Developing Leaders In the NFP Sector
23 August 2005 at 1:08 pm
SEEEN is the product of four years of consultation, collaboration and support by an impressive group of NFP and educational organisations.
These include Australia Council for the Arts; Australian Graduate School of Management; The Benevolent Society; The Department of Community Services; Hoyt Consulting; Iconic; Inspire Foundation; The Myer Foundation; New South Wales Premiers Department; Queensland University of Technology; The Smith Family; The University of Technology; Whyte and Coaches and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Seeen says the Not for Profit sector is a very significant proportion of the economy, employing in excess of 8% of the total workforce, however only 0.03% of these employees attend post-graduate programs focused specifically on the sector each year.
Therefore, it says a significant boost in NFP management education is required to deliver the six-fold increase capacity required to match the rest of the economy and to make up for the legacy of under-investment to date.
The initial momentum to address the problem was generated out of a meeting between Jane Schwager, then CEO of The Benevolent Society, and Hugh Morrow, Principal of Iconic, in January 2002.
Following the initial discussions a ‘town hall meeting’ was convened to test the propositions on a broad cross-section of the sector. This endorsement led to the formation of a founding Advisory Group and ultimately to the commissioning of a major research project to investigate the problem and recommend a strategy to address it.
Ann Whyte, a member of the Network and provider of coaches for executives in the sector says NFP leaders also deal with inherent difficulties of measuring performance, volunteer workforces, constant fundraising, and managing a wide range of stakeholders.
Network member Hugh Morrow says that although there are some innovative and excellent leaders in the NFP sector the development of talent has been neglected because the needs of those it helps are more pressing and resources already stretched.
Kathy Hoyt is another Network member who managed a research project undertaken at the Australian Graduate School of Management which recognised the growing need for executive education in the sector and identified the barriers preventing executives in the sector obtaining the education they require.
In addressing these issues SEEEN has compiled: a Database of executive development programs from across Australia and overseas; a list of Leadership and Management Resources relevant to the sector; and a new pool of Scholarships for Not for Profit executives and senior managers which also includes comprehensive information about existing scholarships.
The SEEEN Database contains over 150 relevant programs with topics ranging from governance to emotional intelligence, as well as delivery modes from seminars to masters programs.
The SEEEN Leadership and Management Resources include a core competencies dictionary and Australian and International websites dedicated to supporting leadership development in the sector.
The SEEEN Scholarship pool is new and, as the Federal Treasurer has announced in the budget that donations for scholarships for the sector will become tax deductible, SEEEN’s aim to expand the scholarship pool is looking more and more achievable.
Ann Whyte says this initiative has the potential to positively impact the tens of thousands of executives that work in the Not for Profit sector in Australia.
Whyte says that In just two months since the launch the response from the sector has been very encouraging.
For more information check the website at http://www.seeen.org.au which also offers a forum for NFP feedback.