The following is a presentation made this past week at the Christian Leadership Alliance's Conference in Dallas, TX. It was part of a summit on Steward Leadership. Portions of what you will find below include input from summit participants.
The Organizational Development Muse
Topics: process consulting, Foundations of resource raising, fiscal responsibility, board development, Christian Leadership Alliance, Stewardship Development, steward leader, stewardism, denominational funding, associational systems, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Fiscal Health, Executive Development, Five Stewardship Confusions,
Over the years, we've turned, repeatedly, to the subject of Steward Leadership, especially as articulated in Scott Rodin's book on the Steward Leader. I've been privileged to support this work through some writing contributions to other titles:
My family story is one of holding our household together through my wife's long battle with leiomyosarcoma. Eighteen occurrences in sixteen years is a lot for anyone. We've made it this far, raising our children and now enjoying being grandparents, while building Design Group International, completing research projects related to graduate education, and finding ways to enjoy life, however constricted it might feel.
Topics: process design, process consulting, becoming a steward leader, steward leader, executive coaching, Uterine metastatic leiomyosarcoma, stewardship based leadership, Convene, peer-based consulting teams, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, steward leadership, leiomyosarcoma, Leader to Leader, Executive Development, Leader2Leader, Peer-based advising, peer-based executive teams, Executive peer-based advising
A recent interaction with some executive leadership students thinking with me in sessions I'm privileged to facilitate with Christian Leadership Alliance provoked the following thoughts:
Topics: process consulting, organizational development, steward leader, executive coaching, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational decision making, executive leader development, long term decision making,
A recent talk I gave sparked a lot of conversation. The theme was the four pervasive lies in our culture and the four lies that rush in to fill the void when those lies are exposed. Since these lies diminish human potential, supress the human spirit and even destroy lives, it seems prudent for the Steward Leader to work against them and to be those who speak gracious and civil truth to the culture.
After a year and a half of tracking our blog posts on organizational development, it was an interesting exercise to analyze which posts were the most widely read. We are choosing to flex our infographics muscle as we share the five most widely read with you. We developed this in piktochart. Their free version, available at: http://piktochart.com/ is surprisingly robust. Our key disappointment, however, is that we could not create links directly in the graphic. They say this is a feature they are working on and will be released soon. Let us know what you think. Do you like information presented in formats like this?
Sitting presidents and presidential candidates are notorious for confidently stating erroneous and discredited information that press secretaries must clarify later. To a degree this is understandable because of the unwithering and relentless public scrutiny they receive. Any mistake is going to be caught, magnified, caricatured and published. Still, it is a lesson to any organizational leader that they need to be in command of their facts and to offer the front seat to the people who know what they do not.
Topics: process consulting, organizational development, organizational learning, organizational development firm, steward leader, stewardism, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational communication, steward leadership
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.
Topics: process design, process consulting, Process Consultation, emell vee, organizational development firm, steward leader, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, louis l'amour, education of a wandering man
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