Monday, June 3, 2013

Professional Development Guide 2013: Don't Rest On Your Laurels

What makes a nonprofit successful? More often than not, it's a strong leadership team that is willing to make the tough decisions. This makes it easy for managers to rest on their laurels but, if they are not careful, that one-time strength can quickly disappear.

The NonProfit Times' Professional Development Guide, which appears in the newly released June 1 issue, is a white pages for services that will help potential nonprofit leaders hone their skills. From nonprofit management degrees at leading universities to leadership seminars, organizations should consider all of these services for their employees so there are worthy successors when it comes time to pick a new CEO or executive director.

There are other things nonprofits can do to develop new leaders. In the Bridgespan Group's Plan A: How
Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders, Kirk Kramer and Preeta Nayak detailed five steps that can be taken that will get your organization on the path to a brighter future. Those steps are:
  • Engage Your Senior Leaders: If you are a CEO just launching your leadership development efforts, begin by telling your senior team that it is important that they develop as individuals and that you’ll help each of them to do so.
  • Understand Your Future Needs: Gather your senior team for a once-a-year offsite meeting to discuss where your organization is going and the potential of their direct reports to move into more senior roles.
  • Develop Your Future Leaders: Meet twice a year with each of your direct reports to discuss their progress against their leadership development goals.
  • Hire Externally to Fill Gaps:Identify the areas where you will likely need to hire externally to meet your future needs and those where you should aim to build capacity from within.
  • Monitor and Improve Your Practices: Set targets for accomplishing the work of the previous items on this list. Next, report on your organization’s progress against those targets to your senior team and the board. Finally, determine leadership development priorities for the coming year.
Follow these steps and check out NPT's Professional Development Guide, and your nonprofit will be on the path to a more sustainable future.

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