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EDD Leadership Lab: Reaching New Heights

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EDD Leadership Lab: Reaching New Heights

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Designed for EDD executive directors—seasoned, new, or those on course to assume a leadership role—this interactive
session will focus on three key factors for assuring a strong EDD: an active and engaged board, a strong and committed
team of professionals, and a state association that advocates for EDDs at the state level and provides resources to EDDs
directly.
• Steve Etcher, Manager, MarksNelson, Kansas City, MO

Designed for EDD executive directors—seasoned, new, or those on course to assume a leadership role—this interactive
session will focus on three key factors for assuring a strong EDD: an active and engaged board, a strong and committed
team of professionals, and a state association that advocates for EDDs at the state level and provides resources to EDDs
directly.
• Steve Etcher, Manager, MarksNelson, Kansas City, MO

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EDD Leadership Lab: Reaching New Heights

  1. 1. EDD Leadership Lab: Reaching New Heights NADO Annual Training Conference October 2022
  2. 2. About the Presenter Steve Etcher Manager, Location Strategies setcher@marksnelsoncpa.com Career Highlights 20+ years RDO Director NADO Board of Directors 10 years Economic Development and Site Selection Specialties Community & Economic Development Organization Management and Consulting About MarksNelson
  3. 3. Expectations What I want to take away from today’s session
  4. 4. Mission, Purpose, Impact & Culture
  5. 5. Reflection 1. Why does your organization exist? 2. What is your organization known for? 3. What are some of the organization’s recent accomplishments? 4. How do you define success for your organization? 5. Describe the culture/organizational environment of your organization?
  6. 6. Adapting to Change & Emerging Opportunities
  7. 7. Group Discussion Many states, communities, RDOs, and RPOs have been involved in the distribution of CARES Funding and ARPA Funding and are well positioned to be provide critical support for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) 1. What has been your organization’s role in the delivery of CARES & ARPA funding opportunities? (Individual RDOs or Statewide Association?) 2. Have you been involved in the development of priorities, policies and procedures? (State, Regional or Local) 3. How have you been able to creatively leverage resources to help implement projects, provide matching funds, and maximize project impacts? 4. Who are some new (or existing) partners that you engaged with to provide support to your communities or state? What new partners and partnership opportunities have presented during this time? 5. In anticipation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) what are some of the challenges and shortcomings in the delivery of CARES & ARPA funds? How can the approach be improved to address these challenges? 6. What are some best practices for successful investment and regional involvement?
  8. 8. Preparing for the Unknown 1. Have a long-term financial plan for the organization 2. Create a reserve fund and be disciplined to maintain and replenish it 3. Keep your overall mission and purpose forefront—especially with the board 4. Develop a strategic action plan for yearly focus, and an overall organizational plan that provides a long-term perspective 5. Be nimble, so you can adjust as conditions change (nimbleness is restricted if carrying debt) 6. Be flexible—work at doing things differently and more efficiently or be prepared to ramp up quickly 7. Be entrepreneurial
  9. 9. Value Perception
  10. 10. Leadership Challenge #1 Telling your story, highlighting your successes and accomplishments is vital to creating awareness, loyalty and credibility. What are you doing to tell your story? TellingYour Story
  11. 11. Value Hierarchy Relevancy Pyramid Perspective Role • Trusted Advisor • Foresight $$$ • Planner • Insight $$ • Vendor • Hindsight $ Are You Relevant? Every day you should ask yourself… how is our organization adding value to our local governments, communities, funders, partners, and federal and state local officials?
  12. 12. Leadership Challenge #2 Innovation is a key element to creating growth, producing value and financial diversification. What innovative strategies have you pursued? Innovation
  13. 13. Doing More with Less & Setting Priorities
  14. 14. Leadership Challenge #3 Many state agencies are looking for assistance in delivering CARES, ARPA, and BIL funding. How do you organize as a state association or enhance your state association to become a critical delivery vehicle for state agencies? How are you using your State Association to support your RPC? State Associations
  15. 15. Leadership Challenge #4 Preventing burnout and fatigue should be a priority for RDO leadership. How do you maintain a work/life balance for yourself and your staff? Life Balance
  16. 16. Finding Focus Eisenhower Matrix Is it important? Is it urgent? URENCY IMPORTANCE High Low High Pursue Plan Low Partner Park
  17. 17. Niche Identification
  18. 18. Niche Identification/Initiative Life Cycle Core Service #1 Core Service #2 Core Service #3 Needs Assessment & Information Gathering Planning Policy Development Project Development Project Execution & Implementation Project Reporting & Information Sharing Project Evaluation
  19. 19. Niche Identification Core Service Role Business Climate Resume Other Entities Needs Assessment & Information Gathering Planning Policy Development Project Development Project Execution & Implementation Project Reporting & Information Sharing Project Evaluation Roles • Lead • Support • Participate • Monitor • None Business Climate: • Trusted Advisor • Competitive • Overlooked Resume • Specialized • Experienced • Novice • Undeveloped
  20. 20. Strategic Action Plan
  21. 21. Organization Development Plan Current State Future State Strategic Steps Impediments/Obstacles to Address Resources Needed
  22. 22. Strategic Planning for Regional Development Organizations Many RDOs mistakenly use the CEDS as their organizational strategic plan Many RDOs have too many “priorities” and are unable to advance any of them in a meaningful way. Jack of all trades, master of none. Best to focus on a limited number of key initiatives and achieve those, then add more
