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Über dieses Buch

This book explores leadership and management in social sector organizations, which include, NGOs, non-profits, social enterprises, social businesses, and cross-sector collaborations focusing on advancing human dignity and social justice. It provides social sector leaders with an overview of current trends, issues, and challenges in the field as well as best practices to foster effective programs, sustain organizations and meet the growing demands of the sector. The enclosed chapters cover topics such as cross-sector organizational design, innovation for client services, gender management dynamics, policy advocacy, and the growing social entrepreneurship movement.
The social sector is currently in a vibrant, dynamic, and exciting stage. The sector’s role and relevance to advancing human dignity and social justice is greater than ever. The number and types of social sector organizations have increased exponentially around the world and are offering extraordinary and much needed contributions toward an array of social issues. The traditional NGOs and non-profit organizations continue to be an integral part of the global civil society. At the same time, the emerging organizational forms under the social entrepreneurship umbrella are providing new momentum and excitement within and outside of the social sector. The interest in social entrepreneurship is encouraging existing social sector entities to actively embrace and encourage innovation. This interest is also inspiring a new breed of professionals and organizations to contribute to the social sector. This trend falls under the larger social sector dynamic promoting the creation of “hybrid” and emergent organizational forms, which cross and combine the traditional non-profit and for-profit domains.
Despite the increased interest, the social sector still faces challenges around the world. CIVICUS – an international group promoting civil society organizations and groups-- recently reported a rise in the restrictions on civil society activities in a number of countries through worsening policy and legal environments. Funding challenges for the social sector are thus becoming more significant. At the same time, the calls for social sector accountability and emphasis on results and impact are growing. This book aims to offer approaches and tools which allow for the bridging of demands between creativity and accountability, between inspiration and results, and between gaining individual commitment and shared ownership of agendas and achievements, all of which are needed to effectively operate in the changing social sector.



Chapter 1. Introduction

The social sector is currently in a vibrant, dynamic, and exciting stage. The sector’s role and relevance to advancing human dignity and social justice is greater than ever. This introduction explores: What is unique about the sector? Why use the term social sector? and What are some of the challenges for the social sector?
S. Aqeel Tirmizi, John D. Vogelsang

Fit for the Future: Leading Social Innovation


Chapter 2. Leading Innovation in the Social Sector

This chapter provides an overview of the concept of innovation as it applies to the social sector, with implications and guidance on how to provide effective leadership for innovative work. Drawing upon extensive leadership literature and organizational cases from multiple sectors, the chapter outlines essential practices that foster and encourage innovation, including: articulation of an innovation strategy; essential leadership competencies for leading innovation; the importance of human-centered design; critical use of technology; and creating space for experimentation and learning. The chapter demonstrates how authentic and meaningful innovation originates in an organization’s DNA, its culture, and its philosophy. It also aims to highlight the integral role that leadership plays in embracing and encouraging innovative work.
S. Aqeel Tirmizi

Chapter 3. Lessons from Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank: Leading Long-Term Organizational Change Successfully

Katharine Esty analyzes how Muhammad Yunus grew the Grameen Bank over forty years and demonstrated that it was practical to lend money to the poorest of the poor. Yunus turned conventional banking practices upside down and developed innovative management practices to address his particular situation. Esty believes there is much for today’s managers to learn from him about leading change over a long period of time. She compares his model of leadership to those of John Kotter and Rosabeth Kanter and highlights the differences in their models. Yunus’ emphasis on the importance of all kinds of communication, his ability to brand his organization, and his flexibility in adapting to change are key factors that explain his stunning successes. She concludes with some preliminary thoughts about how leading successful long-term change differs from leading more time-limited change efforts.
Katharine Esty

Chapter 4. Social Entrepreneurship: A Call for Collective Action

Social entrepreneurship presents great opportunities for higher education, international development, philanthropy, advocacy, and community organizing. Yet it also presents real dilemmas. More definition is needed about the endeavor’s paramount aims. This chapter argues that social entrepreneurs should rethink their relationship with collective action; that they should revisit old ideas while also looking for new ones; and that critical thought be given to the field’s implicit assumptions about social innovation and markets.
Grace Davie

Engaging Meaningfully in the Complex Social Context


Chapter 5. Exploring the Real Work of Social Change: Seven Questions that Keep Us Awake

