In times like these, high-performance leadership is more important than ever. Social services organizations have experienced a disruption to their ecosystems in a matter of weeks. Yet, the problems in our communities have not disappeared; and in many cases, they are growing. To rise to the occasion and face these challenges, Measurement Resources’ High-Performing Social Sector Leader Model can provide guidance (check out this previously recorded webinar for more insight). Our model highlights a series of six behavioral beliefs and actions that high-performing leaders exhibit in times of change: Pioneer, Plan, Partner, Pivot, Prove, and Persist.
Pioneer—In times of crisis, leaders must be willing to take bold action. Keeping our missions and visions central, leaders must embrace technology and virtual communication in ways never imagined in order to achieve both mission and fiscal high performance.
Plan—Organizations that have nimble strategic plans in place are better positioned to endure this crisis than those organizations with rigid plans, or worse, no strategic plan at all. As we have experienced, situations can change rapidly, but the organization’s mission remains steadfast. High-performance leaders quickly mobilize their teams around their desired goals and objectives to modify the strategies and tactics without abandoning the core mission. For example, we’ve seen universities across the country continue to educate their students by moving to an all-virtual delivery model.
Partner—Now is not the time to work in silos. We need each others’ skills and expertise now more than ever. High-performing leaders reach out to others who have common goals and find partnerships in unlikely places to reach their goals. Across the country, gyms are being converted into homeless shelters and cruise ships into hospitals to meet the needs of social distancing and demands of health systems. Consider how some unlikely partners in your community might help you fulfill your organization’s needs.
Pivot—Effective change management is essential for organizations to continue to thrive in times of crisis. High-performance leaders need to over-communicate with their teams and partners. It’s critical to clearly articulate what is changing, how things are changing, and the manner in which these changes will be implemented, all in service to ensuring that the organization can continue to meet its mission. Leaders’ willingness to be innovate and pivot their strategies will, without a doubt, be central to our collective ability to move beyond this crisis.
Prove—As significant events and their aftershocks continue to unfold, data will be our lifeline. We will need reliable, virtual systems that will allow us to know quickly what we are doing, and whether or not what we are doing is working. Not only will this data empower leaders to pivot quickly, data on outputs and impacts will be essential to seek new funding in longer term. Each time the economy slows down, demands increase, and funders become even more strategic and selective in their grant-making processes.
Persist—Giving up is not an option. Your community is relying on you to be successful. If your first attempts to innovate in response to our new reality aren’t as successful as you’d hoped, you can learn from that experience, iterate, and try again. Sacrifice perfection, reject paralysis, and keep your focus on the continuity of the services our stakeholders and our communities need to remain strong and healthy.
Although these times are overwhelming, you’ve faced difficult times before. Our team at Measurement Resources is here for you. If you are feeling stuck or unsure of your next steps, please reach out to schedule a complementary strategy call.