Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Inspiration from anywhere

A different type of inspiration came my way today.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a VantagePoint workshop about ‘Board Basics’. Vantage Point is a Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization whose strapline is “the talent will take you there”. Using leadership coaching, development, workshops and governance labs, Vantage Point supports not-for-profit leaders to deliver their strategy by rethinking the way they engage ‘talent’ i.e. their people. All their people. Those who are paid, and those that are paid in other ways.

In fact, I am a perfect example of how they’re using ‘talent’ to deliver on their own objectives. I am currently volunteering with them, and not just offering manual labor (as most voluntary roles tend to ask), in fact I’m offering consultancy skills and experience from my years in the corporate sector.

Vantage Point’s Talent Team of skilled volunteers are known as ‘Knowledge Philanthropists’. And that’s where it’s really different. I’ve never seen such a strong example of using willing and talented people from the local community to deliver your goals. How can more not-for-profits follow their lead?

But it’s not just Vantage Point’s vision, mission and approach that inspired me. Today was inspiring for a few others reasons too:
  1. I met fellow Knowledge Philanthropists with fascinating backgrounds, exciting futures and common interests.
  2. I discovered a lot about the way that Boards function in not-for-profit organizations and how they can be more effective.
  3. I stopped. I listened. And I learnt completely new things, completely out of my comfort zone or sphere of current knowledge.

When was the last time you attended a workshop purely for inspiration and a fresh perspective rather than to develop a skill you use every day? When was the last time you created a personal development plan, not for where you’re going in your current company or role, but for your 5, 10, even 20 year plan? Do you see development as ‘getting better at your day job’ or as ‘increasing your fulfillment in life’?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. A new book. A new song. A place you visit. A person you meet. A traditional workshop learning format, or an informal conversation with a peer from a different industry.

Look for it.

Encourage it.

Ask for it.

Never miss out on a fresh perspective that could change your life and never judge a learning experience because you don’t think it fits with who you are now.

Open your mind to who you could be. Because you just might surprise yourself with what you find. 

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1 comment:

  1. So glad you enjoyed the experience Hannah. It's always neat to hear our knowledge philanthropists share what they've learn and the fresh perspective their volunteer experience has provided. AND we know we're going to learn a lot from you too. That's why we're excited to have you on our team!