Susan's Musings

Just Thinking Out Loud

When Staff are Willing, but Unable!

I believe one of the greatest things about working with Charitable organisations is the opportunity to work with people who are typically very passionate about the vision and objectives of the organisation that they work with i.e the cause.

There is, however, a challenge that comes with this when you find yourself working with that person that is ever so passionate, but far from competent for the role that they are in.  It’s even worse when that person is a volunteer – giving up their time to help for free just because they care.

How do you deal with such a situation – most especially when all everyone else may see is the lovely person that is so hardworking and caring?

Whilst I believe that people working with an organisation should be allowed some flexibility in what they do and how they do it, I believe it is also essential to have at least basic competency and role frameworks which outlines the competencies, skills and expectations required of staff in alignment with the organisation’s overall objectives.

Whilst you may not want to hurt or loose the person that is passionate about the cause if the individual is ineffective, it ultimately does neither the individual concerned or the cause (that they believe in) any good.

Having clearly defined roles and competency frameworks better enable staff to be clearer on what is expected of them and to contribute accordingly to the organisation’s vision and objectives, which are increasingly becoming more business and impact focused due to funding requirements.  They also provide key tools to help to manage staff that are ineffective in their role – enabling management to create an understanding of what must change; to define the training and development requirements or to ultimately move the person on from the organisation or to a more suitable role.

 

Susan Popoola is the Managing Director of Conning Towers Ltd, an HR firm focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation for the Third Sector.  She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain.

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

The Squirrel

Recently, I was at the University of Northampton for a meeting.  Because it was such a nice lovely day the lady that I was meeting with suggested that we sit outside and talk.

As we sat talking she noticed a squirrel merrily skipping along oblivious to our presence and brought it to my attention. We stopped talking for some time to observe the squirrel.  We were somewhat horrified to notice it suddenly jump into the bin.  However, it shortly came out with an empty sandwich case.  It started pecking away at the case with the hope that it would find something to eat, but after a while it got tired and skipped away leaving the sandwich case on the ground.

“Don’t leave that that there” called out the lady I was talking to, but the squirrel just skipped away.

I smiled and wondered, how many people would think it was one of young students that we had seen on the campus for a summer course that had left the sandwich case on the ground.

Selah.

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

We are Punished for Our Virtues

 

I have a fascination for tattoos and what they mean to the bearers. I mean what leads people to get images or words engraved on their bodies when everyone says that the process is rather painful.

I did once think that if I was to get married, instead of a wedding ring, I would be nice to get a tattoo of a wedding ring. The only thing is I would have to find someone crazy enough to want to do the same thing.  Besides it’s a painful process and I don’t like pain.

However, I remain fascinated by tattoos and the more I observe the imagery, read the wording or ask people about the meaning of their tattoos and the reason for getting them the more intrigued I become.  Maybe one day I’ll right a book.

This thinking was reinforced early today when in a casual conversation I noticed the tattoo on a man’s arm – “We are punished for our virtues.” (Fully quote, : We are punished for our virtues: we are only ever truly forgiven for our errors ?#Nietzsche” – I looked it up) Asked why he got the tattoo he explained that he went through a very difficult period of live which included going through a divorce and therefore got the tattoo.

On a more positive note he explained that he was planning on getting a tattoo on his other arm that symbolized rebirth and new beginning with the hope and belief that his life had/would soon turn around.

#Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

 

Who Am I?

It may sound criminal, but I actually missed the Saturday night of the Olympics when Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all won Gold medals.  Although I watched all the events later, I was actually at a party that evening.  To be precise – I was at a Nigerian party.

I Specify that it was a Nigerian party as although I originate from Nigeria and I’ve actually lived there before I very rarely go to Nigerian parties.

I therefore found myself sitting and observing – fascinated.  It was a 70th birthday party and I was fascinated by all the people dressed in different styles of dress all in the same material – brought and sewn especially to support the celebrant.

I was fascinated by the rich variety of Nigerian food inclusive of a range of rice and yam dishes with different soups and sauces.  The variety of Nigerian snacks inclusive of meat pies which are actually very meaty in comparison to the British meat pies or Cornish pasty.

I was fascinated when a variety of gifts inclusive of bags, waste paper bins and saucepans were distributed to the guests.

In addition, in recent years Nigeria seems to have developed a new style of music which is characterised by African beats with singing in English often interjected with some singing in a Nigerian language.

So as I sat contemplating my environment with fascination a song started playing with a chorus “ Who am I, Who am I”.  Even more fascinated I found myself contemplating for the first time in a long while – really and truly, Who am I in the context of Nigeria?!

Selah ?

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

About The Author

Susan Popoola

Susan is a Human Resources Capital Optimisation Specialist specialising in areas inclusive of Talent Management with additional interest in a number of other areas inclusive of Education, Community and Social Justice.

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