Five Oaks Consulting

Organizational Culture

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NGOs: Chasing Innovation, Funding & Impact?

NGOs: Chasing Innovation, Funding & Impact?

I recently joined Chris Meyer zu Natrup, MD of MzN International, for a 3-part short podcast series in which we had candid, thought-provoking – and somewhat provocative – conversations about the future of the nonprofit sector and the mindsets and mental models that shape the organizations of today.

Now we are back with a live Q&A session on April 7 from 8:30 – 9:30 am ET eager to your questions pertaining to: 

NGO innovation, in particular: 

– if nonprofits are at risk of becoming obsolete

– what NGOs need to do to survive and thrive in a modern, digital world

– what leaders can do to transform their organizations into better-equipped problem solvers and innovators in uncertain times

NGO funding, in particular: 

– the never-ending funding cycle and the seemingly outdated business model which most NGOs are forced to adopt

why some organisations continue to grow while others stagnate

– what NGO leaders can do to make their funding and business models more sustainable

NGO impact, in particular:

– if nonprofits can truly make and measure the impact they set out to achieve 

– why some organisations do not create the impact they desire despite the time and expenses they invest in their programs

– what NGOs can do to create a more learning- and evidence-driven culture

Please submit your questions for Chris & me here in advance and register here to join. We look forward to seeing you there! 

DiverseTeamFacingBoard

Diversity training does not work. So what does?

Diversity training does not work. So what does?

For good reasons, there is lots of attention going to efforts to make our organizations more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive. Diversity and unconscious bias related discussion and training abound in our international social sector. Clearly, NGOs are following the lead of many corporations and government entities that have installed such training and awareness-raising initiatives. 

There’s only one problem

There is one problem with this. What’s the evidence that these initiatives actually are helpful? Not much, when you look at it closely. The research is clear and consistent: diversity training does not work, and cognitive awareness-raising has limited utility (see here for just one example of a sum-up of the research). 

So what does work?

So what does work? A focus on creating and encouraging practical, widely shared organizational habits and behaviors, such as on recruitment, induction, mentoring, task allocation, talent management, and performance management,  backed up by organizational systems. And backed up by publically transparent metrics and benchmarking. During a recent presentation to the Global Perspectives gathering of the International Civil Society Center, I offered some practical handles. Please see my presentation here.

Instead of talking, let’s focus on our organizational habits and behaviors

I know we love to discuss our values and principles, including when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. But let’s instead focus on some specific organizational habits and behaviors. Talk to me if this makes you curious, or you want more help!