The most shocking part about that excerpt is that the article was written in January of 2020. This goes to show that rapid change in the nonprofit space was happening long before the pandemic hit. And in today’s post-COVID world, change has only accelerated further.
In fact, recent research from Ernst & Young in collaboration with Oxford University indicates that 85% of senior leaders have been involved in two or more major organizational transformations over the last 5 years, with 67% of those surveyed indicating that at least one of the transformations they have been a part of has underperformed relative to expectations.
Co-written by: Ed Rogan & Michelle Saddler
After the surge in COVID-19 cases earlier this year due to widely circulating variants, new case numbers have been falling steadily for weeks now, causing many states to lift restrictions. In most areas of the country restaurant customers are returning to in-person dining, students are back in the classroom, travelers are going on flights and cruises, sports fans are returning to stadiums at full capacity, and employees are returning to offices that had been vacated for almost two years. Despite this re-opening, the world is far from the way things used to be, and the work environment is no exception.
COVID-19 and the all the stress that surrounds it has made for a very uncertain time for many social service organizations. Lockdowns kept us from connecting with the people who count on our services. Many offices had to move to remote work plans. Fundraisers had to be reinvented as “virtual” or cancelled all together. We all know these and many more unsettling realities about our world since March of 2020.
In the beginning of all this, we prided ourselves on “pivoting” to be able to bridge and adapt to changing realities. Now we are sick and tired of pivoting. In reality, many of us are just…sick and tired.
Like our mothers always told us though (or at least mine did), there can be a silver lining if you are open to finding it.
THE WHEN & WHY OF INTERIM NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP
Have you noticed a trend lately of more nonprofit organizations hiring interim executive leaders after an Executive Director (ED)/CEO departs? Your eyes are not deceiving you! More and more nonprofit organizations are benefiting from bringing on an interim leader during a time of transition. While sometimes it makes perfect sense to hire a new Executive Director to take over from a departing ED, in many instances it can be advantageous to first bring on an Interim ED for a period of time.
I have been thinking about the last crisis in 2008, how it impacted nonprofit organizations, and what lessons could be learned. I reached out to several people who I thought would provide good perspective, people who have served on many boards and as funders. In this post, they offer their insights from the last crisis as well as thoughts about this one.
I interviewed in alphabetical order: (See bios below.)
“Editor’s note: Our community includes many exceptional leaders. From time to time, Valtas gives voice to them by including their commentary in our blog. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!”
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