  23. 23. Creating Organization Focus Strategic Action Plan Luck=Opportunity + Preparedness Vision • Where do we want to be in the next 10 -20 years? SWOT Analysis • Where are we now? Goals • Broadly stated, where do we want to go? Objective s • Specifically, what will we do? Strategies • How do we get there? Measures • How are we doing? • What can we do better? Too many organizations fail to maximize their impacts because they apply finite resources to infinite needs. They become a “jack of all trades” and a master of none.
  24. 24. >MarksNelson Strategic Action Plan STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2018STRATEGY/INITIATIVE Enhance the success of the firm through talent development. 1. Plan and execute Phase 2 of MarksNelson University implementation; incorporate technical topics and build technical curriculum. 2. Plan and implement Phase 1 of the Emerging Leaders Program. 3. Leverage internal technology expertise to expand the Firm’s tool set. 4. Integrate technology team into prioritization of gap analysis to drive recruiting/training process. Provide our clients with a strategic advantage. 1. Strategically build niches through thought leadership, business development, training and revenue goal setting. 2. Continue development and implementation of an efficient and effective business development process. 3. Continue implementation of the Love Your Client Program to include Strategic Account Plans (SAPs); tie to 2018 individual goals. 4. Enhance client engagement through utilization of the Net Promoter survey; add servicing professionals. 5. Conduct internal training on firm service offerings. Improve business processes by leveraging technology and training 1. Integrationwith BOC 1. Review existing infrastructure-understand overlap between BOC & MN (for consolidation) and unique areas to each line of business. 2. Review existing processes and systems-identify processes with biggest possible gains/most pain 3. Document outcomes of A and B, set priorities for implementation and add initiatives for 2018 as necessary 2. Conduct security and firm training needs assessment. 3. Update the IT Roadmap annually and communicate to the partner group. Enhance the one- firm (Shared Vision) concept and develop a firm culture based upon teamwork and trust 1. Refine firm policies and procedures relating to client acceptance and filtering. 2. Formalize written plans to designate and foster transfer of client relationships- address a leverage model, client succession, partner retirement, & emergency plan. 3. Devise a systematic process for the communication of the 2018 Strategic Plan progress throughout the year to engage and educate staff on how their contribution connects to the Strategic Plan. 4. Develop two new programs to enhance employee engagement, e.g. Advisory Board, Special Interest Group etc. 5. Integrate new strategic hires into culture. 6. Development of a firm growth strategy that is agreed upon by all leadership.
  25. 25. BRPC Regional Strategic Action Plan Strategic Goals Strategic Objectives Strategies & Tactics Economic Development: Increase regional prosperity through sustainable economic growth -New business creation -Existing business growth -New business attraction Community Development: Enhance the attractiveness and livability of our region -Community comprehensive planning -Infrastructure needs assessment and planning -Investment in community infrastructure & amenities -work with local communities to plan for future growth -work with local communities to identify and plan for infrastructure projects -work with local members to secure funding for priority projects Workforce Development: Equip our residents with in-demand skills to secure stable employment -Training for unemployed and underemployed -Training for skill enhancement -Increase access to vocational training -Support skill needs of area employers
  26. 26. BRPC Organization Strategic Action Plan Strategic Goals Strategic Objectives Talent Development: Strengthen the capacity of our organization through talent development -Identify professional development opportunities for existing staff -Staff develop a personal growth plan -Pursue strategic hires to enhance organizational capacity -Increase employee retention -Develop employee recruitment program Regional Leadership: Enhance our role as a problem solver and innovator to chronic challenges -Host regional roundtable to discuss challenges & opportunities -Develop and launch new programs to respond to priority needs -Be the initial facilitator/convener during disasters and disruptions -Become a trusted advisor for our constituents Organization Culture: Create a positive work environment that expresses appreciation to staff, rewards staff for exemplary service, and challenges staff to grow professionally. -Cross-train staff in related practice areas -Convene regular(effective) staff meetings to timely address needs -Update HR manual to reflect current changes -Develop staff rewards and incentives program to recognize effort -Formalize the “onboarding” process for new hires Organization Financial Sustainability: Grow financial resources to ensure sustainability, encourages new program exploration, and provides opportunities for the next generation -Diversify financial resources through new program implementation -Amplify financial resources through value billing -Develop long-range financial strategy to establish financial resources for program sustainability and expansion -Asset management through affiliated organization -Provide board training related to financial management
  27. 27. Professional Growth
  28. 28. An observation of respected and effective leaders is their ability to BE PRESENT in every situation
  29. 29. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 29 1. Be Proactive 2. Begin with the End in Mind 3. Put First Things First 4. Think Win-Win 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood 6. Synergize 7. Sharpen the Saw
  30. 30. Director Performance Evaluation 1. Function of the Board 2. Should be done at least annually 3. Identify assessment criteria 4. Have the Director complete a self assessment 5. Have the Board (or Committee) complete an assessment 6. Review assessment with Board (or Committee) and Director 7. Inform full board at the conclusion if using a committee 8. Create goals for future-make the review forward looking 30
