Imagining a New Way to Lead

By Nancy Bacon, Director of Learning

The New Network Leader coming to Spokane on October 26

Small nonprofits work hard to grow and expand their impact. Large organizations struggle to stay close to the people they are trying to serve. Both operate are on a pathway to growth in situations where resources are limited.

What if there is a different way to create scalable, sustainable impact? What if we could step away from typical growth models and lead our organizations towards solutions that connect us more deeply to our peers, partners, and people who we are trying to serve?

This is the conversation that we will be having at the Inland Northwest Conference for the Greater Good in Spokane on October 26 when keynote speakers Jane Wei-Skillern, PhD and Marty Kooistra will talk about The New Network Leader. Continuing a conversation begun during the Washington State Nonprofit Conference in May 2017, Dr. Wei-Skillern and Kooistra will be leading an interactive session that brings Inland Northwest nonprofit and philanthropic leaders through the four network principles:

  1. Focus on mission before organization
  2. Manage through trust, not control
  3. Promote others, not yourself
  4. Build constellations, not stars

Dr. Wei-Skillern’s research explores many examples of how organizations have “gone to scale” in impact without growing their organizations. She cites case studies related to affordable housing, animal rights, the arts, civic revitalization, education, health and human services, and international development. Dr. Wei-Skillern and Kooistra together are building a community of leaders committed to putting the problem at the center and shaping organizations and networks around challenges to improve problem solving and ultimately outcomes. They are guiding organizations how to address their mission with and through others.

Washington Nonprofits has partnered with Dr. Wei-Skillern and Kooistra on this work because the challenges nonprofits across Washington focus on are hard and stubborn. We know nonprofit leaders balance burnout with a tenacious commitment to achieving their mission. We hear from philanthropy that they want nonprofits to partner more and are open to learning how best to support partnerships that solve problems. The New Network Leader model offers our sector a way towards stronger nonprofits making a bigger difference within their communities.

For more about the New Network Leader:

Watch Dr. Wei-Skillern explain the model

Read “The Most Impactful Leaders You’ve Never Heard Of”