We are working on a new strategic plan, our first in years (we've been working off of the original Benetech plan with minor updates for 8 years). We're doing the planning by starting with our team: we did an all-company survey and then yesterday we did a two hour meeting to go over the survey results and discuss them.
Our meeting facilitator, Bob Glavin (longtime advisor to Benetech, teaches at USF and helps many other nonprofits and foundations), told me and the senior managers to not talk and to simply listen. It was hard to keep my mouth buttoned up, but it was essential to hearing from the team instead of from the CEO! And we did.
We attract incredible people to Benetech, and it showed. We heard about how much our commitment to transparency was valued, among other aspects of our culture. There was much food for thought, as our management team develops our plan further for presentation and discussion with our board of directors. And, our team is quite interested in seeing what we do with their input (so am I)! I look forward to sharing the end product with the world.
Later in the afternoon, we held a volunteer appreciation event for inhouse volunteers. Most Benetech volunteers work remotely, but our volunteer coordinator, Pavi Mehta, has attracted a group of great people who come into Benetech to work on Bookshare Bookshare and other projects as well.
Each of our inhouse volunteers received two rubber duckies, one to sign (and add to our expanding collection in Bookshare) and one to take home. And then our volunteers turned it around and gave us each a scroll with inspirational quotes. Mine was
All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin -- Lord Byron
The day was a powerful reminder of the force for good that a group of socially motivated people can be: I was really proud to be associated with our paid and unpaid team members!