Performance P m e Nonprofit WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED! Vol. 3 No. 2 Magazine 360
Under New Management David Burkus
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INVITE CLIF CHRISTOPHER TO SHARE HIS STEWARDSHIP EXPERTISE WITH YOUR CONGREGATION Dr. Clif Christopher is the CEO of the Horizons Stewardship Company and has led consultations in more than four hundred churches, conferences, synods, and dioceses in all phases of building, nance, and church growth.
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featured personality Under New Management An interview with David Burkus
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Next Edition Highlights
What are you and your organization leaving behind? Money? Ideas?
From David Stanley, the younger step-brother of Elvis Presley, and his focus on Elvis’ charitable impact, to Francis Hesselbein, the former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, and her focus on a legacy of service, we seek to understand the factors that lead to a worthy legacy. Whether you are a 20-something or an 80-something, it is never too early or too late to build a culture that will impact communities. It’s imperative for each of us to think about what we are giving that will remain after we are gone.
Leaving a legacy is our focus in this Special Edition of Nonprofit Performance Magazine . Points of focus include setting up a charitable trust, developing leaders, shaping communities, and building new opportunities from times of crisis.
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From the Editor...
“The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.” - John P. Kotter, Leading Change The nonprofit sector, even before its formalized tax status, has been a major part of the fabric of the United States throughout most of its history. In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville stated, “Americans of all ages, conditions, and dispositions constantly unite together. Not only do they have commercial and industrial associations to which all belong, but also a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile…Americans group together to hold fêtes, found seminaries, build inns, construct churches, distribute books…They establish prisons, schools by the same method…I have frequently admired the endless skill with which the inhabitants of the United States manage to set a common aim to the efforts of a great number of men and to persuade them to pursue it voluntarily.” While this sentiment still rings with sincerity today, the question arises as to whether the nonprofit sector is keeping pace with the rate of change we see in the world around us. Further, advances in new technology, new forms of governance and leadership, and even new classifications by the IRS are forcing nonprofits to re-examine the way that we run our organizations. In this issue of Nonprofit Performance Magazine , our contributors lay the challenges and changes facing the nonprofit sector under the microscope as they think about the nonprofit world being “Under New Management.” The theme is,in part,derived from the title of the new book by our cover personality,David Burkus.In his interview with NPM, Burkus sheds light on the new concepts of management thriving in a variety of organizations, as we continue to move farther away from the Industrial Era and the hierarchical form of management that took shape at that time. Change is the one constant we face in both our personal and professional lives, but it is easy to get left behind. Events and fundraising, leadership styles, board relations, grant processes, and many other parts of the nonprofit organization are being pushed to adapt and change to new structures, new generations, and new technology. Our contributors address these challenges and more in the pages to follow. Lest we fear too much, that “Under New Management” sign often speaks volumes to the community that surrounds it and, in the same way, it offers us a new way forward as we grow our organizations and community impact. Regards! Todd
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8 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine
HuGH BALLOu Executive Office
Leadership Transforming Self, then Organization
E xamine the word transform. It does not merely mean change, or we would use that word.It is a verb with an expanded vision and is much more transcendent. It implies a deeper, more fundamental alteration of our very form (to trans - form).The continuing process of transformation begins with the moment of inspiration and continues in us through times of action, rest, and reflection. Times are changing. Cultures in the world are changing. Attitudes of charities are, for the most part, static! It’s the duty of the leader, whether Executive Director, President, CEO, or clergy, to distinguish themselves and influence others. Organizations must transform their cultures to be successful and to even survive. Half of the 30,000 nonprofits that are formed each year will close, some with money in the bank, without achieving their vision. This is unfortunate, especially since most of these organizations have a worthy vision that the world needs.The mainline churches are losing members at an alarming rate: thousands per week! Many local judicatories are closing churches and selling the property. We have apathy that can be converted into passion. We have fostered scarcity thinking when we have abundance at our fingertips. Nonprofit leaders have the highest burnout rate in history. It’s time for leadership to change to preserve our rich resource of philanthropy. Reframing leadership is a high priority. We have been taught leadership wrong and have inherited broken or low-functioning systems. Boards are not as effective as they could be. Leadership is a culture as well as a
identify various sources of income. Many of the charities I work with on board capacity building and strategic planning only have one or two sources of income. When we explore other options, we commonly come up with about seven sources of income. Most of the time, people are amazed by this. In business, we constantly look for multiple sources of revenue. Having only one source is certain failure. There are many other ways that leaders can change the thinking, and then the culture, of the organization. Transformational Leadership is a culture of high-functioning leaders. It’s time for leaders to get serious about improving themselves, nurturing leaders on teams, learning how strategy fosters engagement, and stop being the answer person. I write about this style of leadership on my blog for social entrepreneurs which includes clergy and nonprofit leaders at hughballoublog.com. Please scan the articles and leave comments.
