The Nonprofit Leadership Center’s 2019 Fall Board & Senior Leadership Conference is just around the corner. The conference theme is Culture 2.0: Building Nonprofit Teams for Organizational Sustainability. But what exactly is Culture 2.0? Why does culture matter for nonprofits? And why is it important for you to be at this event during such a busy time of year? Conference speaker and management expert Margarita Sarmiento is answering these questions and explaining why culture should be at the top of every nonprofit leader’s priority list.
What is organizational culture?
Culture traditionally describes the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that make an organization’s environment unique. Think about it as the who, what, where, when, how and why of your nonprofit.
What risks do nonprofits face if they don’t prioritize organizational culture and climate?
The biggest risk that nonprofits face in balancing mission and administrative needs is complacency — maintaining the status quo. In today’s change-driven world, successful organizations are focused on the future and what they need to do to be competitive and impactful. Now is the best time of year for nonprofit leaders to be introspective as they gear up for year-end and make plans for next year.
How can focusing on organizational culture/climate enhance fundraising, volunteerism and/or advocacy efforts?
Your organization’s culture/climate is the very heartbeat of your work. A cohesive environment that sparks collaboration, triggers learning, builds trust and demands respect is an environment where problems get solved and expectations are exceeded. This is an environment that will garner measurable results in all areas. In a positive, energized work climate, staff, stakeholders and volunteers will feel encouraged and supported as they share a common purpose, allowing them to do their best work.
What can attendees at NLC’s Senior Board & Leadership Conference expect to take away from the event?
- A practical understanding of what organizational culture looks like
- Real-life stories of organizations that have successfully taken a strategic approach to culture-building
- Insight into what organizations must incorporate into their current cultural make-up to compete and thrive in today’s environment
- A clear grasp of what they can do to strengthen and sustain their current culture, equipping them for the future
Why is it important for multiple leaders to attend?
Just as an organization is strengthened by different perspectives, any type of strategic or organizational planning is stronger when individuals and stakeholders with different viewpoints and experiences are involved. We recommend nonprofit CEOs attend NLC’s Senior Board and Leadership Conference with at least one board member as well as staff on their leadership team who understand the organization’s culture.
What, if anything, should attendees think about or prepare in advance?
Think about areas where things seem to be going well for your organization. What might be driving your success, and what part might climate or culture play? Also, think about areas where leadership, staff and board members may not be on the same page. What factors influence those results? In both cases, what is consciously being done to maintain or change the current situation?
How can attendees get the most out of the event?
Come with an open mind and a realistic perspective. You will not be asked to look at your current situation in terms of right and wrong, but in terms of what is and what could be.
Join us on November 7
Ready to take the next step in your organization’s growth? If your nonprofit organization needs support developing and retaining your best staff in an ever-changing workforce, join the Nonprofit Leadership Center and facilitator Margarita Sarmiento for our 2019 Board & Senior Leadership Conference. This one-day event on November 7, 2019, will explore how your organization can harness organizational culture and climate to improve your productivity and longevity. Learn more and register HERE.
Margarita Sarmiento has more than 25 years of management, training and facilitation experience in professional development, team building, leadership, organizational planning, board development, cross cultural communication and diversity. She has worked in corporate management and training with Progressive Companies, Busch Entertainment Corporation and the National Conference for Community & Justice — Tampa Bay. She’s also an active trainer and facilitator for NLC.