Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Daring to Lead 2006 - Finding 4

Finding 4 of the Daring to Lead 2006 study states that, concerned with organizational sustainability, executives are seeking new skills and strategies. And the new skills and strategies they are seeking are, overwhelmingly, those related to fundraising and finance. The study cites the following percentages when executives were asked to identify the two skills they most need to build:

Fundraising = 49%
Finance = 30%
Networking/Partnerships = 26%
Strategy/Vision = 23%
Managing Staff = 18%
Working with Board = 17%
Advocacy = 14%
Public Speaking = 8%
Writing = 5%

I question how much of this, however, is due to their interest in organizational sustainability. If so many of them are planning to leave their jobs in the next five years (see Finding 1), couldn't this also mean that they are focused on their own professional development, and are simply trying to improve themselves in the areas they perceive themselves to be weak?

Indeed, this section of the survey also tracks the executives use of professional development. Depending on the size of the organization 87-89% of them attend workshops and conferences, 51-66% of them belong to professional associations, 19-33% use professional coaching, and 16-19% of them have some kind of nonprofit management certification or degree.

In my experience, association management is a sector that heavily invests in professional development, and these statistics may just be reflective of that trend.


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