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Reflections and Takeaways from the 2024 Outcomes Conference

Last month, I was privileged to share time with religious leaders and accounting professionals from over one hundred organizations at the 2024 Outcomes Conference organized by the Christian Leadership Alliance. Staying informed, learning new skills, collaborating with peers, and sharing experiences is both exhilarating and exhausting. As a lifelong learner, I’m continually looking to develop new knowledge, experiences, or skills. However, as an introvert I’m tired after a day full of people interactions.

 

Albert Einstein said, “Learning is an experience and everything else is just information”.

 

This is why I intentionally invest time in varying modes of learning. With the increase in remote or hybrid work, informal collaborations and connections are less frequent. I’ve seen the impact in nonprofits and religious organizations I work with. Operating on tight budgets, the organizations often have less opportunities to interact with peers and share ideas, resulting in lower mission impact.

This is why encouraging curiosity and collaboration are essential. Adopting a growth mindset spurs us to ask more questions, see from multiple perspectives, venture into the unfamiliar, explore new behaviors, and expand our understanding. Collaborating with team members with different backgrounds and expertise facilitates deeper understanding of diverse perspectives. This can lead to leadership opportunities, developing new professional skills, and preparing us for new challenges.

 

Here are a few cost-effective suggestions to get you started:

  •  Develop a cross functional book group in your organization. Select books that will stimulate conversation and expand your perspective.
  •  Seek a mentor who can provide feedback and challenge you.
  • Join a community group or professional network.
  • Follow thought leaders who test your assumptions and thinking.
  • Identify podcasts that spark your creativity and passion.
  • Be curious and ask questions.
  • Attend nonprofit webinars not in your area of expertise. (Check out our upcoming offerings here)

 

The 2024 Outcomes Conference provided me a platform for reflection and growth. There were a diverse variety of topics covered, and every session I attended left me with a deeper appreciation for the opportunity to connect with and learn from the people around me, emphasizing the invaluable intersection of learning and collaboration. As we navigate the evolving landscape of remote work and limited interactions, organizations must prioritize this curiosity and collaboration among their teams. By embracing a growth mindset and actively seeking diverse perspectives, you will be able to enhance your nonprofit’s mission impact and better prepare for future challenges. Let us commit to cultivating a culture of continuous learning and collaboration, that will not only contribute to our growth as individuals but help advance our organizations’ missions. In turn, leading us toward greater effectiveness and resilience in serving our communities.

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