A Nonprofit Life Stages Assessment Where You Are, Where You’re Going, and What to Expect When You Get There   Prepared for...
Guided by Judith Sharken Simon’s methodology
What We’ll Cover <ul><li>Why It’s Helpful to Know about  Life Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Background to Understanding Organiz...
Why Learn About Organizational Life Cycles? <ul><li>Validates experiences and dispels disease mentality </li></ul><ul><li>...
Reinvention requires knowledge of organizational assets and capacity building challenges to identify and chart a path to s...
Premises of Nonprofit Life Stages Model <ul><li>Organizations are generally forward moving at a predictable pace.  </li></...
Some Organizations Do Not Fit the Model <ul><li>Very large, complex organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Very small, grassroots...
APHA Life Stage Survey <ul><li>25 invited to participate (24 board members / 1 staff) </li></ul><ul><li>18 respondents </l...
APHA Life Stage Survey <ul><li>Survey scores and reviewer comments are contained in the excel survey report document that ...
APHA Assessment <ul><li>APHA’s organization assessment is informed by: </li></ul><ul><li>interviews with senior staff, dep...
How does Life Stage support the Assessment? <ul><li>Serves as a shared point of context for the reviewer and the organizat...
What is APHA’s life stage? <ul><li>Based on the scoring of survey responses, APHA scores as a  Stage 4:   Produce and Sust...
The Life Stages Model Stage 1 Imagine and Inspire Stage 2 Found and Frame Stage 3 Ground and Grow Stage 4 Produce and Sust...
Life Stage Assessment Arenas of Organization Performance <ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Leadership </li></ul><...
1: Imagine and Inspire <ul><li>Stage 1: </li></ul><ul><li>No external support </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity and energy </li...
2: Found and Frame <ul><li>Stage 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of formalizing </li></ul><ul><li>Excitement </li></ul><ul><li>C...
3: Ground and Grow <ul><li>Stage 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Need accountability </li></ul><ul><li>First outsider </li></ul><ul><...
4: Produce and Sustain <ul><li>Stage 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Board-staff roles </li></ul><ul><li>Old vs. new </li></ul><ul><l...
5: Review and Renew <ul><li>Stage 5 characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Turnover </li></ul><ul>...
Decline and Dissolution <ul><li>Ineffective </li></ul><ul><li>Infighting </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Gracef...
Advancing Through Stage 4  <ul><li>Obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of staff control (too little or much) can lead t...
Stage 4 Advancement Tips <ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Formalize ED performance review </li></ul><ul><li>Develop or...
<ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Increase # of managers </li></ul><ul><li>Actively address issues arising from increased...
<ul><li>Products & Services </li></ul><ul><li>Develop long range plans for products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Try out...
Stage 5 Advancement Tip <ul><li>Financing </li></ul><ul><li>Expand funding sources </li></ul><ul><li>Add staff to developm...
Next Step <ul><li>Review the accompanying Excel worksheets to see a report of results and reviewer comments / questions fo...
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APHA Reinvention And Life Stages

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The APHA organizational assessment was partially informed with an online life stages survey that queried board members and senior staff on their impressions of APHA performance. This PowerPoint reports on the survey results, APHA life stage and implications for capacity building.