skill. The leader is the person who influences the culture and impacts the functioning of teams, boards, committees, and members. I have gone on record to eliminate the word volunteer because it fosters this past low- functioning thinking. I suggest using servant leader for charities and member in ministry for churches.This reframing of title allows for reframing of role and responsibility. James Allen wrote that “People want to change their circumstances, but are unwilling to change themselves, so they remain bound.” Leaders naturally point to external sources to pinpoint the problem. In reality, leaders should be looking in the mirror. As a musical conductor, I know that the choir or orchestra will perform as I influence them.The culture is a reflection of the leader, indeed! Leaders also focus on differences rather than diversities. I also recommend to leaders that they ditch the term equal. It’s not a useful term. Rather than attempting to dumb down the culture to make everyone the same (one definition of equal), why not raise the bar and encourage excellence in diversity? This includes Boomers like me wanting Millennials to look and act just like me. No way! We have more in common than we have differences. I encourage leadership in charities to learn to utilize business principles for the organization. It’s important, for example, to
Hugh Ballou is a Tr a n s f o r ma t i o n a l Leadership Strate- gist and President and Founder of Syn- erVision Leadership Foundation. A musi- cal conductor for forty years, Hugh has writ-
ten eight books on Transformational Leadership, and works with leaders in religious organizations and busi- ness and nonprofit communities as executive coach, process facilitator, trainer, and motivational speaker, teaching leaders the fine-tuned skills employed every day by orchestral conductors.
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CyNTHIA M. ADAMS
Challenges of Seeking Grant Support
C hange in the field of philanthropy can be so subtle that it often goes unnoticed. Look at one aspect of that field - grantseeking - and it becomes almost impossible to detect. To help us recognize and track these changes, we conduct a survey every six months to determine the current state of grantseeking in the U.S. Over 3,200 people responded to our latest survey, providing us with a fairly clear picture of the challenges small- to medium-sized nonprofits face. Lack of time and staff is the largest challenge facing nonprofits trying to secure grants, as it has been for many years. However, the gap between this issue and the second challenge, competition, is narrowing. This chart shows how the gap has changed from Fall 2012 to Spring 2016.
By the time I had found the right folks for each of these areas (for some tasks I had more than one volunteer, such as writing and editing), I had a committee of 17, each working independently but on very specific tasks that were truly in their wheelhouse. For example, the volunteer helping with budgeting was a young woman just hired at a reputable accounting firm. She was eager to use her skills to both make a living and to do good in this world. She could develop a budget for a special project, or even our general operating budget, ten times faster than I. She was doing a bit of work outside her day-to-day job, of course, because she was doing the research on the cost of items we’d include in our budget. But she was fast, and the documentation, as well as the presentation, was excellent. The beauty of this committee was its size! No one person was overloaded with too much work.We only met once a year as a team, and that was really just a social event. Everything else was done via the web. Bottom line: you are the only person who can change the paradigm. When you are up against something as stubborn as the number one challenge facing nonprofits seeking grants - lack of time and staff – then it is up to you to tackle that challenge head on. Cynthia Adams, President and CEO of GrantStation, has spent the past 40 years helping nonprofits raise the money needed for their good work. She opened GrantStation because grantseeking requires a thorough understanding of the variety and scope of grantmakers and sound knowledge of the philanthropic playing field. Her life’s work has been to level that playing field, creating an opportunity for all nonprofit organizations to access the wealth of grant opportunities across the U.S. and throughout the world. www.grantstation.com
to write and submit as many grant requests as our organization needed and deserved. I knew the importance of keeping the grant pipeline full and always having requests out there, but it was not possible to make that happen. I needed help to create a strong grantseeking program within the organization. Drawing on the board of directors for this type of help was not going to work.They were already too
busy governing the organization and putting on several fund raisers each year. So I formed a Grant Writing Committee. I made this committee fairly large, with each task clearly defined and requiring a different set of skills, including research, writing, data research and development, copy editing, accounting, graphic design/layout, and evaluation. I then developed a short job description for each particular task and set out to recruit my volunteers.
