By MichaelaThursday, June 28th, 2007
Many nonprofits face the same challenges as La Piana Associates faces: we’re big enough to require fairly sophisticated systems, but too small to really be able to afford them.
We have defined our work as a firm as falling into a Business Management area and a Practice Management area. In the Business Management area we have a person responsible for human resources as a small part of his job, which is mostly being a consultant. The same thing is true in marketing and in operations. These three staff people are complemented by a finance specialist who is a contractor. The four of them, plus my assistant, constitute the Business Management Team.
Since each of these folks is part-time in their non-consulting role, coordination is difficult. Thus, we have decided to reorganize so that one of these people is devoted full-time to the coordination function. Kristen Godard will assume the role of Director of Operations, coordinating HR, marketing, and finance, as well as her own operations area.
This solution was generated by the Business Management Team members themselves, and merely ratified by me after I asked a few questions for clarification. The moral? A successful solution to this type of problem is often most likely to emerge from the people most directly involved in it on a day-to-day basis.
We are just at the point of implementing this system, so a report on results will have to wait.