Making Decisions

How “design thinking” can change the way your NFP works

Are teams in your organisation open to new ways of working?

While “innovation” may be something everyone says they love, when push comes to shove, convention and tradition – ‘the way things have always been done’ – often rules supreme.

That’s because innovation can be risky, unproven – and scary. But given that not-for-profit organisations deal with some of our society’s most important problems, the need to apply creative solutions in order to make an impact is even more important – particularly with a rapidly changing external environment and increasingly strained budgets.

Enter “Design Thinking”.

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How to make tough decisions

Making a tough decision about your team or your organisation’s workforce can be, well…tough.

NFP leaders and managers are called upon to make tough decisions as a matter of course. But what do you do when the decision is really important, and it’s really not clear what course of action you should take?

Harvard Business School professor Joseph L. Badaracco is an expert in making what he calls “grey area” problems – ones that can sometimes be difficult to clearly assess. He suggests five practical questions you should ask yourself that can help you and your team illuminate the “greyest of grey areas”.

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Who holds power in your NFP? Your answer might help explain how effective and engaged your staff and volunteers are

Who holds power in your NFP organisation?

It’s difficult to talk about power. Mentioning power can conjure up memories of encounters with parents, teachers, bosses, the law, family or partners who have exercised power over over us in negative ways.

But power relationships are woven throughout our lives, and throughout our workplaces. And being clear about who holds power – particularly the power to make decisions – in your organisation, as well as ensuring that structure reflects your organisation’s shared values – will mean that staff and volunteers understand how and why power works as it does. And that can mean the difference between an empowered staff member, and a disempowered, disengaged one.

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