when time gets short.Read More »
We hope this guide will inspire grantmakers and other foundation practitioners to reflect more deeply on the relationship between organizational effectiveness and personal strategy in their own institutions and elsewhere.