  31. 31. Director Evaluation System Competencies for Performance Evaluation 1. Organizational management- running the day-to day operations of the organization 2. Leadership-region, state, nation—recognized as a leader 3. Financial management-developing a budget, developing and maintaining a system of checks and balances, creating financial plan, and generating revenues to fulfill the plan 4. Program management—overseeing programs, particularly related to compliance and schedules—review monitoring reports and audits 5. Personnel management—finding, training, motivating, and supervising staff 6. External Relationships—developing relationships with key state and federal partners 7. Internal Relationships—developing relationships with communities, community leaders, partner organizations, etc 8. Visioning and Planning—casting the vision for what the organization pursuing, and developing and implementing strategies to realize the vision 9. Pursuit of Mission and Purpose—maintaining focus on the core issues the organization is pursuing while encouraging innovation 31
  32. 32. Attributes Evaluated Demonstrates integrity Demonstrates ability to understand complex situations and instructions Demonstrates ability to lead a team Demonstrates ability to make good judgments Demonstrates a willingness to accept responsibility Demonstrates initiative and self motivation Demonstrates the ability to perform under pressure Demonstrates the ability to prioritize and make the best use of time Demonstrates punctuality Demonstrates a proper attitude and a good frame of mind Demonstrates the ability to be an innovator and thought leader Demonstrates maturity (in relation to age and experience) Maintains a positive attitude Is conscientious about the way customers are dealt with Is well respected in the region, state, and nation Is conscientious about appearance-Dresses appropriately for the job Possesses good oral communication skills Possesses good written communication skills 32
  33. 33. Attributes of an Effective Regional Leader High octane, high energy, self starter Great communicator Creative entrepreneur Visionary Consensus builder and motivator Open minded Results oriented Decision maker Knowledgeable Politically Savvy Trustworthy
  34. 34. Effective Evaluation
  35. 35. Organization Performance Evaluation “What gets measured gets done. What gets measured and fed back gets done well. What gets rewarded gets repeated.”  Measure RESULTS not activity  Identify the key ELEMENTS to measure  Establish BASELINE for historical comparison  Identify COMPETITION to measure against  Evaluate and REPORT progress, impact, and value  RAISE the bar once the goals have been met. 35
  36. 36. Keys to Organization Sustainability  Cultivate and engage leadership  Take care of the basics first  Pay attention to details  Know your customers and their needs  Anticipate trends and plan accordingly  Advocate for your organization  Mobilize your marketing team  Evaluate, benchmark and report performance
  37. 37. Observations of Highly Effective Organizations Attitude Poise and Professionalism Focus Aspiring Leaders Positive Habits Efficient Effective “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." --Rosalynn Carter
  38. 38. Keys To Effective Organizational Leadership Need to think outside the box-offer fresh perspectives to chronic challenges, Allow innovation to fuel the organization Delegate to trusted and qualified staff Lead Projects-Avoid getting drug into the mire Surround yourself with people that are smarter than yourself, that complement your style of leadership, and offset your limitations Find a mentor Lead with humility Running and growing an agency requires high levels of energy and ambition— understand your need to re-energize Don’t forget to plan for your own organization Don’t forget to set goals for yourself You are paid to make recommendations and to lead, do not avoid this responsibility “The problem is not the problem. The problem is how you think about the problem. We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
  39. 39. Principals of Leadership Know yourself and seek self-improvement Be technically proficient Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions Make sound and timely decisions Set the example Know your people and look out for their well being Keep your workers informed Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished Train as a team Use the full capabilities of your organization “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Theodore Roosevelt COMMON LEADERSHIP SHORTCOMINGS Lack of “big picture” focus Too detailed and process oriented Failure to recognize key product is intellect Complacency
  40. 40. Organizational Leadership  Know your strengths as Leader  Utilize these strengths to improve the organization  Recognize your shortcomings/weaknesses • Staff to compliment your strengths and strengthen your shortcomings  Develop a personal improvement plan  Create an organization plan and implement it • Include short and long term goals, measurements and timelines  Prioritize and maintain board member engagement • EDDs are experiencing high turnover in elected officials • Develop a process for orientation to the organization and create a sense of ownership  Share information, not data • Know and understand the board preferences on the “right amount” of information  Performance evaluation is vital • Create a process for fair evaluation of you, your organization and your staff • Benchmark and evaluate results related to your strategic action plan Leading an organization is like riding a bike… you need to keep moving forward to keep your balance
  41. 41. Keys to Success RELATIONSHIPS--constantly build new and reaffirm existing RESPONSIBILITY--do what you say, when you say, with a high quality product RESULTS—Achievements, not intentions pave the road to success RESPECT--you must rise above differences to work together. You must give it to get it REPUTATION--Aggressively work to manage public perception. REALITY--is term limits, turnover, and elections. RUN--to clients, agencies and legislators—Don’t wait for them to come to you. RESOURCE-Become an indispensable resource for local, state and federal partners,-- especially during an era of tight budgets and limited resources.
  42. 42. Staffing
