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eNews from Lead Centre for Not for Profit Leadership: March/April 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, leadership, non-profit

Leadership Transitions are an opportunity for change

Nothing challenges the complacency of a board like the resignation of the organisation’s manager (AKA CEO, Executive Director, or the myriad of other names for the person who runs the place). All governance models, theories and personal experience point to recruitment of this person being one of the most important jobs a board has is to carry out.

Finding the right person is paramount and good processes can avoid expensive bad decision making, time wasting, and depletion of energy. In our sector there are many examples of good practice. I have participated in, supported, and led, several leadership transitions.  This has been a privilege and learning opportunity, as I’ve had the opportunity to observe what works, and what creates stumbling blocks. Here’s the summary:

It all starts with the board

The shift to a new leader is the time when a board should make sure the organisation strategy is current, relevant, and clearly articulated. The Strategic Plan needs to be the foundation document on which to base recruitment. The goal is to hire the best person to achieve the organisation’s vision, in relation to where the organisation is at in its life cycle, not the person who is as much as possible like the person you are replacing.

The goal is to hire the best person to achieve the organisation’s vision, ... not the person who is as much as possible like the person you are replacing.

While the board is clarifying the strategy, and the skills and competencies of the person they see could achieve the strategy, it is also time to get the governance house in order. In my experience, it is the boards who review their own performance (and particularly their relationship with the manager), and who are clear what type of board they want to be, that successfully and more easily welcome in a new leader.

Boards who think they can sit back once they have the new person in place are sadly mistaken. As much as this is a particularly important time in the life cycle of the organisation, it is also a particularly important time in the life cycle of the board – one where a partnership approach is required. I have observed many new leaders needing ongoing board support, sometimes for up to a year. Not for profit leadership is complex and expecting a superhuman to walk in and take over from day one is a recipe for chaos.

Continue reading this article from Sandy Thompson.

Shifting the Curve: A Masterclass for consultants, trainers and facilitators

Date: Friday 12th April 2019.
Location: Auckland.
Cost: $450 plus GST per person. $350 plus GST for the second person from the same organisation.

Facilitators and consultants need to have a deep understanding of their own practice to be genuinely transformative and to effectively support not for profit organisations operating in an increasingly complex environment. This day is designed especially for those whose professional mission is to support not for profit organisations to make a difference.

Facilitators Sandy Thompson, Garth Nowland-Foreman and Aly McNicoll will explore with you what effective organisational development looks like in the not for profit sector, understand capacity building through a leadership development lens, and draw on both theory and our collective experience to highlight good practice, including:

  • Models of capacity building unique to the NZ context
  • Effectively engaging with groups to ensure they get what they need
  • Appreciate Inquiry and Strengths-based approaches
  • Tools for coaching & mentoring
  • Facilitating groups to achieve their highest potential

The day promises to significantly ‘sharpen the edge’ of your practice as a facilitator/consultant, bringing not only new insights but implementable tools and approaches to your work with others.

Find out more about the Shifting the Curve Masterclass, including how to register online.

Read an article from Sandy Thompson about how to choose the best consultant for your organisation.

The Challenge of Change

Hilary Star Foged reflects on the 2019 National Not for Profit Conference and the challenge of making changes.

The Not for Profit Conference - organised by GROW in February - was such a wonderful opportunity to meet others with similar strengths and challenges in the wide variety of community based organisations around Aotearoa, and where skills, information and inspiration are brought together in a powerhouse of speakers and participants for two amazing days.  It was my pleasure to be there on the first day.

Continue reading this reflection by Hilary Star Foged.

Developing effective leadership takes a whole lot more than training

Here are a couple of ways we can help...

Coaching and mentoring from LEAD

Do you feel like you're making it up as you go along?  Are you concerned that at some point, someone, somewhere will figure out you're not a 'real' leader? Trying to navigate a terrain of complexity and uncertainty?

 Leadership is both a mindset and a skill set - learning to think like a leader and then act accordingly is what our coaches and mentors help leaders and managers across the not for profit sector do.

Facilitation of processes and meetings

Your organisation is here, but you need to be there. Your work is stuck, and you’re needing a way forward, but can’t see what that might be. There’s a wealth of insights in your team, but you can’t seem to reach agreement.

This is exactly when getting assistance from a LEAD facilitator with years of sector experience can bring a step-change, step-up and step-forward.

But certainly not less!

Our training team have been doing this for decades, and our training events are filled with tools, tips, approaches and frameworks - but they’re not simplistic.

Content is informed by research and evaluation, and underpinned by principles of community-led development.  We take the best of what’s happening in the global, Pacific and New Zealand third sectors, and distill it for your benefit.

  • Governance: Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Wellington and elsewhere;
  • Managing amd Leading Community Organisations: Auckland, Wellington and Whangarei;
  • Consultant and Facilitator OD Masterclass: Auckland;
  • Collaboration for Community Groups: Auckland;
  • Partnering with Maori: Auckland; and
  • Coaching and Mentoring Skills: Around the country.

Find out more about training opportunities from LEAD, including how to register.


LEAD Centre for Not for Profit Leadership: Skills, knowledge and confidence to lead and create change.

Come join our Learning Community of not for profit leaders on Facebook.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch