Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fostering innovation

I subscribe to this online newsletter and really enjoy reading it....this was yesterdays info:

This was taken from Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog

A big topic at the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored Conference in New York this week was how to foster innovation at your workplace.  Thought leaders from JetBlueHuluPepsi, OWN/Oprah Winfrey Network, DonorsChoose and even Jared Leto weighed in on the topic.  Here were some of the more helpful themes: 

5 tips on fostering innovation at your organization

A big topic at the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored Conference in New York this week was how to foster innovation at your workplace.  Thought leaders from JetBlueHuluPepsi, OWN/Oprah Winfrey Network,DonorsChoose and even Jared Leto weighed in on the topic.  Here were some of the more helpful themes:
1. Take the time to define for everyone in your office the kind of organization you want to be, or else it will just happen to you by default.  For example, Hulu defines itself as a customer company, not a media company, which affects how to approaches just about everything.  Their aim is to create a service that “users, advertisers and content owners love.”  They designed Hulu to work for all of those audiences - rather than to just disseminate videos.
2. Have a few simple shared values that serve as everyone’s North Star.  For example, JetBlue stands for safety first, as well as caring, passion, integrity and fun.  This permeates the culture (though as JetBlue said themselves, one flight attendant managed to violate all of them.)  When you have these, you can empower people throughout the organization to make decisions as long as they follow the values.
3. While everyone needs formal processes in the workplace, needless bureaucracy squelches creativity and discourages innovation.  At Hulu, staff raise their hand if they see signs of bad bureaucracy.
4. Stories are a great way to do just about everything: inspire, communicate and bring people together.  “The center of our culture is narrative,” as FX executive John Landgraf put it.

And my favorite....

5. Be a dreamer.  Build a company on what you hope to happen, not what you fear will happen.  It works better.

For more on nonprofit innovation, check out this month’s blog carnival at RAD.

Monday, April 25, 2011

co·op·er·a·tion noun \(ˌ)kō-ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən\

Recently, I placed a call to a fabulous non profit organization.  I knew it would be hard for Embraced to work with this organization because they do not provide medical missions...however, I figured I would just give a call to introduce Embraced.

I spoke with a passionate director, who too, concluded that there was not a "working" match for us to work together, but then, she told me that she would love to put me in touch directly with other organizations.  And this is what made me so happy.  

She understood that as a result of her putting Embraced in touch with other potential collaborating organizations, she in turn would help to accomplish the mission of Embraced- to provide orthopedic and prosthetic equipment to individuals in need-both locally and globally.  

Without any benefit to her, she went above and beyond.  But, then I realized something grave.  The definition of cooperating is:

cooperatingpresent participle of co·op·er·ate (Verb)

1. Act jointly; work toward the same end.

Her "end" was ultimately helping individuals in need- not exclusively through her organization, but more so, through her actions.

What is your "end" mission and are you cooperating?  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leila was Embraced

Meet Leila.  This beautiful girl is smiling because in a few days she will have surgery that will allow her to walk.

Leila is 11 years old and while her recovery from surgery will be long, it will be a bit easier thanks to the equipment- wheelchair and walker provided by Embraced.

Embraced just dropped off a wheelchair and walker that will make it's journey to Greenville, SC today to where Leila is anxiously awaiting her surgery.

Embraced had the pleasure of working together with the fabulous organization know as Childspring International to help an individual in need- to help Leila.

For the next few months this wheelchair and walker will provide mobility to Leila and will help her to heal properly.

Your monetary donation will allow Embraced to help more children like Leila.  Please click HERE to make a donation.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I met with the case management team at major hospital today.  The goal of a case manager is to pretty much do two things:
1. make sure the patient receives appropriate care
2. reduce hospital expenditures

In general, they work with patients who can't pay their bill.  This, as you can imagine puts the case manager in very difficult situations- juggling two goals (delivering healthcare while reducing costs) as polar opposite as yin and yang.   

Case managers have access to funds that are derived from tax dollars.  So, case managers often use these funds to buy durable medical equipment, all the while,  there are tons of wheelchairs, walkers and other durable medical equipment that are sitting under a bed- perfectly usable...but stranded.

Embraced works with case managers to empower them with a solution by providing them with durable medical equipment (crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, etc) in an effort to: 
a. not use as much tax dollars 
b. to utilize funds better- ie on disposables, like antibiotics or medications.

I always wondered what happens when a case manager runs out of their fund for uninsured patients...where  or what do they do?  After talking with a case manager today, I learned a startling fact.  For purposes, I will use an example.  Tommy, an uninsured, breaks his leg.  He needs a wheelchair and crutches.  Hospital funds have been depleted for the year.  Tommy sits in a hospital until he can get the medical equipment he needs, thus increasing the LOS (length of stay).  Each day he sits there, he costs the hospital money.

Could this be a reason why healthcare cost so much?

Embraced partners with hospitals to make sure that uninsured/non-paying patients like Tommy are given the medical equipment to get up and out of (reducing the time in the hospital to return to society to be productive, all the while reducing healthcare costs.

If you like this, I encourage you to join in the Embraced movement by:
1. Follow us...on facebook, twitter and blog so you keep up with us
2. Volunteer with us!  Whether it is Saturday Sort day or Battle of the Burgers,we have a wide variety of great volunteer experiences
3. Donate money.   We need donations to support our work.