Five Oaks Consulting

Managing Change

More than almost anything else, change leadership and management are crucial components of senior NGO leadership in the ever-changing context of NGOs. Unfortunately, organizational change processes have a high risk of failure, and NGOs have seen their share of disappointment. We have the experience and knowledge to help you manage change and thrive in a challenging context, whether your NGO is in need of change in terms of strategy, structure, systems, and processes, or culture.

Culture assessment and culture management skills are essential NGO leadership skills

The organizational culture of NGOs is reflected in the set of shared, daily, habit and behavior of staff that is directly or indirectly, promoted and rewarded by the organization. These behaviors are based on, often subconscious and covert belief systems and norms, about ‘what works’ in the organization. We can help you use practical, operational ways of assessing whether your culture is still aligned with your strategy and how to affect any changes that may be needed.


Updating how NGOs credential their chapters and members

A major governance and corruption focused NGO needed to update and improve its national member accreditation process. 




Tosca benchmarked the NGO’s accreditation process against those of peer INGOs as well as against solid practices originating in the private sector, and solicited structured feedback from a wide range of internal stakeholders.



The improvements streamlined and modernized the accreditation process and system and added rigor to the data underlying accreditation – thereby underpinning a future of strong national membership.


Save The Children needed a change story

Save the Children International was well into implementing a transformational change initiative. Yet, its new incoming leaders had insufficient sense of history or context for why their change was important. The organization needed a ‘change story’ as well as analysis of how Save the Children had gotten this far, to support new staff induction.

Save the Children invited the Maxwell School to write a case study accompanied by a presentation on their change story. Tosca was the team leader for these outputs.

The case study helped provide a rationale and storyline for why the change was needed, where Save the Children came from, and what it learned about change leadership and management. The case study was also turned into a teaching case study for graduate students in public management, which garnered an award.


Amnesty International’s need for an assessment of how it undertook change

Amnesty International wanted to commission an independent, external assessment of its Global Transition Program (GTP).

Tosca was the lead for the Transnational NGO Initiative team in undertaking this complex, high-visibility assessment. Culture turned out to be one of the key lynch pins in understanding how the change process unfolded and what needed to be done next.

Amnesty took on culture assessment and change as one of the platforms for the follow-up to its Global Transition Program. Dozens of Amnesty leaders put their support behind this new focus.