  43. 43. Leadership Challenge #5 You recognize the increase level of funding that will be available in the coming months resulting from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and you see an opportunity to help attract some of these dollars to your community. In order to pursue this, you need to add professional staff members to your organization, but your Board of Directors is hesitant to hire new staff without a guaranteed revenue stream. How do you advance this issue with your Board? >Risk Tolerance Talent Attraction
  44. 44. Leadership Challenge #6 In the post-pandemic era, it has become increasingly difficult to recruit, retain, and afford professional staff for your organization. How do you address the current employment dynamics to ensure you have adequate and qualified staff to carry out the organization’s programs and strategies? How do you show staff appreciation? Staffing
  45. 45. Staffing for Regional Organizations  Staffing for a regional development organization is best described as “talent management”  Talent management is the practice of attracting, retaining, developing and promoting outstanding talent to serve the organization.  Talent management should be formed from the organization's mission, values, and goals.  An effective talent management system helps employees feel as if they are part of something bigger than their current job  Without the right talent in key areas, you run the risk of missing out on emerging opportunities.  You need to constantly be planning ahead –identifying and nurturing future leaders.  You need to understand how to attract today’s emerging talent  You need to be able to offer the necessary challenges and career development to motivate/retain top performers  You need to weed out poor performers, poor performers undermine productivity and erode morale What happens if we in invest in developing our people and they decide to leave? What happens if we don’t and they stay?
  46. 46. Board Engagement & Interactions Successful, impactful organizations share a common feature—they have a board of directors that is engaged, understands their role, and contributes their talents and expertise to the success of the organization
  47. 47. Leadership Challenge #7 Having an informed and engaged Board of Directors is critical to organization success. What strategies have you utilized to increase board member awareness and engagement? Board Engagement
  48. 48. Creating a Dynamic Board of Directors Practical Tips for Creating a Dynamic Board  Ask them their opinion  Allow others to take ownership in ideas  Provide value to them through information, and project results  Filter and interpret data to provide meaningful information  Board education is critical and must be constant  Immediate education and inclusion of newly elected officials and appointed board members 48  Have regularly scheduled meetings that encourage participation  Have a structured meeting format to make the most use of their time and provide value to the members  Have an agenda and stick to it. Stay within the time constraints set up for the meeting  Utilize committees as appropriate to streamline the policy debate, make recommendations, and broaden board member engagement  Create Ownership by the Board. Constantly reinforce their ownership versus ownership by the Executive Director
  49. 49. Roles and Responsibilities Board Members Director (CEO) Sets policies and develops priorities Recommends and Carries Out Board Policies and Priorities Provide general guidance and counsel to the director Manages day to day operations Ensure financial integrity of the organization Maintains organizational relationships Nurture a vision for the organization Oversees the staff Overseeing the Executive Director Assess the performance of the staff Assess Performance of the director and organization Communicates with the Board of Directors Participate responsibly, ethically & knowledgably Reports performance and impact of organization Out of Bounds Board members should not involve themselves in operational matters or personnel issues Directors should not engage in politics
  50. 50. Board of Directors Dos and Don’ts Do Don’t Learn all you can about your members—spouse’s name, children, occupation, etc. Avoid personal relationships with members. Remember important events such as election cycles and years in office. Do not address board members only by their first name in a meeting. Communicate with your members between meetings using email, handwritten letters, phone calls, or visits. Do not ignore phone calls or emails from board members. Invest time in your members because you are asking them to invest time in you and your organization. Do not get involved with politics and elections. Be consistent in all your communication—tell all board members the same thing. Don’t gossip. Don’t PRETEND to have all the answers Address board members by their title and last name— it’s a sign of reverence and respect. To get respect you need to give respect. Don’t give lengthy technical or detailed responses to a question—be concise and informative Encourage diversity and youth on your board as appropriate Don’t be defensive—accept constructive criticism Don’t only talk to your members about activities—reinforce the mission, purpose and strategic objectives the organization is pursuing
  51. 51. Tips for Running Board Meetings  Understand the most convenient date and time for your members to meet  Meet with your chairman in advance to set the agenda and discuss agenda items  Develop an agenda and stick to it.  Respect members time—keep meeting on schedule  Provide ample notice for the meeting date, time and location  Send board packets out a week in advance of the meeting—agenda, minutes, financials, policies, action items, and reports.  Have at a minimum coffee, water, and a light refreshment  Arrange the room so members are facing one another to promote good dialog  Make sure if necessary you have a PA system  Use A/V as needed—don’t overdo the PowerPoint presentations  Control the room temperature—anticipate impact of a large crowd  Allow your chairman to run the meetings and let him defer to you for additional information  Provide the chairman with annotated agenda with key information—make the chairman look good (competent)  Know where you and the staff should sit during the meeting.  Don’t allow staff to blurt out during the meeting/discussion  Personally greet your board members when they arrive  If large board with unfamiliar members-prepare name tents or name badges  Introductions can be appropriate-manage the time element  If assigning seats for your board members—know any personality conflicts that may exist between board members