This chapter captures the work the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA), in Cape Town, South Africa, has been doing over the past 20 years with a wide variety of people, from rural and urban communities and movements to networks and alliances, local and international NGOs, and donor agencies to government. Reflecting upon seven important questions that guide CDRA’s work, Doug Reeler describes how CDRA designs and facilitates transformative practices and processes of social change. He  concludes his article with a challenge to obsessively detailed planning, monitoring, evaluation, and other technical systems to manage and control social change.
Doug Reeler

Chapter 6. Policy Advocacy and Social Sector Organizations

Jeff Unsicker discusses some of the most important policies that social sector organizations (SSOs) should monitor and seek to influence—policies that can enable or impede the work of SSOs in different national environments. He then addresses some of the reasons why SSOs do not engage in efforts to influence them. Next, as a resource for such organizations that wish to become (more) engaged, he provides an overview of some key concepts and practices of policy advocacy. In so doing, Unsicker draws on lessons that many SSOs have gained through decades of engagement in policy advocacy, including frameworks that are used in the School for International Training curriculum. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of one of the cutting edge issues facing the practice of policy advocacy: evaluation of outcomes and impact. At various places in the chapter, Unsicker illustrates points with relevant experiences from his own 40 plus year career doing and teaching advocacy.
Jeff Unsicker

Chapter 7. Changes in the International Development Landscape: Social Sector Organizations from the Emerging Powers

Social sector organizations are a central stakeholder in international development cooperation and this chapter will explore how their role influencing policy makers and representing communities is currently changing. Nowhere are these changes in civil society more prominent than in the world’s emerging powers, characterized by rapid economic growth and rising inequality. This chapter will consider the changes in development assistance for civil society in emerging powers and how civil society is adapting to operate and influence governments. This research looks at the enabling environment for civil society in emerging powers and considers how shifting power dynamics, both within a country and between international actors, have left civil society trying to respond to rapidly changing political situation.
Adele Poskitt

Fostering Organization Resilience


Chapter 8. Learning for Purpose: Challenges and Opportunities for Human Capital Development in the Social Sector

The ability of social sector organizations (SSO) to respond to change and growing demands—to have social impact—substantially depends on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their people. There is substantial evidence to support this. Research shows that developing human capital is not mysterious, accidental, or something that can be postponed. Instead, human capital development ought to be considered as a strategic and deliberate activity in and for social sector organizations, and the purposes they serve. To provide the necessary background, the concepts and importance of human capital and workforce development are reviewed. The chapter integrates practically relevant knowledge, scholarly findings, and emerging debates. It is consequently argued that all social sector stakeholders need to (1) revisit the key competencies required in the social sector (i.e., What has to be learned?), (2) rethink approaches of work learning (i.e., How to go about developing the key competencies?), and (3) revise the underlying funding models (i.e., What actions by whom can facilitate this?). There is considerable need and scope to improve the understanding and management of human capital development so that SSOs can fully realize their mission and community objectives. Multiple integrated calls to action for practitioners and scholars are provided.
Ramon Wenzel

Chapter 9. The Next Level: Understanding Effective Board Development

Understanding board development requires answers to some basic questions. First, do boards matter? If your answer is yes, the next questions to ask are: Is it worth putting in the effort and resources to improve a board? Does board development result in more effective boards? What does an effective board look like? And finally: How do we achieve the next level? What practices and/or processes make up board development and which work best? What are the critical success factors? This article explores the answers to these questions. It cites research that verifies that boards indeed do matter and presents the characteristics of particularly effective boards. A framework for thinking about board assessment is discussed. Finally, the author presents the findings of her research which identified the benefits of board development, its four dimensions, and the critical factors for a successful board development process.
Mary Hiland

Chapter 10. Gender at Work: An Experiment in “Doing Gender”

Gender at Work is a virtual, transnational, feminist network with over twenty-six associates and a small complement of staff based in 12 countries that support organizational and institutional change to end discrimination against women and build cultures of equality in organizations. The linking of virtual and transnational aspects of Gender at Work enables us to be in many places at the same time, to explore approaches to organizational and institutional change that are acutely sensitive to context, and to exchange and co-create knowledge that subverts the traditional North/South divide. At the same time, the small management core with primary fundraising responsibility and part-time, intermittent nature of associate’s participation poses significant organizational challenges such as: How to support communication across the network and beyond? How to facilitate learning and knowledge building? How to develop approaches to accountability that resonate with our values? How to develop and resource institutionalized ways of supporting such functions and processes that don’t by default lead us into a hierarchal mode of operating or push up operating costs. This chapter will discuss the development of Gender at Work’s organizing strategy, how it functioned, how it was challenged by the growth of the organization, and how Gender at Work dealt with those challenges. It will also discuss how Gender at Work’s strategy may differ from other Social Sector Organizations (SSOs) and what difference that makes to “doing gender.”
Aruna Rao, David Kelleher, Carol Miller, Joanne Sandler, Rieky Stuart, Tania Principe

