32 episodes

Welcome to my podcast NGO Soul + Strategy – a podcast for leaders of NGOs and other philanthropic organizations who are not satisfied with the status quo, are ready to look change right in the eye and who see themselves as leader-as-learner.

NGO Soul + Strategy Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Welcome to my podcast NGO Soul + Strategy – a podcast for leaders of NGOs and other philanthropic organizations who are not satisfied with the status quo, are ready to look change right in the eye and who see themselves as leader-as-learner.

    031. What you can do to excel in virtual team leadership: Monica Maassen @ Oxfam

    031. What you can do to excel in virtual team leadership: Monica Maassen @ Oxfam

     Summary

    Monica is a change management specialist par excellence. She is also thoughtful about all things management and leadership. How does she see the linkages between change management and virtual/hybrid team leadership - something we all got thrown into big time in the last 2 years  (if we did not already practice it before)?
     What is the biggest thing(s) we may be missing about not working in a co-located team, and what is it that we may not miss that much?
     What are the biggest differences between leading a virtual or hybrid team, and leading a co-located team? And what are the distinct advantages and disadvantages of either situation?
     In this podcast episode, I interview Monica Maassen, Head of Change Management and Learning in the context of our new online course ‘Post-Pandemic Virtual Team Leadership Essentials’.  A small team of talented freelance contributors and I at Five Oaks Consulting have recently launched this course! And Monica was part of our first cohort. In this interview, I explore some of Monica's reflections and lessons learned after having taken the course.

    Monica’s Bio
        Head of Oxfam International’s Change Management and Learning team    Head of Oxfam International’s Organizational Effectiveness unit    Deputy Director, Change Management, Oxfam Int    Head of Change Management, Oxfam NOVIB ( Netherlands' affiliate of Oxfam) 
    We discuss:  
    What are some of the common fallacies when team leaders shift to leading virtual/hybrid teams? For instance, task orientation versus human connectionThe implications of the fact that spontaneous interactions/conversations are more difficult to haveHow we miss body language signals, cannot read the room as well - and what are the consequences of thatThe skills needed for interpersonal conflict resolution in the virtual spaceWhat are the implications of collaborating virtually for how power is (re)distributedA specific challenge: inter-team virtual collaboration – and what to do about itThe risk of a sense of disconnect
     Quotes
    “What you don’t see in virtual collaboration, you won’t ask about as a manager”
    "Conversely: what you give attention, as a managr, will grow”
    “In INGOs, we tend to like to debate, but we avoid conflict”

    Resources:
    LinkedIn
    Website
    Twitter
     Course Site 'Post Pandemic Virtual Team Leadership Essentials'
     
    Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.
    Or email Tosca at tosca@5oaksconsulting.org if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.
    You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 
    Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Youtube
     
     

    • 45 min
    030. Reinventing social change by overcoming self-limiting belief systems: Nell Edgington