  52. 52. Tips for Running Board Meetings  Don’t overdress for board meetings  Be prepared to accommodate the press and the public  Be prepared to offer your recommendation—that is what they are paying your for.  Provide content of value to the members  Address board members by their title, not their first name  Correctly pronounce board members names  Turn off your cell phone during the meeting—You are not that important  Avoid passing out papers during the meeting-have it at their table or send in the packet.  Use color paper to manage handouts  Avoid the use of acronyms with the board  Know your by-laws and Roberts Rules of Order  Use committees as appropriate and beneficial  Always be prepared for the meeting—anticipate questions, prepare for the unexpected. > Source: Various RPC Directors
  53. 53. Financial Managment
  54. 54. Leadership Challenge #8 The organization has been barely able to break even in recent years and has very little reserves in the bank and is deeply concerned about inflation and its impact on the financial performance of the organization. How would you approach this issue and what strategic actions would you explore to shore up the organization’s financial condition? Financial Management
  55. 55. Revenue Strategies Sell More Existing Services to Existing Clients Sell Existing Services to New Clients Sell New Products to Existing Clients Sell New Products to New Clients Increase Value of Services
  56. 56. Keys to Financial Management  Have a financial management procedures manual—serves as an agreement, a list of responsibilities between you and the staff assigned to handle the finances of the organization  Hire trustworthy, competent, experienced staff  Oversee the financial staff directly—they report to you!  Maintain fidelity insurance on all staff and board members that are involved with the financial process  Separate duties as much as possible  Educate yourself if are not 110% confident in your financial aptitude  Have an audit done every year by an independent accounting firm  Meet with the auditor to get his opinion on the financial practices of the organization  Sit in on the exit conference with the auditor and your staff  Don’t just think of financial management as statements of historical activity-you need to project the financial condition of the organization-to lead the organization
  57. 57. Financial Management What the Director Needs to Know & Understand Cash inflows and outflows are different from revenues and expenses. Budgets are blueprints for the future…plans. Financial statements are historical; they report what happened in the past. Financial projections are critical to addressing current and future needs What the Board Needs to Know & Understand What resources the organization has. Sources of fund to acquire resources and provide services (Assets) How the organization has performed financially
  58. 58. Financial Statements Balance Sheet Financial status report. Shows financial position at a position in time. Usually prepared last date of accounting period. Income Statement Financial performance report. Covers the duration of the reporting period. Cash Flows Explains the reason for change in CASH during the accounting period. What were the sources of cash inflows? What were the uses of cash outflows? Can help you anticipate a need for cash
  59. 59. Financial Practices  Adopt an annual operating budget  Present the budget to the Board of Directors for adoption  Prioritize accumulating sufficient financial reserves  Prioritize eliminating any indebtedness (exception=building)  Know how your organization’s operating budget is trending  Develop a financial procedures manual  Contract for an annual independent financial audit  Maintain bonding/fidelity insurance on key employees  Develop an indirect cost plan or rate  Provide monthly financial statements to the Board of Directors  Require multiple signatures on all checks
  60. 60. Financial Reporting—Communicating with the Board of Directors  Be transparent at all times.  Be direct at all times.  Be truthful, don’t use numbers to paint the wrong picture.  Don’t use jargon or technical language the board may not understand  Use dashboards, graphs and summary reports to present the data in meaningful way  Be consistent with financial reporting, use the same(effective) format each meeting to create familiarity  Tie the budget and financial activity to how that helps achieve the organization’s purpose and focus  Remembers a financial statement is only a snapshot of a specified period of time. It may be necessary to provide trend data for you and the board to understand long term implications.  Distribute financial reports in advance of the meeting to allow members to review, understand and ask questions  Offer training to your board members to enhance their understanding of the organization’s financial structure and performance
  61. 61. FINAL WORDS
  62. 62. Intentional Improvement In the next 30 days I will: to improve my ability as a leader to improve how my organization performs to encourage and enable staff/team members In the next 90 days I will: to improve my ability as a leader to improve how my organization performs to encourage and enable staff/team members In the coming year I will: to improve my ability as a leader to improve how my organization performs to encourage and enable staff/team members
  63. 63. What I Wish I Knew When I Started 1. Burnout is real 2. Arrogance achieves little, humility achieves much 3. It’s never wrong to do the right thing 4. Be open and transparent in all that you do. 5. Communication is critical 6. Don’t pursue self interests 7. Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself 8. Learn as much as you can from others 9. It’s OK to be lucky. Luck = Opportunity x Preparedness Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood -President William Taft
  64. 64. MarksNelsonCPA.com Contact Us 816.743.7700 setcher@marksnelsoncpa.com 1310 E 104th St. Suite 300 Kansas City, MO 64131
  65. 65. Extra
  66. 66. MARKSNELSON, LLC Approach to Grant Funding Receive Grant Award Assessment Prioritization Strategic Action Plan Financing Strategy Inventory Funding Opportunities Align Program Objectives

