Resiliency+ Roundup October II

  October 26, 2020

In these uncertain times, civil society organizations need to continually learn and adapt to navigate change and keep doing their important work. We are grateful to all the thought leaders out there offering insight on how civil society organizations can increase their resiliency.

Check out some of the resources that have been inspiring us recently, organized by each of the seven key factors of civil society resiliency in PartnersGlobal Resiliency+ Framework .

1. Adaptive Capacity: Preparing for the Unknown

Anne-Laure Le Cunff shares insights on the power of flexible consistency in this blogpost from Ness Labs. Anne writes “Flexible consistency is about combining proactive planning with reactive adaptation so you can make significant progress over the long-term.”

2. Business Acumen: Entrepreneurial Mindset

In recent years, organizations have increased their budgets in terms of research and development funding, to focus on more innovation. In this piece from Harvard Business Review, authors Frank Nagle and Florenta Teodoridis share thoughts on why increased R&D budgets don’t always lead to real innovation, and also identify tradeoffs between researchers who are specialists versus generalists.

In Demystifying AI for Nonprofits, Peter Byrnes, Tobes Kelly, and Khalid Osman discuss artificial intelligence through the lens of a nonprofit and answer key questions regarding risks, opportunities, future thinking.

3. Situational Awareness: Systems Thinking

In Scenarios of Systemic Change, Mike Romig and David Winter explore solutions to systemic challenges and pressures faced by international non-governmental organizations in recent years. Check out some of the scenarios of possible futures Romig and Winter propose.

4. Connectedness: Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

In these times of uncertainty, many organizations across our sector are considering the advantages of eliminating office space to reduce operating costs. Hear from Sofia Jarrin of Non-Profit Quarterly on “Imagining Shared Spaces and other lessons to be learned in this critical moment.

Looking for easily digestible advice geared toward non-profits? Explore this resource from Wild Apricot highlighting 49 non-profit twitter experts sharing insights on fundraising, social media strategies, marketing, and more. Access the list here:

Connectedness is key to building civil society resiliency. Organizations must focus on fostering a sense of belonging amongst their staff now more than ever. This article from Ted Fickes highlights concepts of belonging, membership, and uncertainty, and their importance during the global COVID-19 crisis.

5. Legitimacy: Radical Transparency and Constituent Engagement

CIVICUS and AGNA recently released their self-evaluation assessment tool in multiple languages for networks to improve their accountability.  The self-assessment tool is based on the Rendir APP which was developed by the Rendir Cuentas Regional Initiative. It presents a set of minimum principles and criteria from the Global Standard for CSO Accountability, for networks to identify areas of improvement related to information, transparency and accountability. Visit here to download the evaluation app:

6. Engaging the Narrative: Intentional Communications

Narrative change holds powerful implications for non-profit organizations. At a time when many non-profits, political groups, and movements are investing in narrative change strategies to inform their work, it’s important they have the appropriate tools available. Check out this article from Ally Domu from Big Duck for more insights:

Tune into this Bellagio Dialogue from Chris Graves the founding President of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science on how behavioral science can support the communications field along with other insights on COVID-19’s impact on communications professionals.

During this Zoom era, it’s important for organizations to invest in the appropriate tools and resources to run virtual events. Visit this newsblog from Wild Apricot to read 6 expert weigh-ins for running better virtual events.

This article from Reframe on Fighting Disinformation, Building Narrative Power explores themes of social and narrative power, including the systemic nature in which narrative tools such as racism, homophobia and sexism continue to undergird many systems and institutions.

7. Resilience Ethos: Embracing Uncertainty

Sonja Blignaut unpacks what it means to reimagine the mechanistic lens through which we view organizations in reconceptualizing organizations: from complicated machines to flowing streams. Blignaut reminds us of the beneficial aspects of flow systems and how they can help encourage new organizational structures and forms of management.

An entrepreneurial mindset requires innovative thinking. In her new book, Rosabeth Moss Kanter invites leaders to “think outside the building” in terms of overcoming establishment paralysis and generating powerful innovation. Check out this interview with her and Sean Silverthorne for more information on advanced leadership and innovation.