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Developing Leadership for Tomorrow’s Organizations: A Three-Part Series

April 9 @ 9:00 AM12:00 PM

Leadership Lab Series
About the Leadership Labs

The Nonprofit Leadership Lab series is designed to help you elevate your workplace practice and grow your capacity for strong, adaptive leadership. This higher-level training program will prepare nonprofit practitioners of every background to build dynamic, collaborative organizations for change.

In each session of this three-part series, you’ll build on the work you’ve done inside and outside the classroom, exploring advanced concepts and models for engaging in nonprofit work. Because each Leadership Lab course is designed as one curriculum segmented into three workshops, attendees are required to register for the complete series.

Course 1: Developing Leadership for Tomorrow’s Organizations

Explore how the nonprofit workplace is changing and how you can best prepare your community, your team, and yourself for mission-driven success.

Tuesday, April 9   –   9 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, May 14  –   9 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, June 18   –   9 a.m. to noon

Registrants are expected to attend all three sessions. Deadline to register is Friday, April 5.

$149 for the series when you register by March 15.
After March 15, the price increases to $179 per person.

Dennis McMillian and Tamela Spicer

Register Now

Session One: New Models for Organizational Leadership

Tuesday, April 9   –   9 a.m. to noon

A dramatic shift in leadership theory began in the 1980s as new studies began suggesting that more inclusive, shared leadership models could best drive effective organizational management. A 2011 study by the TCC Group expanded on this message: it found that effective shared leadership is built on trust and involves orienting the organization to something more than a top-down structure.

But overall the nonprofit sector has been slow to catch up. In the midst of a national conversation about who holds the power in communities and how we can find a new balance for change, most nonprofit organizations today continue to use a hierarchical structure for defining their teams and strategies.

Embracing a new model for shared leadership in your organization can increase your nonprofit’s capacity to support community-based change and create more good. This adaptability will help you respond to ever-changing demographics, technology, employee expectations, and more to maximize mission impact.

In Session One, you will:

  • Understand the differences of hierarchical organizations vs. flatter organizations
  • Understand how changing organizational structures can drive organizational effectiveness
  • Understand how new models can help insure effective leadership for the future of your organization

Session Two: Nonprofits and Social Movement

Tuesday, May 14   –   9 a.m. to noon

2015 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review proposed the idea that organizations do not create change — social movements do. And these movements can be made or broken by that first “follower.”

Yet social movements do not always play by the conventional rules of organizational structure and hierarchical leadership. Many of today’s most prominent social movements rely on a networked model and dispersed leadership for social change. In the midst of these evolving dynamics, how can your organization inspire a movement that motivates others to join your cause for greater community impact?

In Session Two, you will:

  • Learn how to redefine success in movements
  • Explore how you can adapt new leadership structures to movement building
  • Explore techniques for engaging your community and earning trust

Session Three: A Systems Change Approach to Leadership

Tuesday, June 18   –   9 a.m. to noon

Many of the social issues our communities face today are complex, involving a variety of people, cultures, institutions, and systems Understanding how to identify and address these complex challenges is one of the most important skill sets for today’s leaders. We can no longer assume that one organization can resolve issues of homelessness, hunger, or access to education on their own. As a sector, nonprofit organizations need to learn to work together and recognize that we cannot be effective outside of the ecosystem within which our organizations exist.

In Session Three, you will:

  • Learn how less hierarchical structure improves your ability to manage complexity
  • Deepen your understanding of the intersectionality of your mission with the broader community to help build effective partnerships
  • Learn how a theory of change can help deepen your organizations impact


April 9
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
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Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
201 Front Ave SW, Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
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