Formerly the preserve of executive teams and department heads, decision making at growing numbers of nonprofits has been pushed out toward the edges of organizations—where staff interact closely with stakeholders. The goal of this transference of power is to make the organization more agile and responsive to community needs and changing circumstances, while helping individuals to maximize their talent and contributions.

Accomplishing this transference of power in the normal course of business is anything but a slam dunk, however, especially in cultures used to operating in a more hierarchical fashion.

Bridgespan recently heard from three nonprofit leaders about their organizations’ efforts to build greater inclusivity into their decision making. They represent organizations differing markedly in size and focus, but all have found measures of success through deliberate attention to transparency and inclusivity in their decision making. Their efforts include enlisting community in decision making, co-developing solutions with frontline staff, redefining organizational success to build inclusion, and empowering staff to learn from failure.

  1. Enlist your community in decision making
  2. Improve design by empowering frontline staff
  3. Redefine organizational success and embrace a learning mindset

Read the full article about embracing inclusivity in decision making by Dave Moore at The Bridgespan Group.