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Program staff-- how did you learn to design programs?

Dear CNRG'ers,

I'm wrapping up a scan of innovation in the nonprofit sector and need to gather just a little more information on how programs are created in nonprofit/public organizations.

As I've drilled down into how innovation happens in nonprofits, I've centered the work on program design. But here's the big question:

How do program leaders learn to design the programs they create?

Did you learn on the road? In a class? By watching others? Mentoring? Self-taught? Making it up as you go along?

I'm interested to hear stories and anecdotes of how you came to do the work you do, and even what you wish you'd known in hindsight.

This information is being gathered for a scan I am doing as part of the William Davidson Institute program at the University of Michigan. I'll keep your comments confidential and not associate your name with your stories.


Fran Loosen MBA student, University of Michigan

P.S. Someone asked me why I was sending this out in Portland if I live in Michigan. The answer is that I was part of CNRG in the early days and haven't found a network like it in this area. And, Portland tends to be leading-edge on alot of things, so it's a good comparison to other communities. Thanks for your thinking!