If you visit Los Angeles, you have a pretty good chance of running into some celebrities. I met a few, including an informal encounter and great conversation with actress Geena Davis, at the Council on Foundations Annual Conference earlier this month. Stars are all about philanthropy, so it was great to hear their perspective on how the philanthropic sector can connect and partner with celebrities to get our causes heard and make a greater impact together. This got me thinking—who are our southwest Minnesota celebrities that we should be connecting with to advance our region?
Another key takeaway from a CEO session I attended was the need for “think time.” This really excited me because Jim Hoolihan, former president/CEO of the Blandin Foundation, first shared this idea with me, and it was reinforced after bringing author Daniel Pink to the region in 2009. Southwest Initiative Foundation staff have taken what we call “Think Days” for a number of years, where we set aside our regular work to spend time thinking and doing something different that will help us do our job better.
Staff use these quarterly Think Days differently—some of us use part of the day to clean up our inboxes, sort files, read articles or books, write, do research. Some take quiet time to reflect on our work and others connect to do some high level brainstorming together. The only rule is that we have to respect each other’s time to use as they choose. The result is a staff that feels refreshed and ready to continue raising the bar on our work.
If you planned a Think Day for yourself, how would you spend it?