This also provides a good idea of the other major challenges facing nonprofits trying to secure grants, including the funder’s application and management requirements, and the ever present hurdle: finding the right grant maker for your program or project. How can you, as a leader in the nonprofit
sector, break this pattern? Changing the Paradigm
When I worked in the nonprofit sector as a full-time development director, I had no time
10 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine
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Nonprofits that Work
O ne of the greatest challenges of the past generation in the nonprofit space has centered on the emergence of Millennials into leadership roles within the nonprofit organizational structure. How would Millennials mesh with the organizational structures that were built for previous generations? How would this demographic relate to an industry often focused on big gifts and grants? Could their voice, somewhat inexperienced as it was, be heard above the normal tones found within many nonprofits with deep histories in local communities? In Mobile, Alabama, a group of young professionals, with a common belief that a big impact on the area’s children could be created by a small motivated group, sought to find a place to plug in. While many within the group had been active in a variety of nonprofits throughout their developmental years in the community, they were looking for something a little bit different. This group and others in their network were looking for a way to help on a larger scale. They wondered whether it was possible to have greater impact by supporting the structures that were already in place, but by doing so in a vastly different mentality within their community. In May of 2012, Fuse Project was established, and in September of that year they received their 501(c)(3) exemption, with a stated goal of supporting tangible, realistic projects that benefit children in the South Alabama region.
that invites community participation, builds excitement, and carries through by assisting the organizations that provide direct service, like Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama, Soccer for Life (a program started by a student at the nearby University of South Alabama who took examples from his native Zimbabwe and utilizes them to bring access to inner-city youth), an expansion of Pritchard Preparatory School (a private school providing low- to no-cost tuition for students in one of the most economically challenged parts of the South Alabama region), and other exciting projects. The group has eschewed traditional fundrais- ers like 5Ks, annual dinners, and golf outings for events that bring both dollars and interest to the work that they support, including the Dragon Boat Festival, New Year’s Eve par- ties, Light the Fuse dinners, and Order of Fuse. For example, their Dragon Boat Festi- val in 2015 had 40 teams of 22 participating, another 5000 people in attendance, and a to- tal of $150,000 raised - all in only the second year of the event! No doubt the 2016 event will shatter the previous fundraising mark. Their goal, by 2020, is to raise one million dollars annually from all of their programs to benefit local organizations. Learn more about their new management style in the following pages from the words of their Executive Director, Adrienne Golden.
Today, Fuse Project is dedicated to providing the spark for innovation, funding and implementation of projects benefiting children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Fuse Project invests in initiatives promoting the health, fitness, education and social responsibility of the children. It supports existing philanthropies with specific project ideas and grass-roots efforts by motivated members of the community. Whether it is helping fund an after-school program for underprivileged children, or helping a motivated neighborhood revitalize a local park, Fuse Project is ready to help. While many groups have a similar vision, the Fuse mantra of “If it’s not WOW, it’s not worth doing” has led to a great connection with the community, as well as fundraising goals uncommon for such a new organization. Whether it is their cornerstone summer Dragon Boat Festival or their Order of Fuse (a takeoff on the Mardi Gras association, so common in Mobile) during the Mardi Gras season, this mantra has guided the organization to constantly reassess the ways that they can create a great experience for participants, all the while raising significant funds for local organizations supporting children. Fuse Project has enjoyed significant impact in the region by bringing together a style
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Nonprofits that Work
If It’s Not WOW, It’s Not Worth It
T he financial landscape for nonprofit organizations is changing. It used to be that through partnership with the United Way, the charitable foundation of a local corporation, a few small fundraisers, and dedicated givers, any organization could find success and longevity. But the truth is, since the early 1970s, only 2% of GDP is donated to nonprofits.With this reality, and a growing number of nonprofits (200,000 more in 2015 than in 2012), each organization must be innovative in order to secure their piece of that 2%. Recognizing that challenge, a group of eight young professionals from Mobile, Alabama, saw an opportunity. With a belief that a big impact on our area’s children can be achieved by a small motivated group, we established Fuse Project as a 501(c)(3) in September 2012. Our goal is to support tangible, realistic projects that will benefit our children. We support existing philanthropies with specific project ideas, as well as grass-root efforts by motivated members of our community. Whether it is helping fund an after-school program for under-privileged children or helping a motivated neighborhood revitalize a local park, Fuse Project is ready to help. It All Begins With Kids At its core, Fuse Project invests in initiatives promoting the health, fitness, education and social responsibility of our children. Since
2012, Fuse Project has raised over $300,000, funded sixteen individual projects, and influ- enced the lives of more than 5,000 children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. We consider ourselves a neo nonprofit with a singular fo- cus on immediate impact by bringing togeth- er local projects for our children. Our five- year goal is to be in a position to fundraise one million dollars per year by 2020. Our organization is dedicated to providing the spark for innovation, funding and implementation of projects benefiting children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Most recently, we have begun refining our focus on projects centering on afterschool programs for kids of all ages in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Our goal is to ensure that all kids have access to an afterschool program that increases their overall quality of life and to foster a healthy family dynamic for working parents and their children. Engaging a Cluttered Market On any given weekend in communities across the country, you will find nonprofits running bake sales, golf tournaments, 5Ks, galas, and the like. It isn’t that any of these programs are bad, but in a world of fast moving, attention grabbing messages, these types of events are quickly becoming antiquated. In a world full of noise and competition, nonprofits have to reframe their approach.
