RN #007 Transformational change is gaining traction in the non-profit sector. Let’s support them

In the last two months, I have worked on a few papers and tasks and have abundantly seen how the non-profit sector has begun to repurpose its language around change. Words such as ‘systemic change’, ‘transformational change’, ‘systemic complexity’, ‘uncertainty’, and ‘pathways’, are finding resonance in the non-profit sectors to combat poverty, meet economic and social needs, address public health, food, and climate change concerns.

Transformation is at the heart of humanity. The challenge has been our ability to put it into practice. 

I want to applaud global and local non-profit organizations such as the United Nations World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator Programme headed by Bernhard Kowatsch, the UNDP Global Head of Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems, Andrew Bovarnick, and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food who are taking the bold decision to integrate transformation, and systems change processes in their organisational and operational models. Keep up the good work.

I present how we can improve the pathways:

Learn from global transformation industry groups

Transformation is the heart of organisational resilience. Study and learn from those doing the same. Reach out to global industry associations in the discipline of change to access knowledge and resources to equip your management and workforce to start this journey of transformation with you. The Association of Change Management Professionals is THE leading global change management association where you can find such opportunities. ACMP is advancing the discipline of global change management in an unprecedented manner. Last week’s Global Change Summit was no exception. 

Use and adapt to global standards on change 

Your resilience should be built on global standards. Start with a shared global standard that has been developed through professional expertise around the world, and global experiences in how change works. Assess that level of participation in the development of the standard. ACMP has one you can download for free.  

Prepare your leadership and board

Your transformation starts with your management and board. If they do not see the reason for the investment, you will not go far. Most importantly, you may face challenges if they are not active and visible figures in the organization, the preparation and activation of your transformation agenda. You need the required leadership and sponsorship to get through to the outcomes you want. Role model matters.

Prepare your workforce

When your workforce sees effective and exemplary role modelling it becomes far easier to engage your teams. However, leadership role modelling of transformation is not enough. We must prepare our teams and equip them with tools and resources to ‘see’ themselves in the transformation journey. Make them active collaborators, champions, and leaders of the value chain of transformation. You need a language to let them understand why you are transforming and let them have a transparent outlook of their future in the outcomes of transformation. Vulnerability matters.

Have a centre of excellence

Have a resource in-house where your team members can go to access resources to carry out the work you want them to do to be successful as partners and active contributors to transformation. 

Embed sustainment

Until transformation is integrated into the business model results will not be seen much less be measured. Team efforts must be recognised and rewarded. Sustainability is about your survival. This is about how we go about preparing ourselves to thrive in the future. Staying relevant to our stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, society, and shareholders. Let’s have a full end-to-end description of how the transformation starts and yields multi-year results.

Let humanity be the driver

The need to transform our systems, processes and technologies is not because of COVID 19 but because we care about each other. COVID 19 and racial inequality sparked and gave it fire. Climate change is yet to add a lever if we don’t take proactive and deliberate action to fund adaptation. The impact of the current global food and energy crisis is an example. 

We believe in humanity. You care about your fellows. We are embarking on systems change to ensure that all humans can put body and soul together and thrive. 

Let the drivers of humanity inform the principles and values of your transformation agenda. 

At Nimdier we work with non-profit organisations to advance transformation.

Photo credit: Håkon Grimstad

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