Giving Compass’ Take:
• Vu Le at Nonprofit AF explains what he calls the “wheel of disillusionment” in nonprofits, a cycle whereby organizational leaders and workers fail to communicate well, often destroying cohesion.
• Among the suggestions here is to create a culture of learning, feedback and relationship building. A few simple, thoughtful strategies should be enough to break the cycle.
A few years ago, an ED colleague called me up, upset and frustrated. Her team had started mobilizing against her. What had started as a misalignment in priorities spiraled out of control, and now staff were having clandestine meetings. The once-friendly office was cold, to the point where staff would no longer say hi when she entered. When she tried to ask for feedback, the attempts were rebuffed, leaving her hurt and confused. Morale was at an all-time low, and she thought about quitting daily.
Another leader, in another city, was in a similar situation, but with a particular member of his team. A firing of a problematic staff member who had been close to this team member started a chain of events. Now all his actions and motives were suspect …
Meanwhile, similar dynamics were happening between two great organizations that I know. A misalignment of, and lack of communications upfront regarding, values and priorities resulted in tensions between the groups as they tried to collaborate on a project. A narrative was formed, and one group’s every action, including attempts at a “clean slate” and renewed relationship building, were met with suspicion.
These dynamics happen so often in our work that I have recognized a pattern, which I am going to call The Wheel of Disillusionment, and it is a destructive, terrifying force that we need to recognize and understand so we can mitigate the damage that it wreaks on our sector.
Read the full article about the “wheel of disillusionment” by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.
Since you are interested in Nonprofit Trends, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Nonprofit Trends?
Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are looking for opportunities to learn and connect with others interested in the topic of Nonprofit Trends, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities aggregated by Giving Compass.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Nonprofit Trends take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.