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Our week with Simone Joyaux

The Blakely team was lucky enough to spend last week with the venerable Simone Joyaux.

Simone joined us to talk about organizational development, culture, leadership, asking the right questions, and so much more. The Fundraising Strategists were especially privileged to spend a lot of time with Simone.

What did they learn last week? They’ll tell you themselves.

“I was reminded that it is our job to make the fundraising sector better for everyone else. If we don’t professionalize it with education and certification then we will never be taken seriously as a sector and we will remain divided against ourselves. We are, and need to behave as, the future of fundraising.”
– Laura Champion

“There are a great deal of biases and assumptions that seep into the questions we ask. That limits the kind of answers we get, and can inadvertently steer conversions and decisions. I want to become more mindful of what I ask, and how I ask so that we can all have better conversations.”
– Elaine Wong

“That we’re all leaders. We owe it to our clients (or donors) and colleagues, managers, etc. to become better leaders, think more critically, ask strategic questions, and never use busy-ness as an excuse to greatness.”
– Maeve Strathy

“Realization that there’s a difference between accountability and responsibility. I need to realize that even if I’m not responsible for something I may still be accountable and that’s just as important in the process.”
– Kelly Lachance

“Blakely is a donor AND a client-centered agency.”
– Sue Sheridan

“One key thing I learned from the session with Simone is the critical importance of constant learning about your profession, and the value in sharing this with you colleagues. Debate, conversation and dialogue make that learning richer, and helps us all become better fundraisers and leaders.”
– Sara Campbell-Mates

“She wasn’t prescriptive, but she forced us to look inside ourselves and voice what’s been itching in our brains. She made me be honest with myself and with others. Simone reminded me that dedicated thinking time leads to realizations and openness.”
– Stephanie Highfield

“We are not grass blowing in the wind, waiting for someone to tell us what to do or how to manage or what to prioritize. We have control over how we prepare, how we manage our days, how we contribute and how we take responsibility and move things forward. Leading from where we are means that we are active participants in every interaction – not just to get the most out of it and contribute our best but also to demonstrate what these look like for others and enable them to better manage their own responsibilities.”
– Kimberley Blease

“When you feel uncomfortable, that means change is afoot, and that’s a good thing.”
– Kesheyl van Schilt

I think it is safe to say we all learned a lot about ourselves and our own personal roles and responsibilities. We learned how to better recognize how to ask the right questions, how to have effective conversations and how we can all be better leaders.

Luckily enough, Simone will be facilitating two sessions at this year’s AFP Congress in November and will also be presenting at IFC in October – so if you are planning on going to either (we will be at both!) do yourself a favour and do not miss out on these sessions!