Archive for Leadership

Managing Remote Work Teams, Part III

A dispersed team depends on people who can be productive without a boss roaming the hallways or a trusted co-worker sitting nearby. Team members should be motivated, disciplined, and flexible with their time, allowing them to connect with clients or co-workers in different time zones. People who like to quit at 5 p.m. aren’t the people who work well remotely.  They also need to communicate clearly in writing (since e-mail and instant messaging are the new standard for daily communication) and should be willing to suggest ideas, ask for and offer help, make decisions, and collaborate.

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Mentoring High-potential Talent

We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs, the following question to find out their advice for supporting — and therefore, retaining — top team members:

“How can small companies make sure that high-potential talent is getting the best possible support and mentorship?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say: Read more

Developing Your Nonprofit Staff

Nonprofits must get the most out of their people and developing leadership and management talent is a critical piece of the equation. “Good leaders motivate individuals to give their best, but great ones also figure out how to develop their people to their full capabilities—so they can and will give even more,” explained Bridgespan Group Partner Kirk Kramer, in a recent interview. However, offering development opportunities can be challenging for many nonprofit organizations. In fact, in a Bridgespan Group survey, nonprofits ranked their ability to provide development and growth opportunities to employees as their fourth greatest management weakness overall. Read more

Managing Remote Work Teams: Part II

Thanks to technology and globalization, more and more business teams are working together across state lines and international borders. Many corporations employ “dispersed teams,” where a manager in New York may communicate daily with colleagues in Boston, Los Angeles, and Singapore.  But even with an array of new Web-based collaboration tools at their disposal, most managers find handling remote teams extremely challenging. In order to get the best out of your far-flung employees, you need to establish a clear communication routine, take extra steps to build trust, and review processes often to make sure they’re working for everyone. Whether your employees are in other company offices, working from home, or a little bit of both, these tips will help keep your team running smoothly. Read more

Managing Remote Work Teams: Part I

Perhaps you’re an organization that is considering moving your work team off site.  Or maybe you want to widen your employee pool by looking outside of your geographic area.  You’ll likely have the challenge of managing a remote work force.  While the basic concepts of human resources management still apply, keeping remote employees engaged and productive requires an additional set of skills. Read more

Addressing the Nonprofit Leadership Drain

I re-read a sobering report the other day originally published in 2007 by the Bridgestone Group.  They studied the leadership requirements of nonprofits with revenues greater than $250,000 (excluding hospitals and institutions of higher education) and found that:

  • Over the next decade, these organizations will need to attract and develop some 640,000 new senior managers—the equivalent of 2.4 times the number currently employed.
  • Depending on consolidation and turnover rates, this number could fall as low as 330,000. On the other hand, given historic trends, the total need could well increase to more than one million.
  • By 2016, these organizations will need almost 80,000 new senior managers per year.

Due Diligence

I recently gave a lecture at a seminar series sponsored by my alma mater.  The topic was “A Guide for Potential Board Members:  Due Diligence.”  The room was overflowing with folks eager to learn more about the benefits of serving on a board and the benefits that they could bring to a given nonprofit.   I typically poll the audience informally before I start my presentation, and was very surprised to learn that most of the them had given very little thought as to what the nonprofit should bring to them. Read more