    030. Reinventing social change by overcoming self-limiting belief systems: Nell Edgington

    Summary

    Nell Edgington, a well known American consultant who serves US domestic nonprofits  is of the opinion that nonprofit leaders maintain too many self-limiting beliefs and mindsets.
    In her new book 'Reinventing social change: Embracing abundance to create a healthier and more equitable world'  she explains how these self-limiting beliefs have seeped into the collective mindset and DNA of the nonprofit sector. In the book, Nell strongly advocates for abundance thinking -- instead of scarcity thinking, one of those dominant self-limiting beliefs.
    In this podcast episode, I discuss with Nell the central arguments of her book.
     Nell’s Bio
       President of consulting practice Social Velocity: Social Velocity helps nonprofit and philanthropic leaders create more effective social change.   Fellow Leap of Reason Ambassador -- an invitation-based network of nonprofit leaders, funders, government regulators and consultants and academics who all are motivated to make the nonprofit sector more performance-focused  Former senior-level leader at a US public broadcasting TV station (Austin, Texas) 
    We discuss: 
     Scarcity mindset: the mindset that nonprofits never are enough nor have enough: not enough money, not enough good board members, etc. – in other words, the ethos of 'never enough'. She observes such a scarcity mindset in individual leaders, boards and funders, but also at the sector level   Why Nell agrees with Dan Palotta’s well known, though contentious TED talk that the market should decide what salary to pay nonprofit CEOs, or how much money to invest in fundraising, or how big of a financial reserve to build; and that nonprofits should not accept self-imposed restrictions  The problem with the 'helper syndrome': if we 'over-give', we deplete ourselves -- something  quite distinct  from  giving generously  Why historically, charities (perpetually in need of money) have been run by women while men  have worked in the private sector where money was made. This created a very gendered makeup of the sector  Why nonprofits can reframe their relationship to funders and maintain more agency that way: funders have money they want to invest in social change, while nonprofits have solutions to offer -- and thus they can be seen as equal partners  Why if you ask each board member individually what unique assets they can give this will drive more board engagement and greater efficacy 
    Quotes

    “Let’s pull back the curtain on how the sector is broken”

    “We need to fix and heal ourselves first before we can work on social change externally”


    Resources:
    LinkedIn
    Website
    Book link
     
    Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.
    Or email Tosca at tosca@5oaksconsulting.org if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.
    You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 
    Twitter LinkedIn Faceboo

    • 38 min
    029. Potential and peril when NGOs collaborate with social movements: May Miller-Dawkins

    029. Potential and peril when NGOs collaborate with social movements: May Miller-Dawkins

    Summary
     
    What are the biggest limitations social movements encounter, time and again?
     What are the good examples of positive collaboration between INGOs and social movements? 
     And what characteristics, what attributes made that collaboration positive?
     In this podcast episode, I discussed with May Miller-Dawkins about the potential and peril when NGOs collaborate with social movements.
     May’s Bio:
          Researcher, advocate and facilitator, working with social movements, NGOs, foundations, universities and community groups on social change processes      Used to be based in New South Wales, Australia, now in New Zealand       Works with social movements and social sector organizations as well as universities to strengthen their advocacy, deepen their coalitions and sharpen their analysis      Former director, Governance and Transparency, The B Team, which seeks to redefine the culture of accountability in business by creating and encouraging the diffusion of new norms for business in society       Head of Research at CoreLab, focused on research aimed at influencing policy and practice       Former head of research at Oxfam Australia We discussed: 
    When NGOs collaborate with social movements in a respectful manner that recognizes movements’ autonomy and the need for its members to maintain safety, it can increase the credibility of their workInnovationNetwork has developed a very helpful framework with four dimensions for evaluating social movements:Institutional powerPeople powerInfluencer powerNarrative powerSocial movements tend to be more effective in raising broad public consciousness, while NGOs can be effective in agenda setting with elites and institutionsNGOs are more at risk of reinforcing their power structures, or get coopted or become victim to ‘insider incrementalism’. On the other hand, they can set agendas in ways that are considered more ‘palatable by the mainstream opinion or elites. Quotes
    “It can be hard for NGOs to step back sufficiently to make sure they are complimentary and respectful of the power and agency of social movements”
     “NGOs have to be careful in how they exercise their gatekeeping capabilities”
     "Long-term, flexible funding is one of the most important ways in which social movements can be supported”
     Resources:
    ·       LinkedIn
    ·       Personal Website
    ·       Facebook Group
    Articles mentioned:
           Understanding Activism (2017) with Rhize and The Atlantic Council – Link       The State of the Growing Movement Fighting Inequality (2019) – Fight Inequality Alliance, Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity and Rhize – LinkClick here to subscribe.
    Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Youtube


     

    • 41 min
    028. Strategic planning when your CSO faces fundamental uncertainties: Dave Algoso, facilitator & consultant

    028. Strategic planning when your CSO faces fundamental uncertainties: Dave Algoso, facilitator & consultant

    Summary
    How has strategic planning changed during the pandemic?What are general blind spots when it comes to strategic planning in our social sector?What are jazzy new approaches to strategic planning that civil society organizations should consider?And what are the warning signs, as a strategy consultant, that tell you you should not get involved?

