mindsets of each competency over the course of their careers.
The nonprofit sector is fertile learning ground for people to kick-start
their careers, or join from other sectors to hone a range of
skillsets far beyond any stereotypes of do-gooders without pro-fessional
THREE WAYS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN
The path to leadership development in the nonprofit sector is not
straightforward. It will take a robust set of actions to create an
enabling environment for leadership development. That means
programs and supports to cultivate leaders, a nonprofit sector
that is receptive to new HR practices, and resources to support
leadership pipelines – including funding. This must happen at
three levels: organizational, sectoral and systems change.
Organizations need to be intentional about the skillsets they
need and evaluate leadership competencies with their staff and
board. They need to review their HR policies and practices to
promote leadership, and ensure there are resources allocated for
training and development.
At the sectoral level, recommendations include establishing a
panel of experienced and emerging leaders to champion research
and strategy, creating and promoting a resource bank of research,
tools and programs and working with universities and colleges to
providing sector-specific training.
Systems level attention is needed for reliable and accurate
workforce data from workforce planning boards, Statistics
Canada and more data sources. The sector needs to advocate for
public policy that enables decent work, working conditions and
social policies that ensure dignified and supportive work envi-ronments,
and create a compelling case for sustainable funding
for leadership development and organizational sustainability
over the longer term.
CHAMPIONING THE VALUE OF THE SECTOR
Future leaders will need to be able to actively promote the public
value of the nonprofit sector, as well as the personal benefits of
engaging with nonprofits through volunteerism or work. With
stiff competition from the corporate and government sectors for
better salaries and benefits, plus the growing social entrepreneur
field blurring the lines of social purpose-driven work, organiza-tions
need to keep their edge in attracting leaders. Telling the
story of why the nonprofit sector matters and why leaders don’t
want to miss the chance to shape it will be vital.
Continuing to support vibrant and thriving communities will
take a healthy nonprofit sector that is intentionally developing
leaders with the right skillsets to meet the changing needs of the
people, and the communities, it serves. n
Sarah Matsushita is the communications and network engagement
manager of the Ontario Nonprofit Network.
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HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ NOVEMBER 2017 ❚ 31