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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

The Long Journey Forward

This crisis, against all of our early hopes, has proven it will last – it’s an ultra-marathon we face with an unknown duration, curves in the route we can’t see around, and surprise hurdles thrown in just when we think we might start to hit our stride. But, when I think about it, so are the missions we serve each day and the visions we set out to achieve. Continue reading “The Long Journey Forward”

Rising Out of Crisis


The nonprofit sector was struggling before COVID-19 struck a blow of unimaginable force. Executive Directors were already overwhelmed, with many questioning their ability to stay energized and continue to lead. Fundraising was a constant race with uncertain gains in a competitive and continually growing field of nonprofits. A culture of scarcity had many organizations stuck in a loop of doing more with less only to do even more with even less, and so on. Continue reading “Rising Out of Crisis”

Challenges to Employee Engagement: Summer 2020 Edition


The summer of 2020 has thrown us all for a loop. What were once short-term crisis solutions – virtual and socially distant work environments – look like they are here to stay for a while. In late March, companies reported excitedly that, by and large, employees embraced the sudden shift and engagement and productivity did not seem to suffer. That was five months ago. Fatigue is setting in and, in many companies, employee engagement is waning. It is time, for companies to move out of crisis mode and get on with executing their strategic plans. To do that, they’ll contend with several challenges to employee engagement. Continue reading “Challenges to Employee Engagement: Summer 2020 Edition”

What’s Changed Permanently?

I count 24 weeks since the music stopped. March 5th turned out to be my son’s last in-person day of 6th grade and the beginning of this never-ending summer. Since then, it seems like every facet of our lives has been impacted in ways large and small. As we emerge from the initial crisis and into a new – and potentially long lasting – reality, it’s clear that some of the changes will be permanent.

This week I spent some time with 20 or so business leaders who reflected on this question of “What’s changed permanently?” Here are some of the themes that emerged: Continue reading “What’s Changed Permanently?”

Katie is bringing PeopleCap’s expertise to Chicago

One of our own is moving forward with a major life transition. Katie Spencer is moving to Chicago! We are tremendously sad to see her leave Memphis, but we are grateful for the technology’s capacity to support our collaborative culture and allow us to keep working together. Continue reading “Katie is bringing PeopleCap’s expertise to Chicago”

PeopleCap helps organizations move forward with purpose.

As leaders face an overwhelming number of challenges and opportunities – two of the most common frustrations are the uncertainty and lack of control. Leaders want to know when this is going to end and what the world is going to look like on the other side. In many ways, both the present and the future seem out of their control. Continue reading “PeopleCap helps organizations move forward with purpose.”

Unconscious Bias and the Remote Workplace

Among all of the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19, there is a potential impact that that isn’t being discussed very much – if at all: The remote work situation provides fertile ground for unconscious bias. Continue reading “Unconscious Bias and the Remote Workplace”

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone: Executive Coaching Through Crisis and Beyond

The old adage “it’s lonely at the top” has endured for generations because it is a universal truth. As an Executive Leader, you are responsible for the decisions and actions of every employee in the organization. You are responsible, not only for making sure the trains run on time, but also for the overall direction of the company. Recently, the number of crises and urgent issues has increased exponentially – as have levels of exhaustion and stress. In the midst of trying to triage present issues, you are responsible for simultaneously finding the time and headspace to envision the future. Continue reading “You Don’t Have to Go It Alone: Executive Coaching Through Crisis and Beyond”

The Crisis in 3 Phases

Co-Authored by Katie Spencer & Meg Crosby

We have all been swept up in a tsunami of change that hit us hard and fast and has left us disoriented, exhausted, and with miles and miles to swim before we’re back on dry land. As we look to the horizon and plot our course, we can expect to navigate this crisis in three phases:

1. Manage Risk & Adapt
2. Stabilize & Adjust
3. Grow & Innovate Continue reading “The Crisis in 3 Phases”

Putting the Puzzle Back Together After COVID-19

Companies are like puzzles with hundreds of pieces that fit together to create a picture. As a leader, you determine the ultimate picture puzzle, the share of each piece, and how it fits with the other pieces to complete the picture. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has taken most companies’ puzzles, torn them apart, and heaved the pieces into the air. Continue reading “Putting the Puzzle Back Together After COVID-19”

Top Tips for Presenting on Zoom by Phil Darius Wallace

One night last week, my wife was online, as she often is before going to bed, and I found her amazingly excited about a DJ who decided to engage a worried world with a 9-hour dance party. DNice‘s dance party engaged everyday people and stars with dance music that took away 9 hours of anxiety and replaced it with a little taste of joy. DNice tapped into multi generations through numerous styles of music and got over 100,000 views. His sense of joy and compassion moved through phones, computers, and TV screens and uplifted us to help us cope with challenging times. He proved that we public speakers can reach our audiences and make meaningful connections through technology. Continue reading “Top Tips for Presenting on Zoom by Phil Darius Wallace”

I Used to Be a Crappy Telecommuter!

