(Team) Building Blocks
Building the Groundwork for Change
An ability to constantly adapt to and manage change is critical to a nonprofit organization’s results, and key to developing that ability is helping individuals and teams feel engaged, confident and committed.
The more I help in change settings with NGOs, the more I feel changes in organizations can’t happen without specific kinds of support — especially if it’s a challenging or radical change.
Managers and board members have a vital contribution in promoting and then maintaining the change. As part of this, they can take on a number of roles that may be different from those they normally play.
But how do you choose a role? The model I feel is most appropriate for change situations is one we’ve developed from an original idea of Dame Rennie Fritchie, U.K. public décor management guru. The model argues that in any change process you need key individuals — senior managers, board members or even external consultants — to act in specific ways. These roles are based on a Wild West wagon train metaphor. The idea is that change — and particularly radical change — is like the Wild West during the colonization period: huge opportunities and huge risks in a relatively unknown and fluid situation.
My seven change roles are pioneer, scout, wagon trainer, sheriff, homesteader, medicine man/woman and hired gun.
The pioneer is the person with the vision. This Grizzly Adams/Fenimore Cooper figure embraces risks and is determined to prove that the apparently impossible is possible … to head west, to reach the ocean, to travel upstream. Pioneers do the things that everyone else says they can’t do.
Pioneers have to be fantastically brave. They not only have to have strength of vision and intuition, but they have to be able to deal with hardship, difficulty and … scorn. Unsurprisingly, they’re often not good team players. Once they’ve established the change is possible, they want — and they need — others to carry it through.
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.