The Five Good Ideas podcast airs some of the best sessions of Maytree’s popular lunch-and-learn program.
For each session of Five Good Ideas, an expert from the non-profit or corporate sector shares five practical ideas on a key management issue facing non-profit organizations today.
You find sessions from the past season at https://maytree.com/five-good-ideas/.
Five Good ideas on creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace
In this session, originally recorded on June 1, 2022, we asked Katharine Coons, National Senior Manager, Workplace Mental Health at Canadian Mental Health Association, to share her five good ideas on how create a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.
Read the full transcript. Download the session handout.
Five Good Ideas
Normalize the conversation
Use appropriate language
Hold space to check in
Involve your employees in decision-making
Remain agile and flexible
Get comfortable with the accommodation process
Lean on the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
Tools not rules
Explore how it can work for your organization
Bring in an expert
Review policies and procedures
Psychological health and safety policy
Share, update, and reshare
Provide training, programs, and benefits
Evaluate EAP programs and benefits
Consider additional programs (e.g., Not Myself Today)
Reducing stigma and building empathy
Flexibility and accommodation: Ontario Human Rights Commission policy and procedure
National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
Example of a psychical and psychological health, safety, and wellness policy statement by the mental health commission of Canada
CMHA’s workplace mental health training and programs
About the presenter
Katharine Coons, M.Sc National Senior Manager, Workplace Mental Health at Canadian Mental Health Association
Katharine is the National Senior Manager, Workplace Mental Health at Canadian Mental Health Association. She has over ten years experience working in mental health and holds a M.Sc. in Occupational Psychology focusing her thesis on Workplace Well-being. She has worked in a variety of industries across Canada and the U.K. and brings a diverse understanding of employee and organizational needs. Katharine is an expert columnist at Benefits Canada, has written for The Toronto Star and has been interviewed by the CBC, CPA Canada and Retail Insider. Katharine was also an expert judge of the 2021 Workplace Benefits Awards. She currently serves as the in-house expert and trainer for Not Myself Today and the workplace mental health program at CMHA National.
Five Good ideas for building thriving partnerships within the charitable and non-profit sector
In this session, originally recorded on April 26, 2022, we asked Teresa Marques, president and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation, to share her five good ideas on how to navigate effective development within the non-profit and charitable sector.
Read the full transcript.
Download the session handout.
Five Good Ideas
Form should follow function. Figure out your internal and shared goals, the table stakes for each party, and your respective strengths and weaknesses, then design the partnership model that best suits your situation. Don’t make assumptions about your partner.
Be open to unconventional arrangements and “unusual bedfellow” partners. Seek out complementarity as opposed to similarity.
People matter. Yes, the partnership is between organizations, but people and relationships are the critical glue and enabler of success.
Details matter. Figure out the parameters for decision making, accountabilities, and timelines (including sunset) and write them all down. Plan for anticipated and unanticipated costs and think ahead about financial management.
Trust matters most. You will be able to move much more quickly, and go farther together, if there’s trust and open communication between partners. Invest early in a culture of trust.
(Book) Trust: Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country – by David Johnston (2018).
(Paper – Conference Board of Canada) “The Status of Collaboration and the Role of Innovation: Supporting Networks in Canadian Industry” – by Sorin Cohn and Bruce Good
(Book) Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust – by Adam Kahane (2017).
(Online series – Stanford Social Innovation Review) “Advancing the Art of Collaboration.”
(Podcast – HBR IdeaCast) “The Subtle Art of Saying No.”
About the presenter
Teresa Marques, President and CEO, Rideau Hall Foundation
Teresa Marques is an established senior executive and educator in the non-profit sector. She leads the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), an independent national charity with a vision for a better Canada. The RHF works to address key challenges facing the country in the areas of learning equity, creating a culture of innovation, leadership development, and by strengthening Canada’s culture of giving and volunteerism. Teresa has significant experience in people and talent management, stakeholder engagement, major-gift fundraising, and financial stewardship. Prior to joining the RHF, she led development teams focused on healthcare and post-secondary education. Teresa is also an instructor and course developer at Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School for Continuing Education and holds degrees in Canadian history from the University of Ottawa and York University. She is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Director Education Program. Teresa is interested in how giving patterns and attitudes towards philanthropy in Canada are changing and is passionate about strengthening the non-
Five Good Ideas about using human-centred design for social change
In this session, originally recorded on March 29, 2022, we asked Nandita Bijur and Galen MacLusky to share the mindsets and principles that have helped their organization, Prosper Canada, introduce and integrate human-centred design into their projects.
