Digital Teams: Your Smartest Investment to Master a Multichannel World


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The right structure and leadership for your digital/online team will impact your performance online more than any other initiative you will undertake.

So how do you know if you have a dysfunctional digital/online team? What are the different models for how organizations manage digital, and which are the most effective for today's multi-channel world? Finally, what are the most common patterns and challenges facing digital teams across the non-profit sector?

In this webinar, longtime digital leaders Jason Mogus from Communicopia and Michael Silberman from Greenpeace will share their learnings from working across dozens of digital teams in multiple sectors. They will share, for the first time with the public, the most significant results from their digital team structure survey for the non-profit sector conducted by Communicopia over the summer.

This world first benchmark report analyzes data from 67 nonprofit leaders who manage digital programs. It contains benchmarks into where digital teams typically live, what the top roles are on teams, and how many properties (including social media) teams typically manage. It also offers insights into the expectations placed on digital teams for leadership, how well leaders believe their structures work, and the overall effectiveness of digital programs in supporting their constituents and their organizations.

***You can download the full report at:

In addition to the report we will share insights from our recent articles published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, including:
-5 Dysfunctions of a Digital Team
-4 Models for Successfully Managing Digital

About the presenters:

Jason Mogus is the principal strategist at Communicopia, a Webby Award-winning digital consultancy that helps social change organizations adapt to a networked world. Jason has led digital transformation projects for the TckTckTck global climate campaign, The Elders, NRDC, the United Nations Foundation, and the City of Vancouver, and he is the founder of the Web of Change community.

Michael Silberman is the Global Director of Digital Innovation at Greenpeace, where he leads a new lab that envisions, tests, and rolls out creative new means of engaging and mobilizing supporters in 42 countries. Silberman is a co-founder of EchoDitto, a digital consultancy that empowers leading organizations to have a greater impact through the creative use of new technologies.

Justin Perkins is the Director of Nonprofit Services at Care2. Since 2006, Justin has worked with Care2 on over 250 campaigns to recruit millions of supporters for nonprofits across a wide variety of social and environmental issues. He also launched leading nonprofit marketing blog--and developed one of the first social network ROI calculators. He is passionate about helping nonprofits use a data-driven, efficient approach to online marketing.

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  • A legacy leftover.
  • Structured but stilted.
  • Distributed but inconsistent.
  • Ideal for managing innovation. Distributed leadership.
  • Digital Teams: Your Smartest Investment to Master a Multichannel World

