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Aug 11, 2020

In this episode of Nonprofit Architect, Travis features Ned Murray, Founding President and consultant with NRM consulting; a group that is focused on helping nonprofit organizations by systematically creating solutions using the concept of "Governance".

Listen and learn from this expository episode now

Conversation Highlights

[00:58] Ned describes the scope of his work with NRM consulting.

[01:40] The central Nervous system of any Nonprofit is the “Governance” system; not “Government”.

[02:22] Ned’s firm has a unique approach to helping nonprofit organizations achieve their goals by building resilience and trust in the governance team to unlock their full potential

[03:41] Takeaway #1: Consensus is not always the best outcome but often tends towards the average or the agreeable

[07:43] Takeaway #2:  Be clear about what the purpose and work of your board is

[10:46]A story of two boat platoons from the book “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink

[12:22] Ned believes that in the nonprofit world, we have overemphasized the importance of “that single leader”

[20:01]All this emphasis on a single leader creates "Fear-based pressure" which blocks growth.

[21:02] Takeaway #3: When you mess up, the most direct way out of your problem, is to take responsibility for the thing that got messed up

[22:53] There is a difference between being divergent and just being contentious

[23:27] So often we have Nonprofit boards with people by "default".

[28:02] The 4-question metric or evaluation for those working with a current board

[38:02] Ned describes the most uncomfortable question he needs to ask as a consultant

[42:04]All of the judgment we make about people are based on signals that have nothing to do with the actual person.

[44:41] How to contact Ned

Remarkable Quotes:

[15:37] “I’d rather get to the right place late than get to the wrong place on time”.

[20:07] “Fear blocks growth”.

[32:13] “It's either about the mission or it's about you”.


Dr. Ned R. Murray
Head of School, Episcopal Day School, Augusta, GA
Founding President and Senior Consultant NRM Consulting
With over 30 years in education leadership, Ned has been head of school and senior administrator in independent schools of all sizes--religious and non-religiously affiliated--as well as a for-profit school system. As the current Head of School of Episcopal Day School in Augusta, GA, Ned takes on only a few clients each year. His passion is assisting schools in pursuing their missions more effectively and efficiently for the betterment of the larger community.
Dedicated to research, collaboration, and innovation in education, he was a founding member of the Elementary Schools Research Collaborative (now part of INDEX) and ISA, a regional marketing collaborative. He has served on the Board of SAIS and led accreditation teams in several states. The time and energy he once focussed on those professional organizations, Ned now dedicates to NRM Consulting, which he finds is a more efficient and impactful use of his experience. His other community service endeavors have included serving on the Board of the Chattanooga Boys and Girls Club, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Education Advisory Council, Governor Sundquist’s Advisory Council on Education, and as Mentor to the 120 member Augusta Red Cross Youth Board.
Ned earned his B.A. in English from Sewanee: The University of the South, an M.Ed. in Education Leadership from UTC, and a D.Min. in Education Leadership from Virginia Theological Seminary. Other continuing education has included the Coalition of Essential Schools summer workshop at Brown University and two programs at Columbia University’s Klingenstein Institute. Ned knows independent schools as a student, teacher, administrator, and parent of two independent school graduates.

Dr Ned R Murray

FB: Ned Murray
Twitter: @nedrmurray
LinkedIn: Ned Murray