I started working remotely about 12 years ago when we moved to Memphis. Working remotely full-time was not as easy as I’d imagined. And I stunk at it for a while. Probably for too long. I was productive in sporadic spurts. I struggled with time management even though I sat at my desk all day. I was distracted and frequently had trouble prioritizing. I didn’t check in with my team, all based in ATL, frequently enough for them or for me. And it all meant I failed to follow through on my own work and on theirs. Continue reading “I Used to Be a Crappy Telecommuter!”

Getting Answers: Stimulus, Layoffs & Hiring in COVID-19

Please join PeopleCap for a free webinar on Thursday, April 2 at noon featuring our guest, Jennifer Hagerman, attorney with Burch, Porter & Johnson. Jennifer’s practice focuses on employment litigation. She has represented clients in cases involving employment discrimination, retaliation, restrictive covenants, wage and hour class actions, civil rights, healthcare, education and numerous areas of commercial law. She also conducts internal investigations and advises clients on a variety of employment matters including non-solicitation and non-competition agreements, employee handbooks, and employee classification under the FLSA.

We’ll ask Jennifer to opine on the following top-of-mind issues facing employers during this crisis:

  • What does the new stimulus bill mean for my small business/nonprofit?
  • How should I think about the decision to layoff employees?
  • How can I continue hiring in this climate when we cannot meet people in person?

We’ll open the floor for questions or you can send yours in ahead of time to Meg.Crosby@PeopleCap.com. Join us via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/553353501.

A Message from Our Friends at Volunteer Odyssey

Like each of you, our minds are on the safety and future of everyone around us. We need your help updating and evaluating volunteer information so we can connect volunteers to you. As you know, things are changing quickly – sometimes by the hour. We’re including the most up-to-date information on our COVID-19 page, which also includes additional resources.

First and foremost, our focus is health and safety for you, your volunteers, and our community. To do that, we’re asking for your help. Here’s what you need to know and here’s what we’re asking of you: Continue reading “A Message from Our Friends at Volunteer Odyssey”

A Framework for Scaling Down or Shifting Rapidly

None of us has seen a moment quite like this. Unfortunately, while some are scaling up at rocket speed to get food to those in need and provide medical care to those without insurance, far too many organizations are facing the reality of urgently scaling back or shifting resources in the hopes of surviving this crisis. Continue reading “A Framework for Scaling Down or Shifting Rapidly”

Keep Calm and Stay Connected

These are unprecedented times for businesses to be sure. Many of us have worked remotely on occasion, but few have worked entirely remotely – let alone managed a remote work force. I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from some successful virtual organizations. Here are 3 tips to keep your team inspired, productive and accountable while working from home. Continue reading “Keep Calm and Stay Connected”

Navigating Employee Layoffs in the Wake of COVID-19

The economic impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching and potentially devastating. Many small businesses are facing the very real possibility of shutting down. Larger businesses are confronted with the possibility of having to significantly reduce headcount to survive.

We tend to talk about these business decisions using sterile business terms like ‘Layoffs’ or ‘RIFs’ – terms that are highly impersonal. But for most leaders, decisions about letting people go are intensely personal. Continue reading “Navigating Employee Layoffs in the Wake of COVID-19”

Reinforcing and Nurturing Culture During Major Disruption

My cat interrupted PeopleCap’s team meeting this morning. With children at home from school, a strong desire to do our part to keep our neighbors safe, and the great privilege of work flexibility, we’ve been working and meeting via Zoom for the last week. I expect distractions from my kids from time to time, but hadn’t calculated the feline fussing. Continue reading “Reinforcing and Nurturing Culture During Major Disruption”

Free Coaching throughout This Week

The world feels upside down.

We’re here to help!

If you need a thought partner to think through your strategies or just need to vent, we’re available.

Katie is offering FREE strategic coaching sessions for nonprofit Executive Directors

throughout this week.

Reserve a coaching session time while openings last:

Email: Katie.Spencer@peoplecap.com

PeopleCap will also be scheduling some free group coaching sessions and webinars in the coming days.

Stay tuned!

In the meantime, let us know what webinar topics would be most helpful at this time.