Editor's Notes

  • The only constant in this business is change.
    Some changes you can anticipate and prepare for and others you can not
    So how do you anticipate and prepare for the unexpected changes
    A few suggestions for preparing for the expected and unexpected
  • To help you evaluate your relevance here are a few questions for your to ponder:
    Are our respected?
    Do your peers, staff, board and customers respect your thoughts, ideas and opinions
    Are you invited to be part of the problem solving team?
    If not—I would question if you and your organization are relevant
    If not—you need to change the respect level—this can only be done through hard work, delivering results, exceeding expectations, and adding value
    Are you reputable?
    What do people say about your and your organization—what is your reputation in the region, the state, the nation?
    Are you a change agent
    Do you deliver what you promise
    Do you add value
    Are you trusted, honest, transparent
    Or are you viewed as:
    Complacent
    Bureaucratic
    Unnecessary
    If your reputation is not solid—you will struggle to maintain relevance
    Changing your reputation and perception takes time, hard work, and results
    Are you resilient?
    Are you steadfast—in it for the long haul (you may say you are—but what is the perception)
    Do you convey a sense of commitment to the region, the organization, the customers
    Indications you may not be resilient (reliable in the long term)
    high turnover rate in the staff—particularly your highly valued, competent, professional staff. The marketplace observes turnover and questions why it is happening
    not seeing ideas through. Getting things started but never actually finishing. Don’t be that contractor that is always just 95% done.
    only doing things that produce revenue versus build value. If you are only chasing dollars the perspective is that when the dollars are gone so will you.
    What has been the history of the organization and is the past tainting your present and your future.
    If so, maybe you need to rebrand your organization,
    Invest in a public information campaign
    Polish your image.
    Every day you should ask yourself… how is our organization adding value to our local governments, communities, funders, partners, and federal and state local officials?
  • Years ago I put together a list of the top traits of an effective Executive Director. I would like to share them with you today, and I would challenge you to reflect on these traits to see if you really have what it takes to lead a regional organization.
    And if not, if you identify shortcomings, I would encourage you to identify ways to address these shortcoming and develop the skill necessary to become an effective and impactful director.
    You need to be a High octane, high energy, self starter—it takes a lot of energy to successfully lead a regional organization
    You need to be a Great communicator—one on one and in group settings
    You need to be Creative entrepreneur—thinks outside the box, YET is a calculated risk taker. Entrepreneurial spirit to benefit region and constituents—not self.
    Visionary You need the ability to see and understand micro and macro perspective of issues—and what is possible and then manage and direct resources accordingly.
    You need to be a Consensus builder and motivator—It is one thing to get people to agree, it is another to get them to act in concert.
    You need to be Open minded—considers and values others opinions, willing to accept constructive criticism, willing to transfer ownership, credit, praise to collective effort versus self.
    You need to be Results oriented—delivers, does what says will be done, follows through on large and small issues, and sees things through to completion.
    Decision Maker
    Knowledgeable-need to have a basic understanding of complex issues facing communities—infrastructure, housing, economy, etc.
    Politically savvy—need to understand how government works and how to engage without being political.. Apolitical organizations
    And you must have wrap all these qualifiers with Personal integrity and trustworthiness
    So how do you measure up?
    I would encourage you to look at those qualifications that you may be lacking and work fervently to improve your leadership skills.
    The good news is that Leadership skills can be developed and improved. And I would encourage you as the director of EDD’s to constantly work on improving your leadership skills. Skills that will help your organization succeed now and in the future

    Two most important keys to effective leadership
    You must be trustworthy
    You must be able to communicate a vision of where the organization needs to go.

  • Before we leave the topic of relevance I would like to leave you with a few keys that will hopefully enable you to create a relevant organization

    Cultivate and engage leadership—you can’t achieve what you need as a one man band

    Take care of the basics first, then grow your organization

    Pay attention to details-errors and slip ups will erode customer confidence don’t ignore the details and only focus on the big picture.

    Know your customers and their needs
    Explore services that make sense for your region
    Develop products to meet the market

    Anticipate trends and plan accordingly

    Advocate for your organization
    Education and promotion (different than lobbying)—take your simple message and share it with everyone
    Be the champion for your organization—your confidence and enthusiasm will be contagious.

    Mobilize your marketing team—this team is your board of directors, the members you serve with excellent services, the businesses and communities that benefit from tackling the difficult challenges. Encourage them to share your success. Word of mouth advertising is still the cheapest and best form of advertising possible

    Evaluate, benchmark and report performance—if you want people to view you as a change agent, as a winner, as a player, then you need to not only tell them, you need to show them. When you accomplish something, quantify the impact and report it.
    Remember people love a winner, but don’t want to associate with a loser. Make sure you show that your organization is a winner.
  • 7 observations of highly effective organizations (not to be confused with Stephen Covey’s 7 habits).

    Attitude
    Poise
    Focus
    Leadership
    Habits
    Efficiency
    Effectiveness

    Lets look at each one of these observations
  • So as we look at how to help you lead your organization for the future I would like to share a few more keys to leadership that I believe will help you hit your mark:
    Allow innovation to fuel the organization. Innovation is the counterbalance to the mundane and bureaucracy that can engulf you and your organization
    think outside the box and offer fresh perspectives to chronic challenges
    Delegate to trusted and qualified staff—you can’t and shouldn’t do it all yourself. Leading can mean delegating and holding others accountable for action
    Avoid getting drug into the mire of projects and politics--lead projects and stay neutral
    Surround yourself with people that are smarter than yourself—for me that is not too difficult, and complement your leadership style and offset your limitations
    Find a mentor –someone that understands what you do, what you are dealing with, and can provide you with wise counsel. Someone you respect
    Lead with humility—recognize the difference between humility and meekness
    Meekness is being submissive
    Humility is taking a modest view of ones own importance—(even though you may have every right and qualification to be arrogant)
    Remember: Nobody likes a headline grabber--People love being part of an effort that is more about WE than ME
    Running and growing an agency requires high levels of energy and ambition—find it, understand your need to re-energize
    Don’t forget to plan for your own organization--set goals
    Don’t forget to set goals for yourself
    You are paid to make recommendations and to lead, do not avoid this responsibility by focusing only on the administrative elements of the position
  • Know yourself and seek self-improvement
    Be technically proficient
    Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions
    Make sound and timely decisions
    Set the example
    Know your people and look out for their well being
    Keep your workers informed
    Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers
    Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished
    Train as a team
    Use the full capabilities of your organization
  • KEYS TO SUCCESS

    Relationships--constantly building new and reaffirming existing

    Responsibility--do what you say, when you say, with a high quality product

    Respect--Network of EDDs don’t all have to agree all the time, but you must rise above indifferences to work together.

