Cape Town, SA: 72 hours…

Check out my latest piece in Carolina Style Magazine discussing the great time I had in Cape Town, SA.

http://carolinastylemag.com/cape-town/

Cheers.

Keith Cradle, Ph.D. [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

 

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Let Me Upgrade You…Tequila Edition

There is a right way and a wrong way to experience tequila. Let me show you the right way!

Click the link and read my latest @ Virile World.

http://www.virileworld.com/index.php/let-me-upgrade-you-the-tequila-te-kila-edition

Cheer.

Keith Cradle, Ph.D. (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)

Art Engagement…

Happy Thursday All!

One of the things I am really passionate about is art engagement and arts education. Having lived in NY and Charlotte, NC, I have seen what cultural arts brings to a city and how it enhances a community. I am blessed to be able to sit on the Boards of several arts/cultural institutions here in Charlotte.

During my tenure, I feel it is incumbent of me to provide education and opportunities for all to experience the art in our community. So I was humbled and honored when the Bechtler asked me to feature in their latest installments of membership drive videos. Take a look and listen to how I briefly discuss art places and art spaces as community zones and providing culture for all.

Cheers!

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

Life Happens…

Good Morning All,

Happy Wednesday to you and I pray your week has been off to a remarkable start. Starting is just as important as finishing. So having a strong start can help prepare you for the things that will come. As the title of this post and the old saying goes…LIFE HAPPENS.

LIFE HAPPENS in the midst of everything we set out to do. From the plans we make to the strategic decisions we design, nothing skews or throws us a curve like life. When crafting your external plans or branding schemes for your nonprofit or small business, you can never be fully prepared for the “LIFE HAPPENS” moment. It just happens and you need to be flexible and willing to adjust.

I converse with plenty of people who want to begin or are in the first few stages of development for their nonprofit and the full display of optimism is front and center. They discuss all the things they wish to do along with how the business will look in 5 years. Hell, they even have a mock-up of the office space once they reach a certain amount of money and decide to purchase an office. All well and good because the dream and confidence in the future is important.  However, no one ever discusses the contingency plans for when “LIFE HAPPENS.”

Trust and believe, LIFE WILL HAPPEN, and you as the owner need to be prepared. Potential donors rescind funds, employees quit or have children, there is a fire in the office, data records get washed away, computers crash, business credit/debit cards get lost or stolen. I could go on for months with the never-ending LIFE HAPPENS scenarios. So while that sounds awful, just know there is a silver lining to those dark and gloomy clouds. And here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Have back up plans for the back up plans: Nothing like having a Plan A, B, C, D; so that when LIFE HAPPENS, you will have a guideline on how to proceed.
  2. Be very flexible: Bending never made anyone break. So don’t be so rigid to the current business plan and be ok with change.
  3. Seek guidance: LIFE HAS HAPPENED to a lot of business owners. So talk with those that have experience and learn how they got through it.

Again, things are going to go wrong. Do not fret or sweat the small stuff. Just know that you can push through and your nonprofit/small business will be fine. If you need help getting through crisis moments and needing organizational plans, please contact us @ JSW Media Group so we can be there when LIFE HAPPENS.

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

Organizational Culture…

Good Morning All and I hope/pray you are having an awesome Wednesday! We are in the third week of October, with Halloween right around the corner. Which will essentially means we have 2 more months left in 2015.  As we prepare to close out the year, the most recent blog posts have been about getting ready for 2016. So today, I want to continue that trend and make sure we are preparing correctly plus finding out if there is some retooling that needs to be done before January 1st, 2016.

Today, I want to touch on “Organizational Culture.” This concept is so important because it helps define what type of nonprofit you are or want to be. It also helps staff, volunteers, potential donors connect to the mission/vision of the organization.  Culture in society plays a huge role in crafting and keeping traditions.  And traditions are key for consistency, value creation and continued development.

Take a look at your agency or current employment assignment and try to determine what the “Organizational Culture” is. Is it one of empowerment? A culture that breeds gossip and deception? Or does it pass on positive traditions that invest people into the long-term goals?  The “Organizational Culture” that is created can speak volumes and determine possible successes and failures.

But alas, the “Organizational Culture” comes from those that are in charge. So if you are the Executive Director, Boss or Director, just know that it is a top down approach. If your staff is negative and back-biting, chances are they got that from you! And just the opposite. A leader that fosters positivity, openness and growth usually gets that back from those they employ or supervise.  So you have to ask yourself, who I am or who do I want to be as a leader?

“Organizational Culture” is one of the tabs that is hard to quantify but can easily be qualified. Word of mouth is powerful and you should pay attention to the things people say about your nonprofit/small business.  If you need help defining or understanding your organizations culture, please contact us at JSW Media Group so we can get you started on the right path!

http://www.jswmediagroup.com/

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day.

Cheers.

Keith Cradle (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)

A Change Gonna Come…

Hola! Happy Friday and with Hurricane Joaquin bearing down on the East Coast, I pray you are safe, warm and dry. The month of October is upon us, which means fall weather, sweaters/jackets and the sun going down a lot quicker. In other words, a change is coming!

“These the rainy days they say you should be saving for, but when sun shines no one carries umbrellas…” Fabolous

Change is the only thing that is constant. Seasons change. People change. And your business changes. But are you ready for the inevitable change that is going to come? As an owner, director, manager/supervisor or frontline employee, you must be prepared for change and adaptation.  Business models and strategic plans should include provisions for the predictable and the unpredictable.

The great thing about nature is the way it prepares and showcases change. Leaves on trees change colors and then shed. Animals begin to store up food for the long winter.  Seeds become dormant but prepare for spring and a new blossoming. But do you prepare your small business or nonprofit for the change that is coming?

If not, here are three things you can do to prepare:

  1. Take a look at the budget and see where you can trim: Find ways to store up resources and scale back during lulls in business
  2.  Decide if seasonal staff/volunteers are right for you: Nothing like having help at low costs during the winter months, especially students needing internship or volunteer hours
  3. Take a look at your online presence and does it need a refresh: Just like the leaves changing colors, maybe your logo needs a touch of color

While there are plenty of other things you can do, these are just a few to get your mind working and thinking about how to approach the impending changes. Because the changes are going to come. But will you be ready? If you are not ready and need help, please make sure to contact us at JSW Media Group and we can service all of your small/nonprofit business needs.

http://www.jswmediagroup.com/

Have an awesome weekend!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)