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APHA Reinvention And Life Stages

  1. 1. A Nonprofit Life Stages Assessment Where You Are, Where You’re Going, and What to Expect When You Get There Prepared for Gordon F. Goodwin Development Solutions Group [email_address]
  2. 2. Guided by Judith Sharken Simon’s methodology
  3. 3. What We’ll Cover <ul><li>Why It’s Helpful to Know about Life Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Background to Understanding Organization Life Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Nonprofit Organization Stages of Life </li></ul><ul><li>Life Stages Self-Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Issues and challenges in each life stage </li></ul><ul><li>Small group work on Stage 1-5 scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>How will I use this in my work? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Learn About Organizational Life Cycles? <ul><li>Validates experiences and dispels disease mentality </li></ul><ul><li>Helps staff and board put the transition issues an organization is facing in context </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations and leaders that manage transitions well are more successful </li></ul>
  5. 5. Reinvention requires knowledge of organizational assets and capacity building challenges to identify and chart a path to sustainability. Understanding organizational life stage helps illuminate the capacity building path, and choices for pursuing it. Transition = Reinvention
  6. 6. Premises of Nonprofit Life Stages Model <ul><li>Organizations are generally forward moving at a predictable pace. </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations are multidimensional. </li></ul><ul><li>Five factors comprise life cycle: age, size, growth rate of its field, social environment, and its primary leader’s characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant events occur at each stage which are necessary to move forward. </li></ul><ul><li>There is not a predictable end-point in organizational life. </li></ul><ul><li>There are distinct stages, but boundaries between stages are blurry. </li></ul><ul><li>Each stage can be defined by dominant characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>Each stage is uniquely valuable. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Some Organizations Do Not Fit the Model <ul><li>Very large, complex organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Very small, grassroots organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations with unique circumstances </li></ul>
  8. 8. APHA Life Stage Survey <ul><li>25 invited to participate (24 board members / 1 staff) </li></ul><ul><li>18 respondents </li></ul><ul><li>Customized and abbreviated instrument (51 questions vs. 105) </li></ul><ul><li>Proprietary nature of methodology does not permit adapting the survey to reflect unique characteristics of APHA organizational identity (e.g. - governance structure) </li></ul>
  9. 9. APHA Life Stage Survey <ul><li>Survey scores and reviewer comments are contained in the excel survey report document that delivered with this presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>A facilitated discussion of survey results is scheduled to occur in conjunction with the January, 2010 APHA board meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>The 5 Life Stages Guide will be provided for you at that meeting. </li></ul>
  10. 10. APHA Assessment <ul><li>APHA’s organization assessment is informed by: </li></ul><ul><li>interviews with senior staff, department managers and select board members </li></ul><ul><li>review of consultant-requested documentation to substantiate existence of necessary governance and management protocols / infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective perceptions of APHA performance from board survey responses </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective performance rankings assigned by the consultant reviewer using 47 criteria </li></ul>
  11. 11. How does Life Stage support the Assessment? <ul><li>Serves as a shared point of context for the reviewer and the organization being reviewed </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights where board and staff perceptions support reviewer assessment, and serves to foster constructive dialogue in cases where board and staff perceptions are different from the reviewer’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusiveness of your perceptions adds needed ownership and credibility to “outsider-led” process - and increases likelihood of follow-through on recommendations / options to consider. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is APHA’s life stage? <ul><li>Based on the scoring of survey responses, APHA scores as a Stage 4: Produce and Sustain . </li></ul><ul><li>Though most aspects reflect Stage 4, Administrative Systems straddles Stage 4 and Stage 3: Ground and Grow </li></ul><ul><li>Financing scored a Stage 5: Review and Renew </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Life Stages Model Stage 1 Imagine and Inspire Stage 2 Found and Frame Stage 3 Ground and Grow Stage 4 Produce and Sustain Stage 5 Review and Renew Decline and Dissolve
  14. 14. Life Stage Assessment Arenas of Organization Performance <ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Financing </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing (not addressed in APHA survey) </li></ul>
  15. 15. 1: Imagine and Inspire <ul><li>Stage 1: </li></ul><ul><li>No external support </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity and energy </li></ul><ul><li>Can this dream be realized? </li></ul><ul><li>0–5 years in duration </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Navigating: </li></ul><ul><li>Think into staffing scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Secure expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate the ideas </li></ul>