    Reputation--“Bad apples” may exist in your state—work to prevent that from spoiling the entire “bushel”. Aggressively work to manage public perception.

    Reality--Constant education with agency leadership and legislators. The reality is term limits impact us all, turnover in officials, and election changes make your environment very fluid therefore you must constantly educate agency leadership and legislators on who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

    RUN--GO to agencies and legislators—Don’t wait for them to come to you. Because the reality is they won’t

    Resource-Become an extension or delivery agent for State agencies—especially during an era of tight budgets and limited resources. Many of your states are facing financial challenges. State agencies are struggling with tight budgets and limited resources. Use this as an opportunity to become an extension or delivery agent for State agencies.
  • Staffing for a regional development organization is best described as “talent management”—You are not hiring “production workers that are told what to do and how to do it—you are hiring intellect. You are hiring more than workers, you are looking for staff that can join your team and add value to your efforts.

    Talent management is the practice of attracting, retaining, developing and promoting outstanding talent to serve the organization. The job of talent management doesn’t end when you make a hire—managing talent is an ongoing, constant responsibility of the leadership of EDDs

    Talent management should be formed from the organization's mission, values, and goals.—As you recruit and develop talent make sure the talent you are adding aligns with your organization’s mission and values. Remember you are hiring talent to help you achieve your purpose/mission in a way that creates an opportunity for future success. Don’t settle for mediocre talent.

    An effective talent management system helps employees feel as if they are part of something bigger than their current job. You all have heard the tagline for the military—its not just a job its an adventure. Well, working for an EDD should not be just a job—if your employees feel like that then they don’t have the passion to provide the positive results you need. To keep your talent’s passion alive make your staff feel like they are really part of something amazing, that they are really making a difference in the region, and that they really belong on your team.
    This will produce long term benefits for the future.

    What happens if we in invest in developing our people and they decide to leave? What happens if we don’t and they stay?
  • As you meet with new board members to orient them on the roles and responsibilities here are a few parameters that you need to make sure are clear. It will save you endless stress later on.
    Again, remember this is best if it can be presented by the Chairman or other board members
    Board of Directors should focus on:
    Setting policy, develop priorities
    Providing general guidance and counsel to the director.
    Ensure financial integrity of the organization—which means they need to educate themselves, understand finances, ask questions, complete due diligence
    Nurture a vision for the organization—especially when orienting new board members and when times get tough
    They are also charged with overseeing the Executive Director which means conducting an evaluation of the director’s performance
    Participate in the leadership of the organization responsibly, ethically, and knowledgeably. (This doesn’t mean opening up the advance board packet and materials at the meeting)
    Executive Director
    Functions as the CEO
    Recommends and carries out board policies.
    Manages day-to-day operations
    Maintains organizational relationships
    Oversees the staff
    Communicates with the board
    Reports performance and impact

    Out of Bounds
    Board Members should not involve themselves in operational matters or personnel issues
    Directors should not engage in politics

    Regional councils are political entities that must function politically to be highly effective, yet they must also act in a non-partisan manner

  • SHALL
    Learn all you can about your members—spouse’s name, children, occupation, etc.
    Remember important events such as election cycles and years in office.
    Communicate with your members between meetings using email, handwritten letters, phone calls, or visits. 
    Invest time in your members because you are asking them to invest time in you and your organization.
    Be consistent in all your communication—tell all board members the same thing.  Don’t gossip.
    Address board members by their title and last name—it’s a sign of reverence and respect.  To get respect you need to give respect.
    Encourage diversity and youth on your board as appropriate
    SHALL NOT
    Avoid personal relationships with members.
    Do not address board members only by their first name in a meeting.
    Do not ignore phone calls or emails from board members.
    Do not get involved with politics and elections.
    Don’t PRETEND to have all the answers
    Don’t give lengthy technical or detailed responses to a question—be concise and informative
    Don’t be defensive—accept constructive criticism
    Don’t only talk to your members about activities—reinforce the mission, purpose and strategic objectives the organization is pursuing
  • Tips for running a board meeting:
    Understand the most convenient date and time for your members to meet—make it convenient for your members-not just what works best for you or what has always been done
    Meet with your chairman in advance to set the agenda and discuss agenda items
    Develop an agenda and stick to it.
    Respect members time—keep meeting on schedule
    Provide ample notice for the meeting date, time and location
    Send board packets out a week in advance of the meeting—agenda, minutes, financials, policies, action items, and reports.
    Have at a minimum coffee, water, and a light refreshment
    Arrange the room so members are facing one another to promote good dialog
    Make sure if necessary you have a PA system
  • Tips for running a board meeting:
    Don’t overdress for board meetings
    Be prepared to accommodate the press and the public
    Be prepared to offer your recommendation—that is what they are paying your for.
    Provide content of value to the members
    Address board members by their title, not their first name
    Correctly pronounce board members names
    Turn off your cell phone during the meeting—You are not that important
    Avoid passing out papers during the meeting-have it at their table or send in the packet.
    Use color paper to manage handouts
    Avoid the use of acronyms with the board
    Know your by-laws and Roberts Rules of order
    Use committees as appropriate and beneficial
    Always be prepared for the meeting—anticipate questions, prepare for the unexpected.
  • Creating revenue to support your regional organization is an element that likely consumes an inordinate amount of your time and attention.

