Episode 30: How flexible leadership can develop your team’s capacity

Nonprofits have been experiencing an increased demand for services, but that increased demand has not necessarily been matched with an increase in resources. How can nonprofit leaders achieve more with less?

This can be a tough situation because, as a leader, you may feel pressured to do more and at the same time, without more resources coming in, how can you produce more outputs?

This is essentially the question that a team of researchers from Walden University considered in their article, Developing workforce capability in nonprofits through effective leadership published in the International Journal of Applied Management and Technology. Their research suggests the answer lies in using effective leadership to develop the greatest resource you do have- your team.

Here’s what you can expect to take away from this episode…

⦿ How developing your workforce can help increase organizational capacity

⦿ Why staff alignment is particularly important during times of increased demand

⦿ Why being flexible with your leadership style is important


⦿ [2:27] In order to explore this idea, the researchers performed a single case study, in which they focused on a nonprofit organization whose leaders were able to successfully meet an increased demand for their services through increasing workforce capability.
⦿ [8:00] Whereas the former leadership used a top-down approach for strategic planning, the new leaders used a more holistic approach, involving staff in the planning process. This was critical to the organization’s success.
⦿ [9:10] When you have increasing needs and limited resources, the organization needs to be in alignment- you can’t waste precious resources on an internal struggle.
⦿ [8:41] In addition to the formal procedure through the HR process, the leadership also created a culture in which staff were praised for innovating, pitching new ideas, and for seeing projects through from idea to implementation.
⦿ [10:37] Finally the last thing I want to touch on before getting into my key takeaways is that the increased donations weren’t just a temporary thing. It’s not like the donors committed to increasing their gifts and then canceled or reneged or anything like that.
⦿ [12:30] They intentionally advanced their technology in areas that would make the organization more efficient and in areas that would improve the experience of the community they serve.
⦿ [15:07] They were, as the authors say, methodical in how they addressed the strategic plan objectives.
⦿ [16:56] In terms of their leadership style, creating these processes and collecting data could guide the leaders as to what their workforce needed from them.

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⦿ Article: Developing workforce capability in nonprofits through effective leadership
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