Through our mantra of “If it’s not WOW, it’s not worth doing,” we have decided to create a group of events that will help fundraise for our selected projects and help publicize our cause.We aim to invigorate all age groups and demographics in our area with our events. Fuse Project has learned that if we engage younger donors, we are attracting potential lifelong donors. Our board consists of eleven young professionals who display a passion and unwavering commitment to help promote our mission and vision. We recruit our board members early and, although we do not require a financial commitment, we ask that they donate time and attend a minimum of 70% of our board meetings. Our cofounders are strong believers in having an A-Team, or an Advisory Board. This A-Team consists of older influential members of our community who might be too busy to join our Board due to other time commitments. We find that we can bounce new ideas off of our A-Team and benefit from the wisdom, past experiences and knowledge that they have gleaned from involvement on other boards or with local organizations. Fuse Project understands the importance of effective communications and marketing. We aim to reach our donors and volunteers on a regular basis. We know that their time is valuable so we strive to make our email updates concise and to the point. To do this,
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we use an online platform to disseminate information to our networks, a proven effective source of communication. Social media plays an integral role in our ability to effectively communicate with our followers and other interested parties. We have recently added a call to action Donate button to our Facebook page and we continue to find that social media is one of the best methods to spread information quickly and efficiently. Videos play a vital role in our marketing plan.With reduced attention spans in today’s world, videos are one of the best methods to illustrate Fuse Project’s mission and the vi- sion we have for the future of our organiza- tion. Most recently, we have created videos that document our annual Dragon Boat Fes- tival and the afterschool programs that we fa- cilitate at local middle schools in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Reframing IMPACT In 2016, the Fuse Project Board voted to implement a video proposal application process for grant applicants who wish to receive funding from our organization. This new process will allow our organization to properly educate our board members on the organizations that are seeking funding and the scope of the project for which they are requesting funds. In their video, grant applicants must describe how their project will directly IMPACT children in our local community.The acronym serves as a guide for their video proposal.
