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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


HS/EHS Blog: Understanding Why

Oct 24, 2017
By: Tammy T. Jelinek

I just finished a client engagement on which we (their leadership team, my colleagues, and I) spent three days digging into the Head Start Program Performance Standards. We went through the regulations, then they discussed their current monitoring approaches, with the goal of meeting the new Monitoring Protocol standards of less “check it off the list” type of monitoring.

Their biggest ah-ha! moment in the process was realizing they need to do a better job of sharing the “why.”

They realized they had policies and procedures regarding the “what to do” and the “how to do it.” What they had missed was letting the doer know how important following the regulations was for the safety and well-being of the children and families they served. They identified that telling the HS/EHS staff members the “why” brought the “what” and “how” together, making them more comprehensive and easier to understand. 

How does your agency do at sharing the “why”? And how much faster might discussions and actions go when people understand why what they do—not just how they do it—really matters?

Wishing you a wonderful day,


Tammy Jelinek has over 20 years of experience working in and with grant-funded and fee-for-services nonprofit organizations. She has trained nationally in the areas of OMB Uniform Guidance, Head Start/Early Head Start Act and program performance standards, parent/volunteer involvement, and more. And Tammy has a passion for helping programs help the families they serve! Learn more at wipfli.com/ngp.


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Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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