Published by Peggy on 31 Aug 2010 at 01:19 pm
Today we joined the Nonprofit Day 2010 in San Francisco. After a fantastic keynote speech from Peter Bratt on the importance of storytelling, we joined a useful panel called “ Next Generation Organizations,” focused on how organizations can foster a new wave of generation leaders. Four experts shared their experiences and learnings.
Tips for organizations to foster next generation of leadership
The sector has been buzzing with the term “Next generation leadership” for the last 5 years or so. Who is going to be the next generation of leaders? Who are the leading organizations embracing leadership across departments? There are quite a lot of organizations right now that are doing development work around that topic, including Compass Point, the organization who put the conference together today.
There has been a shift in the way our key clients, staff, donors and board members think:
- Client: clients now rely on nonprofits to remain relevant
- Staff: nonprofit staff need stimulating work to feel attracted and stay within the organization
- Donors: they want to know that organizations understand trends
- Board: see people with divergent view points
Key features for the “Next Generation of Organizations”
Nonprofit organizations have now the opportunity to rethink the way they run organizations, specifically looking at its impact and the way they run their organizations. Here are some of the new values nonprofit executives should consider:
Impact-driven: Results oriented, rigorous metrics, welcomes risks. An organization should see risk as part of the learning process.
Financial and Business savvy: Organizations should manage a dual bottom line: financial viability and positive social impact. Separating the financials and the program should no longer be separated.
Continuous learning: It is key to look at all the different pieces within one organization. Team learning needs to be part of the business process.
Shared leadership: One should cultivate leadership in all positions. The organization’s structure should align to the values. When diverse perspectives are sought out, power is diffused.
Wired policy advocacy: builds advocacy activities into programs.
Ambiguity of work/life balance: The benefits are reciprocal for both the organization and the employees.
Constituents as thought partners: We need to discard the charity mindset – clients are assets and more importantly equal partners.
Board as value add: Board derives its priorities from organizational needs. Invite your board to bring their strengths and talent. Embrace them as thought partners.
Multicultural and culturally competent: Are your values reflected within your organization? Infuse multicultural perspectives and practices into work.
Tips on empowering your board members
Julie Davidson Gomez member, board member of Exhale, shared her story on how she joined the board of Exhale. While it is hard to convey her story, I wanted to share just a few of her tips:
- Don’t invite board members with a tone of desperation
- When you have new board members in mind, ask yourself: How are they connected to your mission? What is their passion? What are their skill sets?
- Do you have clear roles and responsibilities for your board?
- Hiring a new board member should be a rigorous process. Julie Davidson had to submit an application, give references and was interviewed by two board members around food.
Julie’s story was one of the examples shared the session. James Lin from Glide shared their multicultural work at Glide. Olivia Araiza from Justice Matters , talked about leadership across the organization and Miho Kim from Data Center talked about the shared leadership structure and processes she implemented.
I really liked Miho’s closing statement: “Shared leadership does not mean unstructured leadership.” Thank you all for this fantastic session.
Photo by angela7dreams
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