cocktail hours and three large events throughout the year. At the third and final event, the OOF members vote to determine the local children’s cause that will receive $50,000. In March 2016, Fuse Project broke ground on its Nonprofit Co-Working Space in downtown Mobile.This space will change the nonprofit landscape in Mobile by fostering a diverse group of nonprofits who will increase their net revenue by 10% in the first twelve months through collaboration, networking and weekly best-practice seminars with other local nonprofits. This co-working space will play a significant role in downtown Mobile because it will be a modern space that is forward thinking for the South Alabama community and will continue the groundswell of momentum for the re-development of downtown Mobile. Transparency Builds Trust We realize the importance of being transparent with our financials.We know that our donors want to know exactly how that money is spent.Therefore, we happily provide detailed financial reports on our projects and events to keep our donors educated on the financial stability of our organization. Since 2012, Fuse Project has raised over $300,000, funded sixteen individual projects and influenced the lives of more than 5,000 children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Our annual Dragon Boat Festival has contributed much to our organization’s success over the last three years. Overall, our organization is results driven and we hold ourselves accountable for each project that we support.We can see the outcome and success rate for each project we have funded. We know that the future of our communities is shaped by the children we support. Adrienne Golden returned to Mobile, Alabama, her birthplace, to assist in management and operations of a local business after working for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta. She then became the marketing coordinator for a local accounting firm. Since August 2015, she has been the Executive Director of Fuse Project, managing daily operations and assisting in its mission to help support tangible, realistic projects that will directly impact children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Adrienne@fuseproject.org
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I mmediate M easurable P alpable (effects of this project) A chievable C hild-centered T angible
It is important that we fund specific projects that have an immediate IMPACTon children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Our Order of Fuse society, founded in 2015, is a diverse group of 100 young professionals plus their significant others in Mobile and Baldwin Counties who pay $1,000, with the majority of their dues being tax deductible, to give back to their community in a different way. The members are invited to monthly
REINVENTING GREATNESS TheNew80/20Rule Joan & Melissa Rivers
G oogle. Tesla. Amazon. Under Armour. What do these companies do that makes them so awesome? Their management, business models, and attention to customer appeal all make a critical difference to their success. They embody the same philosophies we, as nonprofits, should be upholding as well. For the Responsibility Foundation, this was not always the case. In the 1990s, our mission found its beginnings when Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning , met with Dr. James Newman, Dr. Stephen R. Covey and several other individuals, to discuss a seemingly impossible dream: Frankl’s vision of supplementing the Statue of Liberty on the U.S. East Coast with a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast. In 1997, sculptor Gary Lee Price was commissioned to create the design. In 2004, he and an entourage travelled to Vienna, Austria, to show the prototype, which depicted two clasped hands, to Frankl’s widow, Elly. She could not contain her emotion as she showed the group a wood carving Frankl had obtained shortly after his release from the concentration camps in Germany, which held great meaning for him. It was a carving of a kneeling man reaching upwards to Heaven. Frankl had often used the carving as a symbol of responsibility, as he wondered, “Where is the hand reaching back?” And Price had taken a sculpture to Elly that answered that question.
The Mission Began The team behind the Statue of Responsibility has increased its momentum in many ways in the years that have passed since that magnificent day. This is more than a monument...it’s a MOVEMENT! We repeat this slogan many times each day. For the individuals behind the Statue of Responsibility, this mission has become a way of life. But our fervent commitment was far from enough to bring this goal to life. We needed to create a great organization, like the strongest commercial companies have done, in order to accomplish our ultimate goal: within the next ten years we intend to construct a 300-foot structure, The Statue of Responsibility, on the U.S. West Coast to stand as a beacon of hope for generations to come. The Responsibility Foundation was Created The Responsibility Foundation has become the organization that leads this movement.The team has a governing board of 17 (aWho’s Who team led by Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly, a renowned philanthropist and a trailblazer for women’s empowerment). However, the team needed to do something big and immediate to surmount the giant gap between their admirable mission and the seemingly insurmountable goal of bringing the Statue to life.
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What Now?The Critical Steps A dedicated headquarters and staff. In 2016,the Foundation moved to a dedicated headquarters in Mapleton, Utah. The team is led by CEO/President and Director Derrin Hill. Prior to taking the helm of the Responsibility Foundation in January 2016, Hill served as Chief Sales Officer for one of the most successful online education companies in the world, Imagine Learning. A new level of management focus. Derrin Hill realized the best way to run the Foundation was to mimic a commercial startup. He had led many successful ventures, and had tremendous success at launching a company in the education software industry, with Imagine Learning eventually bringing in more than 50 percent of the funds spent on educational technologies for English language and literacy learners, and he used that experience for the Responsibility Foundation. Hill has brought significant energy to the Foundation with his principles of lean management, mobile technology, open office spaces, and maintaining a flat organization. Some of these principles are manifested in the following ways: 1. Money mornings (everyone focuses on fundraising efforts each day). 2. Startup mentality. 3. Treating the nonprofit like a for-profit company. 4. A high degree of transparency in all the organization does. 5. A ridiculous amount of communication within the organization, to the board, and to the public. 6. Appeals to the emotional side of the organization’s donors. 7. Boldness in asking contributors for funds. Hill chose his Executive Team with extreme care. The current Executive Team is highly skilled, professionally diverse, fast paced, familiar with startup ventures, flexible in work schedules, and cross-trainer in many functions. This allows the team to work efficiently and quickly. Hill sets the vision and goals, fires the starting pistol, and then allows the team to conquer the world in any way needed. Micromanagement will never find a place at the Responsibility Foundation. An aggressive media outreach campaign. Part of the Responsibility Foundation’s na- tional campaign includes a Kids VoteAThon (a mock Presidential election program which teaches kids about our constitutional rights and privileges, and allows them to choose