    1. 1. Non-profit digital teamsWhy we are passionate about teamsOur Intention Background DocumentsWe undertook this research to better The following articles published inunderstand how non-profit leaders Stanford Social Innovation Review willmanage digital & online initiatives in theirorganizations. In our experience it’s well help you following along:led, well structured, & well resourced • The 5 Dysfunctions of a Digital Teamteams that are the fundamental building • Four Models for Managing Digitalblocks for success online. • Download the free Non-profit DigitalWe’ve gathered data from leaders in the Teams Benchmark Report atcommunity &combined it with our own www.DigitalTeams.orginsights & analysis (identified by italics)to help start a conversation in our sectorabout building better teams.
    2. 2. 5 Dysfunctions
    3. 3. Silos.
    4. 4. Personality fit.
    5. 5. Overload.
    6. 6. Lack of digital vision.
    7. 7. Lack of organizational vision.
    8. 8. 4 Models
    9. 9. The Greenpeace experience.
    10. 10. Benchmark Report
    11. 11. Contributing organizationsResponses from 67 non-profits were used in the benchmark, including:
    12. 12. Digital teams live in communications.Question: What department are you a member of?Nearly 45% of digital teams report to communications. This is often the ideal group tobe connected with as much digital work is communications driven. Teams within ITdepartments are increasingly rare. We were surprised to see 18% in the relatively newcategory of “digital super-groups”, reporting directly to the ED. We expect to see thisfigure increase over time as this can often be a more ideal location to lead newengagement functions, manage multi-channel communications, & drive innovationacross campaigns.
    13. 13. Most teams are small.Question: How many full-time staff are officially part of the team responsible for yourprimary digital channels?Nearly 40% of respondent teams working full time on digital are 1-2 people.Unsurprisingly, these numbers correlate with the size of the organization. Organizationswith over 500 staff had digital teams of an average 16 people, those with 100 to 500staff had an average of 8 people. Smaller organizations with less than 100 staff haddigital teams with an average of 4 people. Most teams are small & need to grow givenincreasing performance expectations.
    14. 14. We use a lot of contractors.Question: How many full-time equivalent contractors consistently contribute to the teamresponsible for digital?Mid-sized teams (6 to 10 people) utilized an average of 8 outside contractors, whilelarger teams (11 to 21+) used far less with an average of 3. This suggests most mid-sized organizations are highly reliant on external resources to deliver core services.While this offers flexibility we have concerns the ratio is both financially inefficient &may reflect a lack of of success in team leaders advocating for appropriately skilled fulltime staff.
    15. 15. Top roles are social, strategy, content, PMQuestion: On your digital team, what services/roles are currently represented?The most common roles found on teams are social media, strategy, content, andproject management. Very few teams have research, UX, technical, or design skillson-staff, which is a notable contrast from best in class corporate digital teams we havestudied.
    16. 16. We desperately lack people & skills.Question: Does your team have the right people to do its best work?88% of respondents reported their teams probably or completely lack the peoplerequired to do their best work. This means only 17% of teams are appropriatelystaffed. In a separate question 74% report their teams lack the right skills to do theirbest work. This points to a painful resource, people, & skill gap holding back higherperformance across our sector.
    17. 17. Teams are increasingly leading change.Question: How would you describe the digital/online team’s culture?28% of teams report their culture as strategically-led, with another 50% reporting asomewhat pro-active culture. This is important as in a separate question fully 60% ofteams are expected by their superiors to always drive new initiatives, not merely act asa service desk. This reflects an important trend where digital functions have evolvedfrom a service to more of an innovation & leadership role in most industries.
    18. 18. Most suffer from poor structure.Question: How would you describe the structure of your team?Over half (53%) of respondents report their team structures are working but needimprovement, with another 15% reporting a poor structure holding performance back.Only 32% report their structures are appropriate for the demands on their teams. Weexpect this last number to increase as more and more institutions re-structure theirdigital departments in the future.
    19. 19. Digital programs are “somewhat effective”.Question: How effective do you think your digital program is at serving the needs ofyour constituents and organization?55% of respondents report their digital programs are only somewhat effective, with afurther 9% reporting they are mostly or even highly ineffective. This leaves a luckyminority of 37% reporting a mostly or highly effective program. For a sector that pridesitself on innovation & impact, & where the successes of others are so easy tosee, having a majority of peers self-report such lukewarm results is hardly satisfying.
    20. 20. Most programs are underfunded.Question: Is your budget sufficient for your plans for this year?71% of respondents report their programs are either under-funded or significantlyunderfunded. Only a lucky minority of 29% report appropriate funding. While notsurprising for non-profit sector employees to report under-funding, what is striking isthe contrast with private sector digital budget growth (reference: is also counter-productive to the increasing responsibilities being given to digitalprograms.
    21. 21. But the future is looking brighter.Question: What is the plan for digital spending next year?And we end with some good news for our sector. 57% of respondents report plans toincrease their digital spending next year. A further 32% will stay the same and only10% will see their budgets shrink. This is a significant finding given the overall trend innon-profit sector budgets having flat-lined in the last few years, and shows theincreasing importance – and expectations – that senior managers are placing ondigital.
    22. 22. About CommunicopiaWho we are About Communicopia We are a boutique digital consultancy working globally for change. Our strategy services help institutions who see digital as pivotal for their future focus their vision, develop roadmaps for complex web projects, & create team structures that enable innovation & collaboration. Our purpose We lead transformational digital projects that help social mission organizations increase their impact & effectiveness in a networked world.
    23. 23. Let’s start a conversationHow to get in touch with usOnline Download the full Download the full report for free & Phone Related This research was published as a+1 (604) 844-7672 three part series in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.