    In this podcast episode, I discuss with Dave Algoso, strategy facilitator and consultant 'par excellence', how civil society organizations (CSOs)  have changed how they go about strategic planning in this very uncertain world.
     
    Dave Algoso’s Bio
    Independent consultant at Open CoLab, Dave's consulting company In-house Organizer at Civic Hall, NYC (2017)Managing Director at Reboot (2013 - 2015)Program Manager at MercyCorps (2010 - 2013)Senior Analyst at Advisory Board Company (2005 - 2007) 
    We discuss: 
    What makes strategic planning in the social sector different from  the private sector (where much of the publications on strategic planning originates)?

    How has strategic planning changed for nonprofits and social enterprises in the pandemic, and what kind of blind spots does Dave see?

    How can facilitators of strategic planning processes work around any attempts by participants to primarily protect self-interest or turf, that may muddy a good process?

    How can we avoid  a strategic plan merely ending up on a shelf, collecting dust, never to be used again?

    Why do some nonprofits show little discipline in making sure a newly formed strategy is ‘cascading’ down in the organization and translated into real direction setting and consequences for everybody - and what can be done about this?

    What's the latest and greatest in strategic planning? And what are ‘classics’ that still merit using? 
    Quotes
    “I am skeptical about using private sector strategic planning tools in the social sector”
    “A strategy should not fall prey to irrelevance by being just a shiny PDF”
    “In terms of strategy tools, I am still a stickler for the good old 2 X 2 matrix”
     
    Resources:
    LinkedIn
    Company Website
    SSIR article by Dave (contact Tosca at tosca@5oaksconsulting.org if you want access to an 'ungated' copy)
    Dave's article on Medium
    Twitter
     
    Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.
    Or email Tosca at tosca@5oaksconsulting.org if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.
    You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 
    Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Youtube

    • 41 min
    027. People, resistance to new ideas and the power of removing friction: interview with Loran Nordgren

    027. People, resistance to new ideas and the power of removing friction: interview with Loran Nordgren

    Summary

    Why do people resist new ideas, including inside organizations, and including with regard to organizational change initiatives? And what can we as change managers/leaders do about this?

    What's more important: making your new idea more 'shiny', more attractive, or removing obstacles that stand in the way of people accepting new ideas?

    Would resistance to new ideas play out differently in the nonprofit sector as compared to others?
    What does ‘neophobia’ mean, and does it apply as much to the (international) nonprofit sectors as to the private sector and government sector?
    In this podcast episode which is of prime relevance to change managers and leadres, I interview Loran Nordgren of Northwestern University, USA, whose research together with David Schonthal, also at Northwestern, on why people resist new ideas, and the importance of removing friction. 

    Loran focuses on individual-level psychology, more than on organizational or industrial labor relations fields of work. His research is cross-sectoral: he looks at change processes and the adoption of new ideas in the private sector, government sector, and nonprofits.
    Loran Nordgren’s Bio:
    Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at NorthWestern University in Chicago, USACo-author of the book ‘The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance that Awaits New Ideas’, to be published on October 5th, 2021, together with David SchonthalCo-founder of Creative Candor LLCPh.D. in Experimental Psychology at University of Amsterdam 
    We discussed: 
    Forces that propel a new idea forward: this is fuelWhen you want to change people’s mind, or bring them to your side, including in organizational change processes, you need to not just focus on making the new idea more attractive, and increasing the incentives to adopt this new idea (the ‘fuel’ or ‘ammunition’) .  You need to also take away the sources of 'friction', the aspects that may make it difficult for people to adopt or accept your new idea or initiativeFriction becomes a drag on innovationStrategies for taking away friction: consider how the new idea stacks up in terms of:
     Effort: Does this idea represent a big or small change? If big, expect more resistance Does this change happen quickly, or gradually? The bigger and faster the change, the greater the inertiaDoes it take a lot of effort to implement the idea? Can you reduce the level of effort needed, as change manager?Does the idea create ambiguity among audience: if people don’t know how to implement, and it requires discovery, it is harder to embraceEmotion: Does the idea represent a threat? (and neuroscience indicates humans experience change as ‘pain’, as threat)  
    Resources:
    Loran Nordgren
    Linkedin profile
    Company website
    Personal Website
    Short Podcast (Kellogg School Interview with Loran)
    Book: ‘The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance that Awaits New Ideas’ (out in October, 2021)
     
    Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces

    • 41 min
    026. Right Work and Right Team: how the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (BRAC) is aspiring to become a truly diverse, global entity - Rasha Natour

    026. Right Work and Right Team: how the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (BRAC) is aspiring to become a truly diverse, global entity - Rasha Natour

    Summary
     
    What are the advantages and disadvantages (if any) when an organization is in a position to start almost as if with a new slate after a large core grant infusion, and thus can propel an ambitious DEI agenda?
    And how do local authorities and national governments in global South countries respond to a localization push by an initiative like the Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative, part of the large Bangladesh-founded NGO BRAC? 
     In this episode, we talk with Rasha Natour, Senior Advocacy Manager at UPGI, about the Initiative's two strands of DEI-related work: ‘Right Work’ and ‘Right Team’, and the different roles these two approaches play in UPGI becoming a truly global entity.
    Rasha Natour’s Bio:
    Sr. Advocacy Manager, Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI), at the Bangladesh Rural & Advancement Committee (BRAC) Formerly senior Strategic Direction manager at CARE InternationalFormer Knowledge Management & Global Advocacy, CARE InternationalFormer researcher on civil society at the London School of Economics (LSE) 
    Quotes
    “We cannot divide external change from the internal change. If we really want to see something happening externally, we need to ensure that we build internally to enable that.”


    “The way to have more local sustainability is by starting from the very beginning and not just as a consultative process.”
     
    We discussed: 
     When a nonprofit received a large core grant (such as the TED Audacious grant in the case of the Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI)), it not only obviously allows the organization  to expand its programming but also offers that organization security as well as flexibility and agility

     When it comes to UPGI’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging work (DEI+B), UPGI operates two workstreams: ‘Right Team’ and ‘Right Work’. Under Right Team, the focus is on how to change the recruitment strategy, how to emphasize DEI+B values in recruitment steps, and how to change UPGI's performance management system

     ‘Right Work’ relates to how to further shift the locus of decision making and authority to people most close to the impact; and how to work with local civil society in a way that recognizes its autonomy and identity and in a way that supports it in flexible manners

     The focus throughout UPGI’s work is to center the voices of those closest to the level of impactNote:

    Since this episode was recorded, BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) has begun a transition to move its administrative home from BRAC USA to BRAC International. As BRAC seeks to expand uptake of the Graduation approach worldwide through advocacy and technical advisory services, BRAC UPGI is increasingly hiring more staff in the regions where they work. As the main entity housing BRAC's programs outside of Bangladesh, BRAC International is well-positioned to oversee BRAC UPGI's expansion as a global program.
    Resources:
    Linkedin profile
    Twitter Profile
    NGO website
    Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.
    Or email Tosca at tosca@5oaksconsulting.org if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.
    You can find Tosca’s content b

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

longviews ,

Jedi master

When she interviewed me, I discovered that Tosca is that rare thing, a genuine expert, by which I mean someone who through long years has mastered her craft, who uses her knowledge surgically to showcase the work of others. That, combined with her choice of issues to highlight, make this podcast stand out.

sherinejaya ,

Valuable resource on NGOs

This podcast series is a useful set of conversations about change and org development in NGOs. Very interesting insights from people with deep experience!

Longtran185 ,

A great podcast!

A great podcast for NGO practitioners and researchers alike!

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