their favorite candidate). The organization is partnering with PTA organizations and school associations across the country to in- still in our nation’s young children the impor- tance of responsibility in civic awareness and involvement. This will allow them to learn and understand the issues facing our nation during this critical election season. The media outreach will include many other initiatives involving print, mass media, broadcasting, social media, word of mouth, merchandise, presentations, and celebrity/ political/athletic endorsements. New Age marketing campaigns. Some of the latest marketing methods the Foundation uses include social media, video, high-tech partners, video books, reality TV, and fitness activities like mini marathons. The team is in the process of revamping its website to employ functionality that allows them to add content on a daily basis. For example, the group will soon begin a campaign called Faces of Responsibility. This initiative will allow users to generate videos that will appear on the Foundation’s website. Viewers will vote each week on which face or voice best represents responsibility. Winners will move on to higher levels of voting. We have found that this interaction is especially key for Millennials. Think big, but communicate in ways that are simple. There is something to be said about thinking big. But there is also tremendous importance in simplification of messages. Breaking down information into Twitter-sized pieces of information is critical for many segments of the Foundation’s increasingly diverse audience. How is it going? The Foundation has gained tremendous momentum since hiring Derrin Hill and his newly-created Executive Team. They invite all who may be interested to join their movement at any level as a meaningful way to preserve our freedom through the ages. For more information, you can join or follow the Statue of Responsibility adventure at www.ResponsibilityFoundation.org or #RFoundation2016. Working alongside his father from the age of six, A.J. Rounds became versed in commercial real estate, business acquisitions, insurance, and property management. He has been involved in a variety of industries from infomercials to online grocery. It’s been a wild ride, but A.J. is most excited about his role in marketing and communications while promoting the greatest cause in the country: responsibility.
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I n most organizations, the develop- ment of leaders tends to fall into the category of important but not urgent. It isn’t that organizations don’t desire to build leaders; it’s just that they don’t invest time into building a strategic plan and process for leadership de- velopment. They invest in marketing strategies, sales strategies, operational strategies, and compliance strategies, but most never invest in what they will find to be their greatest future asset for growth...Leaders Ready! CEOs across a wide-range of disciplines all say they value leadership development. The struggle tends to occur when they attempt to build a scalable process that can be measured and evaluated. Due to this constraint, one of two things happens. Either organizations try to outsource leadership development, or they fall into the trap of throwing money at the problem through conferences and books. The Summit Experience I hear the story over and over: We need to do something this year,sowho is newand exciting that we can bring in? Or where are we going to take our top emerging leaders? Others wonder about the new best-selling leadership book that they could have everyone read. We refer to this as the Summit Experience strategy. The unbelievable leadership author/ speaker comes in and delivers great content over a day or a week. Wow! What an experience this is! These events include all bells and whistles of engaging video clips and eloquent application from other great companies, and now we even have musical groups to help boost the energy in the room, like we are watching late-night TV. Your people get to drink fine wine from a fire hydrant for hours on end. When we drill down with these CEOs to learn what the ultimate leadership summit goal is, as it pertains to the immediate and
themselves given the opportunity to lead. The great military institutes understand this principle and strategically build dozens of levels within their track of movement from one rank to the next. The reason is simple: they want to give a leader the opportunity to lead others as soon as possible and, as their leadership grows, so does their opportunity to lead more people with more responsibility. Unfortunately, most organizations promote managers who can run systems and processes, but have never been given the example or opportunity to grow leaders. So how do we build a strategy in our organization? How do we provide great leadership content and expectations for application? How do we equip and set up opportunities for these individuals to lead and develop these qualities and habits on their team? For many, this will take a major shift in their organizational culture. Shifting to a Leadership Culture How do you shift your culture to value, support, and resource this new expectation of leadership-driven growth within an organization? We have found that the key to this culture shift centers on buy-in. The organization and its leaders must be willing to accept a new pathway for leadership growth. The overall strategy is to create a multiplying movement of multiplying leaders in an organization. Leaders from the top of the organization down must buy into owning the new expectation that we will build our own leaders, who in turn will be expected to build more leaders. When this occurs, our organizations become their own talent factories. It is not enough for mid-level managers to simply manage processes and systems; they must grow to also develop leaders who multiply their strengths and leadership into others.