Chapter 11. Intervening in Organizational Trauma: A Tale of Three Organizations

Parallel to individuals’ experiences, organizations can suffer from trauma. Organizational trauma may result from a single devastating event, from the effects of many deleterious events over time, or from the impact of cumulative trauma that comes from the nature of the organization’s work. Whatever the source, organizations are wounded, sometimes severely. Trauma and traumatization overpower the organization’s cultural structure and processes and weaken the organization’s ability to respond to external and internal challenges. These cultures harbor effects of unhealed sudden traumatic events as well as insidious cumulative traumatization. Unless the effects of organizational trauma and the resulting dynamics are addressed effectively, organizations are doomed to repeat them. The authors use three case examples to help leaders and consultants identify and intervene in appropriate ways to heal organizations and promote organizational health.
Shana Hormann, Pat Vivian

Leading in Social Sector Organizations


Chapter 12. Women’s Leadership Development Through Networks of Support: An Analysis of the Women’s Leadership Circles of Vermont

A bevy of women’s leadership development programs has emerged in the last few decades to address the difficulties women face to become leaders and to grow in their leadership once they do so. This chapter takes up the question of how to help women become and grow as leaders by exploring the Women’s Leadership Circles of Vermont (WLC) women’s leadership development program. Founded in 2011 and grounded in current research on women’s leadership and leadership development, the WLC is a place-based, cross-sectoral, action-learning program that lays the groundwork for groups of 9–12 women leaders to continue leadership “circles” on their own once the program ends. To date, all four cohorts studied have continued their circles. Analysis of evaluation data shows that the women leaders who participate in the WLC benefit in unexpected and often profound ways from having a strong, local, ongoing circle of women. The circle methodology helps the circles persist, the circles gain deep meaning for their participants, and what happens in the circles supports the growth of participants’ leadership capacities. While the WLC model addresses some of the most challenging issues specific to women in leadership, its results also point to critically important lessons for leadership development in the social sector in general, especially among people who typically have not been reflected in the standard leader image. Leadership development at its best creates meaningful connections, cultivates individual leaders’ determination of what leadership looks like, and provides opportunities for ongoing learning.
Marla Solomon, Kerry Secrest

Chapter 13. Frameworks, Tools, and Leadership for Responding to Strategic Alliances Challenges

Inter-organizational and cross sector alliances are increasingly important for tackling community and societal problems that are beyond the scope and capacity of single organizations. Yet multiple and perplexing challenges can confound joint work. This chapter explores some of these challenges, and uses two case studies to illustrate how a strategic alliance continuum and a set of questions for defining partner relationships have helped affiliating organizations clarify their purposes and make agreements. A third case study illustrates approaches to and qualities of leadership that contribute to successful alliances. Finally, Complexity Leadership Theory is used to suggest how strategic alliance partners and consultants can conceptualize and create leadership systems that respond to complexity.
Merryn Rutledge

Chapter 14. Complex Responsive Leading in Social Sector Organizations

After describing some of the current challenges facing social sector organizations, this chapter presents some of the innovative responses, the way those responses serve as examples of the changing organization and leading constructs, and what skills those in “leadership” positions need to function in this complex and every changing environment. The focus of this chapter is on the different mindset and orientation to organization development these new constructs offer.
John D. Vogelsang

Measuring Success


Chapter 15. Accounting for Outcomes: Monitoring and Evaluation in the Transnational NGO Sector

As globally operating social sector organizations, transnational NGOs face complex challenges relating to monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL). This chapter provides an overview of MEAL in the transnational NGO sector, explains the logic of impact evaluation, introduces important concepts, outlines commonly used evaluation designs, and offers a performance management framework based on the principle of outcome accountability. The chapter also addresses relevant controversies, considers the catalysts and obstacles to quality MEAL in the social sector, and provides guidance for managers and leaders interested in strengthening MEAL capacity within their organizations.
George E. Mitchell



Chapter 16. Conclusion

We believe that the chapters in this volume offer comprehensive and practical advice on creating and sustaining impactful social sector organizations. Two recent important studies synthesize and confirm several pieces of this advice. For instance, in one recent study McKinsey and Co. reached out to 200 CEOs and senior leaders and asked them to outline the key competencies needed for the social sector leaders.
S. Aqeel Tirmizi, John D. Vogelsang
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