The term “organizational change” is one of those terms where eyes glaze over and people stop listening. Actually Organizational Change is a dynamic opportunity to grow your nonprofit programs and position them to to be more powerful and mission centered than ever before.
The truth is it is a rare nonprofit who just up and decides to give their program a facelift. It is much more common change comes out of some problem that needs immediate attention, like a compliance/governance issue, a change in funding or the fear of a funding change, something more sinister like embezzlement, staff or board problems. Even then, some in the organization will embrace change because they have to and others will have a more difficult time.
The best way for change to occur is to find a new way to look at a program. For example we went in to turnaround an organization and found every program had 5-6 admin staff. As the funds became tighter rather than look inside the organization at the systems and flow, they kept cutting services to the community. Suddenly they found themselves in danger of losing several million in funding because their programs were not supporting the number of children they had agreed to in their contract. They liked the way the program ran, the employees treated each other well and no one could bring themselves to make the difficult decisions for change. They were given the news by their regional officials to serve more children or lose the program. Blind to how to solve the problem they brought in consultants to help. The problems were immediately identified and corrections made. Real change takes time but the first step is recognizing it needs to happen.