    Often times I see regional organizations approaching their organizational revenue from an “entitlement” perspective. Relying on historic revenue sources (which unfortunately are diminishing or at best not keeping pace with costs)

    Such as being reliant on:
    Same level of membership dues or taxes from the communities in the region
    Funding from the state legislature
    Funding from EDA for Development Districts
    Funding from State planning and development agencies

    I would encourage you to rethink your revenue strategy. I would invite you to think a bit more entrepreneurial about your services and revenue.

    Four strategies for increasing revenues:
    Sell more existing services/products to your existing clients
    Sell your existing services/products to new clients
    Sell new products/services to your existing clients
    Sell new products/services to new clients

    I see 3 broad areas of revenue enhancement strategies for regional development organizations to consider (Amplify—Diversify—Unify) (PP)
  • KEYS TO FINANICAL MANAGEMENT
    Have a financial management procedures manual—serves as an agreement, a list of responsibilities between you and the staff assigned to handle the finances of the organization
    Hire trustworthy, competent, experienced staff
    Oversee the financial staff directly—they report to you!
    Maintain fidelity insurance on all staff and board members that are involved with the financial process
    Separate duties as much as possible
    Educate yourself if are not 110% confident in your financial aptitude
    Have an audit done every year by an independent accounting firm
    Meet with the auditor to get his opinion on the financial practices of the organization
    Sit in on the exit conference with the auditor and your staff
    Don’t just think of financial management as statements of historical activity-you need to project the financial history of the organization-to lead the organization
  • For those new to financial management or need a refresher on the basics of financial management for your organization allow me to point out a few things that can help with your organizational management.
    To begin, lets begin by separating the issues. There are things that you need to know and understand as the director and there are things that your board members need to know and understand.
    Lets start with what you need to grasp—first,
    cash inflows and outflows are different than revenues and expenses. For instance providing a “financial report” that shows what cash you received during the month is not an accurate representation of your financial position or activity. A statement of cash flow is used differently than an income statement or operating statement. You need to know and understand both and use them for them for their intended purposes
    A budget is a planning tool It is a blueprint a plan for your future. The budget will change as your plans change and it is okay to make adjustments to your budget.
    A free piece of advice---no charge—when developing your budget conservatively estimate your revenue and aggressively estimate your expenses. This will help you have end the year in the black versus the red.
    Financial statements are historical. They only report what happened in the past. They can show trends for the future and can help project your financial future, but don’t just study history—look ahead and see where you are going and target where you want to be.
    What your board needs to know:
    They need to understand the organizations financial condition, financial position and financial performance.
    The board also needs to understand the source of the organization’s funds so they know what they can be used for. There are some unique and seemingly complicated restriction on how you can use your funds and your board needs to know that—and it is your job to communicate this.
    There are unrestricted funds that can be used for any purpose.
    There are temporarily restricted funds, which are common with grants—where they have to be used for the grant purpose for the grant period.
    And there are permanently restricted funds that can ONLY and FOREVER be used for their original purpose—such as the RLF.
  • Lets look at a few key financial statements.
    Remember as the director you need to Know and understand your financial position and condition and you need to be able to communicate this fluently and effectively with your board members
    A balance sheet is a financial STATUS report that show the organizations financial positon at a set point in time. This report is usually generated on the last day of an accounting period.
    An operating or income statement is a financial PERFORMANCE report it shows the organizations financial performance for the reporting period.
    A statement of cash flows explains the reason there was a change in the cash position during the reporting period. It shows the sources of cash inflows and it shows the uses of cash outflows. This report will enable you to anticipate your need for cash—this becomes very helpful as you approach PAYROLL day.
    When communicating financial information with your board of directors here are a few principals I recommend…
    Be transparent at all times,
    be direct at all times.
    Don’t use numbers to paint the wrong picture.
    Remember the adage “Liars figure and figures lie”—that is for economists not directors and accountants
  • ESSENTIAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
    Adopt an annual operating budget
    Present the budget to the Board of Directors for adoption
    Prioritize accumulating sufficient financial reserves
    Prioritize eliminating any indebtedness (exception=building)
    Know how your organization’s operating budget is trending
    Develop a financial procedures manual
    Contract for an annual independent financial audit
    Maintain bonding/fidelity insurance on key employees
    Develop an indirect cost plan or rate
    Provide monthly financial statements to the Board of Directors
    Require multiple signatures on all checks

  • Be transparent at all times.
    Be direct at all times.
    Be truthful, don’t use numbers to paint the wrong picture.
    Don’t use jargon or technical language the board may not understand
    Use dashboards, graphs and summary reports to present the data in meaningful way
    Be consistent with financial reporting, use the same(effective) format each meeting to create familiarity
    Tie the budget and financial activity to how that helps achieve the organization’s purpose and focus
    Remembers a financial statement is only a snapshot of a specified period of time. It may be necessary to provide trend data for you and the board to understand long term implications.
    Distribute financial reports in advance of the meeting to allow members to review, understand and ask questions
    Offer training to your board members to enhance their understanding of the organization’s financial structure and performance

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