The world is changing at a breathtaking pace, making it challenging for even the most deep-pocketed organizations to keep up. For charities and not-for-profits (CNPO)—organizations notorious for red tape, limited financial resources and low-risk appetites—this rapidly-shifting landscape can be downright overwhelming.
Yet, as many CNPO CEOs recognize, standing still is not an option. To thrive in this new reality, CNPOs must become more agile by rethinking existing processes, frameworks and organizational structures, and implementing a forward-thinking vision flexible enough to respond to obstacles, and opportunities, on the turn of a dime.
Of course, identifying the need for increased flexibility doesn’t mean the path to agile will be easy to navigate. In the CNPO space, CEOs must not only focus on modernizing their own toolbox, but must also encourage their board to do the same. Earlier this year, we sat down with CEOs from successful CNPOs to discuss how to become more agile in today’s landscape—and explore the unique barriers and opportunities that arise when you’re accountable to a board.
While each member of our roundtables had unique experiences and insights to bring to the table, all seemed to agree that the first step in establishing an agile CNPO is creating an environment where both CEOs and boards enable change. For many, this means working together to clearly define both parties’ roles and responsibilities. For instance, the board should be making high-level decisions regarding an organization’s vision and strategy—and, as such, shouldn’t be bogged down with too many details of the day-to-day operations. In a similar token, CEOs should have clear parameters governing how they operate—parameters created and approved by the board.
While such role definitions are unquestionably important in helping organizations move swiftly, they’re just one piece of the puzzle. To effectively reduce red tape and become more nimble, CNPO CEOs must leverage the CEO/board relationship to uncover new ways to plan for the future, foster innovation and maximize limited resources.
If you’d like to learn more about how your CNPO can meet changing market demands by becoming more agile, we recommend reading our recent thought leadership piece, Can you make your company more agile?