I had the opportunity on Friday and Saturday to speak at USD’s annual Nonprofit Governance Institute. This two-day conference – for those of you who might not live in San Diego – draws hundreds of board members and senior leadership staff members at nonprofits throughout Southern California together to talk about one thing: governance.
As always, the energy was high throughout the weekend and the conversations were stimulating. It’s such a joy to be around people who are trying to make the world a better place . . . and being smart about it!
I was privileged to speak at two different sessions.
The first was a panel on Nonprofits and Civil Society. I shared about a book I had recently read and reviewed for an academic publication. The book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, provides a wonderful roadmap to nonprofits looking to measure their impact on social media. I highly recommend it.
The second topic I addressed was — drumroll here — social media policies. The session focused on tips for how to create policies that are generative rather than overly rigid or controlling. It’s not easy to do, trust me. What I loved about this session was the second half: small group discussions.
Use or Lose
The attendees gathered together in small groups to discuss sample policies. Each group had a different policy which I had selected from a online database. They played a game I call “Use or Lose.” After each reading the policies separately, they had to decide what they could potentially “use” from that policy to write their own and what they would “lose.”
The key lessons from this exercise are:
1) Social media policies are NOT one-size-fits-all,
2) Virtually no company has a “perfect” policy,
2) We can learn from a wide variety of companies, including Nordstrom.
More than 50 people showed up to learn about social media policies and I’m thrilled. We’ve been talking about social media for a long time. Now it’s time to also talk about generative governance.