Change Management

What Do You Read to Lead?

David La Piana // Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What Do You Read to Lead?

Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter is best known for his eight-step guide to navigating organizational change. His latest book, Accelerate, builds on the eight-step approach but introduces a whole new concept, one which I think has broad applicability to the nonprofit sector.

 

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Categories: Change Management, Commentary, Strategic Planning
Tags: innovation, management, organizational structure

Betting on Bold Change

La Piana Consulting // Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Betting on Bold Change

The nonprofit sector is a tough place to take risks, but we believe the trend toward thinking bigger and acting bolder will define the future of the sector. For nonprofits, not taking the right risks can mean losing out on becoming stronger or growing, asserting leadership in the field or community, or increasing mission-driven impact. But how do you work through the fear of taking the risk?

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Categories: Change Management, Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring, Trends
Tags: decision making, innovation, social sector

Resets, Balance, and the Future of Philanthropy

// Thursday, July 24, 2014

Resets, Balance, and the Future of Philanthropy

In a recent article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Barr Foundation’s Jim Canales challenges fellow foundation leaders to reset their default attitudes. Touching on key issues such as data and metrics, and the tension between being a leader and being part of something bigger, he encourages funders to consider new ways of thinking, doing, and being. We saw similar themes emerge in a project we undertook with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, where we found that the philanthropic sector must master the art of balance, as they are increasingly challenged to manage two seemingly contradictory ideas or approaches simultaneously.  

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Categories: Foundations, Change Management, Trends
Tags: organizational culture, philanthropy

Making Decisions or Making Nice?

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making Decisions or Making Nice?

What are some of the barriers to getting past just making nice and instead making a decision to partner? And how can nonprofit leaders recognize and overcome these obstacles?

We have worked with a number of groups of organizations seeking assistance in identifying collaborative opportunities. Usually, there is no overt funder pressure or acute crisis involved, so the benefit is that the potential partners can approach collaboration in a proactive way, rather than being compelled to it. The problem is that an alliance is then seen as "nice," but not "necessary," and the tendency is for the conversation to focus on low-risk collaborative ventures where none of the organizations has any real skin in the game and there is little hope or expectation of real impact. 

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Categories: Nonprofits, Change Management, Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring
Tags: decision making, strategic restructuring

Building More Powerful Organizations

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, June 26, 2014

Building More Powerful Organizations

Every day, we get to work with nonprofits that are dedicated to creating a more just, prosperous, and sustainable world. Many of these organizations are reaching a kind of midlife crisis, or at least an inflection point at which the old rules seem to no longer apply. That prompts us to reflect on where we have been and what comes next.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Change Management, Trends
Tags: competition, social justice, strategy

The Y Changes the Game, Emphasizes Youth and Preventive Health

La Piana Consulting // Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Y Changes the Game, Emphasizes Youth and Preventive Health

We were happy to see Y-USA featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy last month with two articles on how the organization has refocused its mission to make a more measurable difference in people’s lives. Not only has the revitalization of its national brand updated its role from that of a recreational resource to an innovator in preventive health, it offers one of the best examples to date of a nonprofit adapting to health care reform.

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Categories: Change Management, Our Clients, Strategic Planning
Tags: branding, innovation, strategy

Courageous Closure: In Search of Nonprofit Happy Endings

Rosalyn Allison-Jacobs // Thursday, October 31, 2013

Courageous Closure: In Search of Nonprofit Happy Endings
In this time of unprecedented growth of nonprofits, and correspondingly alarming shrinkage of resources, I would like to issue a challenge. Help us capture the stories of successful nonprofit dissolution--stories where the decision to go out of business was intentional, thoughtful, planful, and ultimately in the public interest. Share with us so that others might learn my example that courageous closure does not equate to failure.
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Categories: Nonprofits, Business Planning, Change Management
Tags: business models, decision making, market awareness, planning, social sector

Doing Good in the 21st Century

La Piana Consulting // Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Doing Good in the 21st Century

Earlier this year, La Piana Consulting joined Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) to explore how emerging trends are changing how we “do good” and in what ways the social sector must adapt to meet these 21st Century challenges and opportunities.

Our shared goal is to inspire open dialogue and bold action about how nonprofits and philanthropies can begin to think differently and work differently to lead social change.

We are pleased to share our Voices from the Field report, an analysis of what we learned, and a companion to a series of video highlights speaking to key themes. 

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Categories: Change Management
Tags: generational shift, innovation, research, sustainability

Hit “Refresh”: Organizational Restructuring

Scott Cotenoff // Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hit “Refresh”: Organizational Restructuring

“Organizational restructuring” is a phrase that can inspire dread in the hearts of nonprofit staff and board members alike. New org charts, titles, roles, and responsibilities…Who has the time to think about all this, when our real work demands full attention? Endless meetings and planning sessions, not to mention staff anxiety, is what usually comes to mind when thinking about retooling your nonprofit to adapt to changing times and new goals.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Change Management, Strategic Planning
Tags: nonprofit consulting

Building Adaptive Capacity

Jo DeBolt // Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Building Adaptive Capacity

Strong organizational capacity can’t be imported or taught; it has to be built over time by nurturing and encouraging the organization’s strengths over its weaknesses. What can be taught are the skills and habits that help organizations understand and develop sound strategies. Adaptability is a quality that organizations can develop to position themselves to succeed.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Change Management, Leadership, Trends
Tags: nonprofit consulting, organizational culture, technology
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