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Conference Speaker Blog: Embodying, Assessing, and Changing Organizational Culture

Thursday, October 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Non-profit/Non-linear:

Embodying, Assessing, and Changing Organizational Culture

Alissa Schwartz, PhD, Solid Fire Consulting

What kind of work environment would you like to be in? If you had to choose one thing to change about your organization’s culture, what would it be? These and many other related questions will be explored at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference’s highly interactive workshop Non-profit/Non-linear: Embodying, Assessing, and Changing Organizational Culture (Friday, October 12, 9:15-10:45 AM). We will unpack what makes up organizational culture, the “secret sauce” to organizational resilience and meaningful social impact.

While nonprofit professionals may already know that organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast (a phrase that may or may not be attributable to management guru Peter Drucker) and that it is more important to change the how than the what (a loose paraphrasing of adrienne maree brown’s thoughts in Emergent Strategy), how do we actually go about assessing organizational culture and what areas should we pay keen attention to?

The work of social change organizations, communities, and philanthropies is inherently complex, with multiple moving parts and players. It is crucial that non-profit organizational culture be nimble, inclusive, and self-reflective, so that it can take on complex, non-linear challenges.  

The focus of this workshop is less about how organizations intend to conduct themselves (such as with formal policies) and more about what is actually going on when people work together. Findings from the pilot phase of administering the Complequity Organizational Assessment ToolTM, a new organizational culture assessment tool developed by Alissa Schwartz of Solid Fire Consulting that taps into these areas, will be shared, and participants will leave with their own copy of the tool.

“We have found both the process and the results to be really interesting and useful.”

--Organizational Manager participating in Pilot

We will share how a particular focus in the following five areas is crucial to ensuring non-profit resilience and meaningful social impact: 

  1. Alignment in values and purpose,
  2. The use of equity and inclusion practices, 
  3. Values-aligned and inclusive practices in communication, decision-making, and conflict,
  4. The ability to work with emergence, innovation, and collaboration to address complex challenges, and
  5. The presence of group-level reflection and self-care practices. 

During this highly experiential workshop and thought partnering session, we will discuss and generate meaningful data about organizational culture that will inform our understanding regarding how we can best support nonprofits in transformational culture change.  

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to engage in interactive activities to unpack the concept of complexity and generate and analyze meaningful organizational culture data. We will engage in thought partnership on the application of organizational culture assessment in various nonprofit settings, communities, and networks, and close with a collective reflection and resource sharing.

Workshop Presenter: Alissa Schwartz, PhD, Solid Fire Consulting

Title:  Non-profit/Non-linear: Embodying, Assessing, and Changing Organizational Culture

Date/Time: Friday, October 12, 9:15-10:45 AM

Contact: Alissa@solidfireconsulting.com