  16. 16. 2: Found and Frame <ul><li>Stage 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of formalizing </li></ul><ul><li>Excitement </li></ul><ul><li>Charisma </li></ul><ul><li>How are we going to pull this off? </li></ul><ul><li>1–2 years in duration </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Navigating: </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the board </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the funding base </li></ul><ul><li>Develop organizational systems and structure </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Can this dream be realized? </li></ul><ul><li>0–5 years </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3: Ground and Grow <ul><li>Stage 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Need accountability </li></ul><ul><li>First outsider </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of accomplishment </li></ul><ul><li>How can we build this to be viable? </li></ul><ul><li>2–5 years in duration </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Navigating: </li></ul><ul><li>Board training and recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify Exec. Director role </li></ul><ul><li>Develop multiyear budget & fundraising plan </li></ul><ul><li>Expand staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 2: </li></ul><ul><li>How are we going to pull this off? </li></ul><ul><li>1–2 years </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Can this dream be realized? </li></ul><ul><li>0–5 years </li></ul>
  18. 18. 4: Produce and Sustain <ul><li>Stage 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Board-staff roles </li></ul><ul><li>Old vs. new </li></ul><ul><li>Stable resources </li></ul><ul><li>How can we sustain the momentum </li></ul><ul><li>7–30 years duration </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Navigating: </li></ul><ul><li>Undertake self-assessment processes </li></ul><ul><li>Training in understanding & managing diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic/long range planning </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 3: </li></ul><ul><li>How can we build this to be viable? </li></ul><ul><li>2–5 years </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 2: </li></ul><ul><li>How are we going to pull this off? </li></ul><ul><li>1–2 years </li></ul>
  19. 19. 5: Review and Renew <ul><li>Stage 5 characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Turnover </li></ul><ul><li>New energy </li></ul><ul><li>Linkages </li></ul><ul><li>What do we need to redesign? </li></ul><ul><li>2–5 years duration </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Navigating: </li></ul><ul><li>Change management </li></ul><ul><li>Succession planning </li></ul><ul><li>Rethink staffing structures </li></ul><ul><li>Seek collaborative relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Exec. Director coaching </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 4: </li></ul><ul><li>How can we sustain the momentum </li></ul><ul><li>7–30 years </li></ul>
  20. 20. Decline and Dissolution <ul><li>Ineffective </li></ul><ul><li>Infighting </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Graceful demise </li></ul><ul><li>Should we close? </li></ul><ul><li>Seek assistance </li></ul>
  21. 21. Advancing Through Stage 4 <ul><li>Obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of staff control (too little or much) can lead to difficult staff:board communication </li></ul><ul><li>Stability may lead to complacency and stagnation : less risk-taking, creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Board tension: policy or “working” board? (see Q6 - Governance) </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Organization is widely known and respected </li></ul><ul><li>Resources are available to take risks / innovate </li></ul><ul><li>New staff and board bring new energy, ideas and possibilities </li></ul>
  22. 22. Stage 4 Advancement Tips <ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Formalize ED performance review </li></ul><ul><li>Develop or revise board committee structure </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate annual or biennial board self-assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Implement professional development plan after performance review </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify ED primary roles, responsibilities and accountabilities - especially for staff management </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Increase # of managers </li></ul><ul><li>Actively address issues arising from increased staff diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain legal counsel if staff dismissal is imminent </li></ul><ul><li>Admin Systems* </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure admin staffing levels are adequate </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate automated data management systems including financial and client data </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade hardware and software </li></ul>Stage 4 Advancement Tips * Includes Stage 3 suggestion
  24. 24. <ul><li>Products & Services </li></ul><ul><li>Develop long range plans for products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Try out new program approaches / models </li></ul><ul><li>Develop internal system for assessing and responding to new opportunities </li></ul>Stage 4 Advancement Tips
  25. 25. Stage 5 Advancement Tip <ul><li>Financing </li></ul><ul><li>Expand funding sources </li></ul><ul><li>Add staff to development function </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze current funding strategies </li></ul>
  26. 26. Next Step <ul><li>Review the accompanying Excel worksheets to see a report of results and reviewer comments / questions for future discussion. </li></ul>

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