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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Organisations don't change on their own - People must change before the organisation does

Of all the issues discussed by many in the Australian nonprofit sector, is the common-held view that the external environment within which you operate is an ever-changing landscape. These external pressures are derived from many sources and the work that I do in the strategic planning and strategic thinking space with many such organisations, highlights fundamental issues which must be taken into consideration when seeking to ensure the ongoing sustainability of your nonprofit organisation.

These pressures are originating from numerous sources, and when they hit, as they invariably will, they are not mutually exclusive, but rather are somewhat interrelated, suggesting no single cause and effect relationship. They stem from economic, political, social and technology trends, all of which are continuing to challenge your staff, your boards and therefore your business models. 

Staff knowledge that has remained static over any number of years will be detrimental to your organisation. Boards that are not keeping abreast of market risks and opportunities will be a drag on your organisation. Business models that worked and delivered outcomes 5 years ago, may not be relevant as you move forward for the next five years. This points to 'Change' and those nonprofits that can successfully manage change in a dynamic environment framework, and appreciate that it is not a static but rather a constant process, will best ensure their own sustainability.

My own research through my recently completed PhD was entitled "The enduring challenge of change management - new perspectives from nonprofit healthcare practice" identified a number of processes and initiatives that support successful change management in this sector. The findings from this research have now been embodied in an OPTIMUM NFP service offering entitled the CARC Program(Cultural Assessment for Readiness to Change). The Program addresses not only the extent to which your nonprofit is in fact ready for change, but also identifies the key factors associated with its ability to maintain an environment of constant change.

The CARC Program is a flexible approach to understanding how staff within your nonprofit will react to initial and ongoing change. Its key characteristics are as follows:
  • An interview-based analysis that caters to all organisational sizes and settings
  • It is not a one-size-fits-all approach but rather it reflects your organisation's unique context, environment, people and requirements
  • Investment in the Program is based on the number of staff interviewed, and therefore caters to all organisational sizes
The following represents the 6 key steps in the CARC Program:
  1. Reach agreement of expectations and deliverables
  2. Undertake a Situational Analysis from within the organisation
  3. Create a Change-Success Gap Analysis
  4. Identify detailed list of remedial actions
  5. Undertake Executive-level discussions 
  6. Complete a detailed Change Readiness Report including a Change Action Plan
Contact David Rosenbaum of OPTIMUM NFP at drosenbaum@optimumnfp.com.au or 0411-744-911 to further discuss this new initiative and how your nonprofit may benefit from its implementation

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