Insights to Better Connecting a Growing Team

Guest Post by Kris Ritter, InsideNGO HR Manager

InsideNGO is a membership association dedicated to strengthening operations staff and fostering leadership in the international NGO sector. InsideNGO is a supporting member of LINGOs.

Using Learning From The Insights Discovery Program

To meet significant growth in its membership and the range of benefits and international services it provides, InsideNGO has increased its staff from five to twenty-five in just over five years.  With the addition of the new staff, it quickly became clear that the less formal management style of InsideNGO was no longer effective.  After efforts to clarify position descriptions and reporting lines, we realized that there was an element missing:  an understanding of management and interaction styles, which are essential in any organization, but especially important in a smaller, growing one.

We leveraged our LINGOs member benefit to the Insights Discovery Profiles

Insights: “…released capacity we didn’t know we had”

Looking for a means to drive individual self-awareness, better communications and organizational development, InsideNGO launched the initiative to have each staff member complete the Insights Discovery profile to incorporate as the major focus of the all-Staff Retreat in December 2013.   We used the individual assessments, online learning available to us as part of InsideNGO’s supporting membership in LINGOs, as well as in-person exercises. As we implemented the Insights Discovery program, a new language, culture (and humor) began to emerge across InsideNGO,  leading to major benefits of a more effective teaming and partnering style across the organization. “Insights unlocked the “software” that allows our hardware (i.e., role/job descriptions) and wiring (i.e., reporting lines) to work even more effectively and release capacity we did not know we had,” observed Tom Dente, InsideNGO Chief Operating Officer.

Insights-InsideNGO

A more effective team means more creativity and innovation as InsideNGO looks to meet the changing needs of its more than 300 members working around the world.

Learn More

InsideNGO Annual Conference: Insights’ Don Johnson will be speaking at the InsideNGO 2014 Annual Conference “Sustaining Excellence in a Changing World.”

LINGOs Member Benefit: Many InsideNGO member organizations are also members of LINGOs (Learning in NGOs). Click to see a list of LINGOs Members. Among the benefits in the LINGOs Membership Toolbox are facilitation tools including Insights Discovery Profiles.

Insights – LINGOs partnership strengthens individuals and teams for global development

 

 

 

 

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Speed Dating and More at the InsideNGO 2013 Conference

We are at the InsideNGO annual conference this week – learning and sharing with almost 1000 professionals from international NGOs. We had a great time with colleagues from FHI360, Catholic Relief Services and PATH at today’s “Speed Dating for Organizational Learning.”

LINGOs' Gus Curran leads a speed date on Espresso Shot Learning
LINGOs’ Gus Curran leads a speed date on Espresso Shot Learning

We adapted from one of the most popular sessions at last year’s LINGOs Member Meeting for the InsideNGO audience. Each participant at the session had a chance to go on four organizational learning dates. Each “date” was carefully screened for compatibility: All were from the international development/humanitarian relief sector; all were not-for-profits; all shared common constraints and goals: to strengthen their greatest asset – through professional development and organizational learning.

Many of the speed dates are already among the Espresso Shots of Learning mentioned in our previous post, and others are coming soon! Many thanks to Kelli Tubman of Catholic Relief Services, Amanda Zehnder of PATH and Paige Layno Winn of FHI360 for sharing your learning approaches, and to all participants for some great discussion, observations, and ideas.

We’re ready for more great sessions tomorrow at #INGO2013, including a couple we’re leading. We look forward to seeing InsideNGO members at “Better planning for virtual classroom training” and a “Lunch and Learn session “LINGOs: a resource for all NGOs.”  We’ll share info and resources on several resources available to those working in learning and development for INGOs:

  • the LINGOs Group on LinkedIn a community of practice for over 1000 learning professionals who share  and discuss approaches, challenges and successes in the development and relief sectors,
  • Global Giveback through which learning professionals volunteer their highest skills with non-profits working to improve people’s lives in the developing world, as well as our new program,
  • Last Mile Learning  – which provides world-class learning opportunities at no cost to anyone working to improve lives in the developing world. Development professionals with better skills deliver better quality services and produce better results for beneficiary communities.  We encourage folks to register and start learning,
  • LINGOs Membership for not-for-profit international NGOs that seek to join the community, share innovative learning approaches, access to learning tools, shared content, project services capacity building  and opportunities to work with volunteer learning professionals.

We look forward to meeting you here in DC.