long term impact on their entire organization, we find that they want their people to be able to apply ALL the principles and action items into the grassroots of the organization. They try to have a few of their people take all this back to the rest of their teams. Then the final question strikes: How much traction and application is being applied three months later? In essence, how is that working for you? And that is where the shaking of the head and the grin occur. Typically, not too much has changed, and they have gone back to business as usual. So why doesn’t it stick, and why is there so little long-term impact? The answer is typically twofold. Their people realized they could not communicate all that great information with the same passion and clarity. There was no system or process in place, and no plan for accountability or follow through. Please don’t hear me wrong; there is great value in leadership experts. They are writing great books and they deliver an unbelievable experience around their remarkable content. The problem is that’s just not how leaders are developed. A New (Old) Solution At WildSparq, we believe the answer lies in an age-old principle of iron sharpening iron. We believe that a leader develops as they are being led by another leader, and then are
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“There are 1.4 billion people in China who haven’t even heard of Wal-Mart yet. Without a doubt our biggest challenge is to develop leaders fast enough to meet all the opportunities we face….cultivate the people with the capacity to lead and advance those who multiply their leadership through others.” – Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Your Tax Status Doesn’t Stop Leadership Development The principles of this idea do not change as it pertains to the tax status of an organization. Organizations with real strategy focused on multiplying leaders will win. Those that do not will ultimately lose and likely die. While some for-profit organizations may have a bit of an advantage as it pertains to the velocity and volume of the alarm that sounds when a leader is not producing, the opportunity remains the same. When a business unit underperforms, the power of profit, or the lack thereof, will sound an alarm much sooner and louder. All too often, the nonprofit that has the same under-producing results typically applies an excessive amount of undeserved grace, thus prolonging, or at best minimizing, the
volume of the alarm. Changes are made much slower, allowing for more and more collateral damage to be experienced. Extra resources are poured in longer as the changing of the guard is constantly pushed out. Nonprofits must be mindful not to allow sacrifice and passion for the cause to be mistaken for leadership. There is often a temptation to promote the most passionate member with the most sacrificial story. No doubt, we want passion, enthusiasm and sacrifice, but they cannot trump leadership. How do You Shift? We believe there must be an unrelenting commitment by top leadership for true change to occur. There must be a new expectation that we will no longer outsource the development of leaders. Leaders must shift to answer that call, thus filling the gap that they have helped create. Leadership doesn’t merely occur at a summit. It happens daily, weekly, and monthly with real relationships. Leader development must be life on life. Leaders are never born in a vacuum. They are always developed by another leader. Every great military institute understands this principle. A leader must
be trained by another leader and then have a very clear expectation path as to how they will soon become the teacher and trainer of a group entrusted to them. What actually has to shift within an organization’s culture? At the core, it is not the content, but rather the strategy for delivery. Content is so readily available it almost becomes an overwhelming distraction for a developing leader. Yes, content still matters, but the experience surrounding how the content is engaged unlocks the power. Through our platform, our organization helps equip any type of organization with a content distribution model that sets the stage for leadership development in an ongoing format. We have found that consistent, ongoing conversation, empowerment and engagement is the biggest step in shifting an organization’s culture and creating an organization that multiplies leaders who are multiplying leaders. Cord Sachs is the CEO of FireSeeds, a company that exists to enhance a client’s culture through recruiting great leaders and implementing leader development strategy. The WildSparq leadership development platform can be found at www.wildsparq.com.
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NEW LEADERSHIP BOOK The Questions for Your Culture
Featuring Millennial Takeaways that prove Peter Drucker’s wisdom is a timeless and valuable tool among leaders across all generations.
The late PETER F. DRUCKER (1909-2005), known worldwide as the “Father of Modern Management,” was a professor, management consultant, and writer. Drucker directly influenced leaders from all sectors of society. Among them: GE, IMB, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Girl Scouts, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Farm Workers, and several presidential administrations. FRANCES HESSELBEIN, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, is the president and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute and editor-in-chief of the award-winning quarterly journal, Leader to Leader, as well as co-editor of 27 books translated into 29 languages. JOAN SNYDER KUHL, founder of Why Millen- nials Matter, is an international speaker, leader- ship trainer, and consultant specializing in global talent development and generational engagement strategies.
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