Download the session handout at https://maytree.com/wp-content/uploads/5GI-Mar2022.pdf.
Five Good Ideas
More poetry, less long-division
Use design tools as a scaffold, not a checklist
Start and end with people’s experience
Focus on the “why’s” when creating together, not the “what’s”
Use boundaries and constraints as creative springboards
Creative Reaction Lab’s Equity-Centred Community Design (ECCD) approach – An excellent guide to doing values-based and equity-driven design work. This includes a field guide on how to centre equity in the design work you’re doing.
IDEO.org + Acumen’s free Introduction to Human Centred Design course – A free, online, seven-week course that takes you through the basic tools and approach behind Human-Centred Design. It’s a great way to build your toolkit and understanding of what this practice can offer you in your work, from two amazing organizations.
Service Design Tools – A curated selection of service design (a practice within Human-Centred Design) tools that you can use as a scaffold for your own explorations into research, idea-generation, prototyping, and implementation activities.
Mental Wellness at Work in Toronto’s Downtown East – A helpful case study by the Health Commons Solution Lab that gives insight to how to frame challenges and design an approach that meets the needs of participants.
Conceptual Blockbusting, by James L. Adams – Complete with activities and stories, this book can help you understand the psychological barriers to creativity and how you can ‘unblock’ them. A great resource for anyone who wants to support their own and others’ creative ideas.
About the presenters
Nandita Bijur Nandita (she/her) is a senior officer at Prosper Canada, working with municipal and community partners to integrate financial empowerment into existing services. As a service designer who has worked with frontline organizations and governments, she is most energized by learning how to make complex systems accessible and understandable.
Galen MacLusky Galen is responsible for managing Prosper Canada’s Technology-Enabled Financial Empowerment projects, including the Benefits wayfinder. Galen is passionate about working with community organizations to help build and scale new ideas that deepen their impact. The foundations of his work are approaches that help organizations engage with those who are impacted by their services and test new programs and services with minimal investment. He has ten years of experience as a service designer in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, as well as a Master’s Degree in Engineering, Design, and Innovation from Northwestern University.
Five Good Ideas to get your communications fundamentals in order
In this session, originally recorded on February 24, 2022, we asked Marlene Oliveira, a communications advisor and copywriter, to share her five good ideas on how to best get an organization’s communications fundamentals in order and how to plan to strengthen them.
In her presentation, Marlene discussed the importance of specific frameworks, tools, and tactics, including a non-profit’s strategic plan, brand, website, and storytelling.
Read the full transcript at https://maytree.com/five-good-ideas/five-good-ideas-to-get-your-communications-fundamentals-in-order/.
Five Good Ideas
1. Use the strategies and frameworks that you already have
2. Always come back to your audiences
3. Let branding be your guide
4. Give your website content the attention it deserves
5. Deliver your nonprofit’s narrative over time
How to create communications objectives from nonprofit strategic goals by Nathalie Noël on the Nonprofit MarCommunity blog
Big Duck podcast episode on audience personas: How can you use donor personas to guide your communications?
Is your brand healthy? Four steps to give it a check-up by Farah Trompeter on the Big Duck blog
Content updates or rethink your nonprofit’s website content approach? by Marlene Oliveira on the moflow blog
The Benefits of Building a Narrative Organization by Thaler Pekar on the Stanford Social Innovation Review
About Marlene Oliveira
Marlene Oliveira is a communications advisor and copywriter specializing in content strategy and copywriting for non-profit organizations. She has worked in the non-profit sector since 1999, including a two-year crash course in a grassroots role, and six years as the national communications manager at a large Canadian health charity. Since 2008, Marlene has been running her consultancy, moflow, through which she solves content challenges for a wide variety of non-profit organizations through.
Marlene’s approach is to tap into the knowledge, experience, and expertise her clients already possess, to help their communications “flow.”
Marlene on social media:
Five Good Ideas to influence public policy
In this session, originally recorded on January 26, 2022, we asked Matthew Mendelsohn, a public policy entrepreneur, researcher, strategic advisor and public sector executive, to share his five good ideas on the best ways to influence the decisions governments make.
