Happy New Year!

Despite or as a result of COVID, Organizations by Design Inc. flourished in a virtual environment through online workshops like our four part Change Endurance series attended by over 65 not-for-profit leaders across Alberta. 

It was a pleasure to sit with a cup of tea and review our Insights (newsletter/blog posts) from 2020. Each of the excerpts from these blogs highlights a key tenet in our approach to building personal, team, and organizational development capacity in our work with not-for-profit leaders. Here are the highlights. You can find the full blogs on our website at www.organizationsbydesign.ca community/Insights tab. 

Systems Leadership: A Three Legged Stool

“What does it take to create systems leadership? Collaboration, aspiration (vision) and understanding complexity. Someone that has the capacity to create quality relationships, a connection, to be genuine and vulnerable. Someone who can hear that their mental models are only constructs of reality, not reality.  Someone  that has mastered the three skills of collaboration, aspiration (vision) and understanding complexity. Someone that can create a space where there are no barriers to collaboration for systems change.”

Sharing Resources 

“Invitations. Inputs. Ideas. Creative solutions. Respect. Trust. Involvement. Ownership. These are all things that likely resonate with the humans in your organizations that come to work every day hoping to make a difference.  Allowing them to be part of a significant organizational change initiative or visioning the next iteration of your organization can be a very powerful experience.”  

Leading Learning in Times of Crisis 

“Who knew not-for-profit leadership during a pandemic would have positive outcomes. This past month has been fast-paced and unpredictable for leaders around the world. For not-for-profit organizations there are multiple and often competing priorities including, our ability to provide services to clients in a manner that protects their health, protecting staff and volunteer health and safety, managing expectations from funders, and keeping abreast of the constant changes in order to meet government directives as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many not-for-profit leaders it has provided us with the unique opportunity to re-engage stakeholders and communities using the latest technology.” 

 Our OBD Approach

“We have a different approach! We have learned to create space that allows for deep and meaningful conversations where teams, organizations or communities can think differently together and can realize their desired future state. We can foster your learning and development of skills to do this within your team, organization or community.  We want to be a part of your leadership journey! We want to create a community of systems thinkers! 

Cultivating an Abundance Mentality

“Reflecting on perspective and expectations from an abundance mindset is a powerful lens that will aid in planning your next steps. What worked well this year? How are you supporting the growth of your employees and the organization? Are you happy with the outcomes? What have you learned? What can you share with others?”

OBD: A Collaborative Learning Team 

“In our OBD team, we have a way of communicating that allows us to share, check out, and challenge assumptions, all in the spirit of understanding and learning together. As a team we intentionally avoid any negative language, opting instead to embrace and encourage creativity. We take the time to learn from our experiences. We are committed, life-long learners who privilege the learning and the learning process over being right.”

Self Care: Staying Connected & Away from the Darkness

“The importance of modeling and promoting self care, self compassion and reframing situations are essential skills for today’s leaders. As well, helping others understand what is within their control provides perspective and objectivity in a world that is reacting to threats. To do this, real conversations need to happen with others that include deep listening, asking good questions and coaching for understanding so that they can find a path to move forward.” 

Mindset and Behaviours of Systems Leaders

“The mindset and behaviours of Systems Leaders are essential to their success in facilitating systemic change. This ranges from practical skills in facilitation, strategy development and communication to personal and behavioral qualities such as humility, listening skills and resourcefulness. It also includes challenging one’s own mental models and habits of thinking. A certain humility and commitment is required for Systems Leaders to maintain a learning mindset, remain flexible in their views and  continuously develop their skills over the long term.”

At Organizations by Design Inc. we are passionate about our work. We are excited about the possibilities and potential of working together, meeting the needs of leaders in the nonprofit sector and learning our way forward, together, in 2021!