Here is a guest blog from my son, Zach Vincent, writing about the need for young adults to care about excellence.
The Organizational Development Muse
I am committed to read a lot of biographies and memoirs in 2012. Design Group International grew so much in 2011 that we made some internal changes to better serve our clients and our Senior Design Partners challenged me to live more fully into the CEO role. A reading list of significantly accomplished and respected people emerged. I expect some of what I discover will find its way into this blog from time to time.
I’ve been involved in what is now the Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) program since the late 1990’s, watching it morph and grow and become a professional credential to be taken seriously. When you see the CCNL designation behind someone’s name you can be assured of the following nine conveyances:
- It shows professional commitment and commitment to be a professional. Such a person is not playing at nonprofit executive leadership. They are cultivating their love and capacity for the vocation.
- It demonstrates the identity of a lifelong learner. The CCNL must be re-established every three years, demonstrated by continued participation in conferences, workshops, institutes, academies, online courses and/or mentoring (See conveyance 3). Continuous learning leads to continuous improvement of the leader and the skill they bring to their service.
- It places the leader in a community of colleagues. Because of this ongoing participation, the CCNL regularly interacts with people from many types of organizations. This rich set of relationships stokes networking and innovation that brings personal and organizational benefit. Formal learning is significantly supplemented by ongoing conversation with nonprofit colleagues.
- It connects mentors with mentees. Within the community are those whose experience and wisdom provide counsel for my circumstance, and those who benefit from hearing my perspective. A developing initiative within the CCNL program is a more formal way of linking new and experienced executive leaders for mutual benefit.
- It communicates the person’s desire to be a Steward Leader. The understanding that an executive leader is God’s servant working on God’s mission via an organization, rather than functioning as an owner of an organization that happens to be connected to God’s work, is a central distinctive of the CCNL curriculum. This affects everything—from the approach to inviting financial support to the measure of organizational success. The CCNL continues with the program because of their commitment to this Steward Leader distinctive.
- It reminds the leader of the real competition. The CCNL believes they compete against the destructive and malevolent forces of this world that create the need for the mission the leader serves. For instance, the competition, in part, is the illicit drug trade, not another addiction rehab center operating six blocks to the west. Understanding the real competition brings a focus to strategic planning and implementation that can properly transform and sustain nonprofit organizations.
- It places one in a pool of cross-disciplinary leaders. Another distinctive of the CCNL is how it prepares people to move beyond their own discipline to a deeper appreciation for other disciplines that arise to the C level. A CFO learns more about the development side of nonprofit service. A CEO learns to appreciate the HR function more deeply. A CIO learns more about marketing. The inter-disciplinary nature of the CCNL prepares future CEO’s and board members who appreciate the complexity of leading organizations.
- It signals that the leader understands a cultivated spirituality is part of the long-serving and reliable leader's foundation. Many nonprofit organizations either want to force a faith commitment into the closet, or maintain that a faith-based window dressing should cover a multitude of organizational and leadership sins. Christian Leadership Alliance, which sponsors the CCNL, keeps building into the curriculum a three-fold layer of a biblical foundation, attention to theory and practical application. The CCNL is built on the belief that faith and knowledge are companions in the Steward Leader’s journey.
- It expresses a commitment to contribute to a movement with a legacy. When CCNL is seen on a resume, it begs the interviewer to ask about it. Organizations who hire a CCNL, or have someone earn it while working for them, are quick to enroll others in the program. Current CCNL’s are recruiting others to join because of their testimony of its impact on their professional life. This groundswell is full of potential for establishing even more well-equipped leaders who operate with integrity as they lead, transform and sustain organizational mission.
It is a complete joy when people stop me at conferences or in airports, send me e-mails or leave behind evaluation comments, telling how much they have learned, how much they value the instruction they received, and how big an impact it is making for them and their organization. The CCNL is gaining traction, momentum and impact.
p.s. Registration for the next round of online modules is just about to close. There is still time to register! Modules in resource development, financial management and executive leadership are available. To learn more about the CCNL, go to www.ChristianLeadershipAlliance.org
Preaching through Jonah has put me in touch with the parallel between his life as God's servant and any organizational leader's temptation to do what comes more easily, more comfortably, more conveniently, and according to one's preferences rather than from commitment to an external mission.
We might turn you down.
We are not persnickety. We do not like to tell someone no. Still, there are times "No" is the right response.
We find it easier to say no if we are clear that helping an organization succeed is the result we seek rather than getting an organization's money.
Topics: process design, process consulting, organizational development consulting, emell vee, organizational process, philip c bergey, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, organizational design, organizational systems, who what when where why how
If you were a tribal person, and many in the world still find their identity in their tribe rather than their nation state,a triad of people would govern your existence.
Topics: process design, process consulting, organizational learning, organizational development consulting, emell vee, triple loop learning, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, organizational wisdom
I was recently asked a new question--new in my consulting experience anyway. Has your organizational development firm ever been fired?
Topics: process design, organizational development consulting, emell vee, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, organizational design, firing an organizational development firm, Consulting Agreement
Design Group International Senior Design Partners and Senior Consultants are committed to lifelong learning. To that end, I'm currently enrolled in a financial management course offered by Christian Leadership Alliance. At the end of each two week session I have to post a reflection. This past session had me thinking about the intersection of raising money and managing the money in nonprofit organizations.
Topics: process consulting, nonprofit leadership, organizational development consulting, emell vee, financial management, stewardship based leadership, ministry financial management, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, organizational design, fund raising, steward leadership