Matthew provides an overview of lessons he has learned during his time in government, advocacy, consulting and policy think tanks.
Read the full transcript at https://maytree.com/five-good-ideas/five-good-ideas-to-influence-public-policy/.
Five Good Ideas
1. Political science matters – interests, institutions, ideas, identity, and incentives all constrain outcomes
2. Understand the political process, the bureaucratic process, and the issue
3. Relationships and trust are capital
4. Stories matter to help frame problems and solutions
5. The announcement is the end of the beginning – details and implementation matter
David Evans and Markus Goldstein: 8 lessons on how to influence policy with evidence – from Oxfam’s experience.
Overseas Development Institute: 10 things to know about how to influence policy with research.
Antje Dun: How to frame issues for social change impact.
Pedro Barata: Five Good Ideas for getting your issues on the public policy dance floor
Sherri Torjman: Five Good Ideas about policy
About Matthew Mendelsohn
Matthew Mendelsohn is a public policy entrepreneur, researcher, strategic advisor, and public sector executive. He has been using public policy to deliver economic and social impact for 25 years. He is currently a Visiting Professor and co-founder of First Policy Response at Ryerson University in Toronto and a Senior Advisor to Boston Consulting Group’s Global Public Sector Practice.
From 2016-2020 he served as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet in the Privy Council Office, where he led the Prime Minister’s Results & Delivery Unit and the Impact & Innovation Unit. During his time in Ottawa, he also co-led the Government of Canada data strategy, oversaw advice on digital and platform governance, and designed Impact Canada, which developed Challenges and outcomes-based funding initiatives for the government.
Prior to his role in the Privy Council Office, Matthew was the founding Director of the Mowat Centre, a public policy think tank in the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto. During that time, he published and spoke about government transformation, democratic institutions, social and economic policy, and federalism.
Matthew is a former Deputy Minister and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet with the Ontario government and a former Senior Advisor in the federal government’s Privy Council Office where he led the polling unit. He was a chief architect of the 2015 Liberal election platform and a member of Prime Minister Trudeau’s transition team. Matthew received his B.A. from McGill University and Ph.D. from the l’Université de Montréal and held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University for 10 years and has been an active board member for many non-profit
Five Good Ideas for building community-labour relations
In this session, originally recorded on November 25, 2021, we asked Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN), to share five good ideas about the lessons she has learned as the leader of a community-labour coalition charged with implementing community benefits agreements.
Local communities want the workforce building public infrastructure to reflect the demographics of their neighbourhoods and for the accrued economic benefits to be shared more equitably. Construction unions also recognize community benefits as an opportunity to increase diversity and inclusion in their workforce. If the goals and values are shared, how can the promise of community benefits be fulfilled?
In this Five Good Ideas session, Rosemarie Powell shares the lessons she has learned as the leader of a community-labour coalition charged with implementing community benefits agreements. She has worked on some of the city’s largest public infrastructure projects, including the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Finch West LRT, Casino Woodbine, and the West Park Healthcare Centre.
Rosemarie tells the story of how TCBN created a foundation for success by building an allied coalition. She takes us through their journey of building trust, revealing some of the systems and processes they used to hold each side accountable while recognizing and celebrating progress along the way.
Five Good Ideas
1. Co-create the foundation for success
2. Cultivate a coalition of champions and allies
3. Build and preserve trust while working through challenges
4. Maintain a clear definition of success and verify outcomes
5. Recognize and celebrate milestones and progress
Community Benefits: Annual Report 2020
NexGen Builders Mentoring Program
Building Diversity Awards and Recognition Program
Community Benefits YouTube Channel
YouTube video: NexGen Builders Mentoring Program
OCS Demographics & Diversity: A Portrait of Ontario’s Unionized Construction Industry
OCS Community Benefits Report
About Rosemarie Powell
Rosemarie Powell is a passionate advocate for social, economic, and environmental justice. She has led for over 20 years from the grassroots up, managing and developing several innovative and impactful community programs and services to support historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups’ access to the labour market and the economy. Her community engagement work in Jane and Finch earned several awards for leadership and imagination. Currently, Rosemarie is the Executive Director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN).
TCBN is a community/labour coalition of 120 member organizations and groups which successfully initiated Community Benefits Agreements for the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT transit projects, West Park Healthcare Centre, and Rexdale Casino Woodbine.