Today I found a very interesting article that talks about how next-generation nonprofit leaders, under 40, see their career’s opportunities and how they are finding ways to advance their careers.
It’s a very interesting article posted by Harvard Business Publishing and they stated:
For starters, while the great majority expected to be with their current organizations three years hence, almost none of those present thought they would stay 10 years. Why not, we asked? Consensus grew around at least one strong theme: the lack of constructive feedback in their organizations.
In fact, there was an astonishing agreement that the sector in general lacked both a culture of and mechanisms for candid performance feedback. People commented that we tend to be a sector filled with people who like to be “nice” to one another. After all, those who work in organizations trying to cure poverty, solve the education crisis, improve the environment, or serve disadvantaged kids are doing critical, dare we say God’s work? How can these people be “criticized” for performance?”
It really made me think about the differences between the culture of performance in the non-profit vs corporate world. And beside the issue of a lack of candid, timely feedback. Maybe because there is often a deep-seated fear of confrontation and the technique of choice is silence.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe that at some point in their career a non-profit’s employee understands that unlike corporate enterprises, the nonprofit sector trend to be process oriented and consensus driven, both of which can slow decision making. This can be frustrating for someone who is used to more corporate pyramid-like organization can quicken decision making and implementation.
Here is when it’s extremely important to communicate the vision to the employee. Because, in a nonprofit organization, the mission not the profit is the driving force behind the organization. And, the quarterly focus on revenues and profits, which characterize the business sector, doesn’t necessarily define success. So, for someone who has continually succeeded based on profit margin, there would need to be an adjustment as to how to measure success.
Every manager or leader in the non-profit sector has the titanic responsibility to keep the vision alive to attract and maintain bright individuals who are passionate and committed to their cause. They are working for their nonprofit organization because they believe they are making a difference in the world, or because they believe in the direction of their organization, redefining what’s career’s success.
When the employee looses his/her passion for the vision, the goal becomes blurry and everything gets slower ;/