Annual Conference 16: Operational & Organizational Effectiveness Sessions

Annual Conference 16: Operational & Organizational Effectiveness Sessions

Accelerating Digital Transformation

As INGOs become more technology driven to take advantage of new digitization opportunities, they must undergo rapid and continuous change. IT and business leaders alike must help their teams absorb radical changes in skills, processes, and organizational cultures, all while sustaining high levels of day-to-day performance. This session reviews new, cross-functional approaches to managing IT and business transformations, and provides real-world examples of how leading CIOs build organizational capability to rapidly and effectively adapt to constant change. The presenters will also provide insights into developing an ICT strategy appropriate for your organization.

Adam Grant: Unplugged

Are there questions you always wanted to ask Humentum keynote speaker Adam Grant, but didn’t think you’d get the chance? Want to hear more about how to fight groupthink? Build a culture of creativity? Break away from the status quo? Join us from 10:50AM to 11:30AM for this lively Q&A with Adam Grant.

Building a Compliance & Ethics Program: An NGO Primer

The volume of compliance regulations and legislation continues to expand. To be successfully implemented, risk management and compliance programs must be holistic. For many organizations with limited budgets and resources, this is no easy task. This session covers practical insight into some key considerations in building effective programs and a culture of compliance within an organization. Hear about what makes an effective compliance and ethics program; how to structure a program without a stand-alone compliance director; whistleblower protections; effective training and communication; and performing independent reviews and risk assessments. Take away some best practices and practical tips for your compliance and ethics program.

Business Development: It Isn't Fully Functional Unless It's Cross-Functional

Do you work in finance, compliance, HR, IT, or other operational areas? Ever started a new project and been surprised at what is or isn’t in the budget? No one told finance we’re not getting an advance? We committed to getting all the computers donated? Fail to get the candidates you want or offer packages that cause conflict among staff later? You can avoid these—and many other surprises—if you bring the right operational units and internal business partners into the business development planning process. They have good information and knowledge—consult them early and often. Come hear from a cross operational panel on why they should have seats at the business development table and ways to make it beneficial.

Cohort Quality Assurance Teams: A New Approach to Internal Audits

The Institute of Internal Audit (IIA) establishes core principles for the professional practice of internal auditing. Their Quality Assurance and Improvement Program is a periodic review that evaluates an organization’s internal audit activity with the aim to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal audit function and identify opportunities for improvement. Reviews can be done by an external assessment team, as a self-assessment with independent validation, or by peer reviewers. Three Humentum members have teamed up to launch a reciprocal internal audit quality assurance program through a combination of self-assessment and peer validation. The assurance program includes an assessment of the governance, staff, management and process of the internal audit activity. Hear from two of the organizations how they developed a cohort to improve their internal audit framework and the benefits derived from this innovative approach. The methodology is scalable and can be an approach to consider regardless of size or audit structure.

Creating Work Life Balance in an Unbalanced World

Is the accelerated pace of change in the NGO world and in your organization wearing you down? Are you feeling the stress of working (and living) in a constantly unpredictable and shifting environment? In this fun, content-rich, highly interactive session, you will be introduced to practical tools blended with neuroscience, humor, and thought-provoking insights that will help you maintain a sense of balance in the midst of instability. Learn to cope better with uncertainty, even thrive, by being grounded and purposeful and having an attitude for success, even in challenging times. You will leave with a better understanding of what work-life balance means to you, as well as with specific actions you can take and tips and techniques to use personally and with others to decrease stress and increase engagement.

Critical Incident Management: Preparation, Planning, Resources

What are the essential plans and resources organizations should have in place to successfully manage critical incidents globally? Presented in an interactive panel format, this session uses a real-world example to provide information, insight, and guidance on pre-incident risk management and principles of incident response along with the role of key resources including insurance as well as security and medical assistance providers. Experienced professionals will lead the discussion and entertain attendee questions and comments throughout. Leave the session better equipped to manage global risk through effective pre-incident planning and critical incident response as well as maximize the effectiveness of insurance and external assistance providers.

Cyber Risk Knows No Borders: Global Threats, Laws, & Antidotes

As news of network hacks and data breaches permeate today's media, NGOs are faced with new risks to place on their radar screen. What are leaders and decision-makers to do? In this session, a panel of cyber experts explores the anatomy of a data breach and associated costs, discuss today’s legal and regulatory framework governing data security and privacy liability, and provide practical recommendations for risk mitigation, contractual risk transfer, and commercial insurance. Bring your questions!

Designing & Sustaining Your Organization's Project Management System

Maintaining consistency and quality in the management of projects and portfolios is a constant struggle. Integrating improvements in project management requires choosing the right approach to synchronizing practices and setting up organization-wide standards. Cross operations engagement and role clarity are key elements to success.  This session will explore some of the options available to organizations of all sizes, outlines key questions to be considered when designing an approach, and identifies requirements to successfully operationalize a project management system.

Enterprise M&E Tools and Systems

Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in the technology tools available to NGOs for conducting monitoring & evaluation. DHIS2 (District Health Information Software), developed by the University of Oslo as an open sourced platform, is being utilized by a number of NGOs with several adding their own unique functionality. Other tools such as the digital platform, eValuate, the web-based project management tool, DevResults, and numerous add-ons are now available and being used. This interactive session will provide insights into the tools and add-ons used by several NGOs. All will be encouraged to share their own experiences with M&E tools.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): The Basics

Organizations regularly look for ways to enhance their risk management approach to make better informed business decisions while protecting reputation and resources. This session will cover key components of ERM and common pitfalls, sustaining ERM, quantifying the risks and using that information for forecasting and planning, and creating a culture of risk awareness and understanding.

Evaluating NGO Capacity Building Programs: How do We Claim Success?

Projects that strengthen the capacity of partners are notoriously challenging to evaluate. How to claim attribution? What is the program contribution? What does plausible association even mean? Come hear two leading Humentum members working in this area explain what innovative methods they combine to craft a capacity building evaluation strategy that makes a case for the program results.

Fail Fest Encore: How to Increase Innovation and Reduce Risk

Every organization talks about creating a culture of innovation, but few companies actually do—the fear of failure is too great. Join Fail Fest Guru Wayan Vota to learn six ways firms can increase their capacity for innovation yet manage the inherent risks in trying new things. The session includes hands-on learning designed to help you think through which process will work best in your organization.  

Fail Fest: Failure is an Option

Failure is the f-word in international development: unspoken in polite company, yet a reality we all must face when we push the boundaries of what is possible. Join us to celebrate failure as a mark of leadership, innovation, and risk-taking with five noted leaders in international development as they share what went wrong and how they learned from it.

Fraud: Education, Detection, Reporting

Communicating with and educating your global team on fraud awareness and detection is now a common practice among INGOs. When instances of fraud do occur, gathering reports and complaints from remote offices in a timely manner is key. How do you know what is going on? Who needs to be informed if there is a suspicion? What is best practice when it comes to hotlines and internal reporting protocols? Two members will share their practices, experiences, and key challenges.

Full Cost Recovery: Is the Needle Moving?

Since the 2013 Open Letter issued by BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and GuideStar to dispel the “overhead myth,” Humentum has continued to engage with thought leaders, NGOs, and foundations to deepen the conversation on moving beyond using an organization’s overhead ratio as a sole measure of mission success. Major players have come on board to push the messaging to a higher level—Ford Foundation, Bridgespan, and Independent Sector, among others. Humentum continues its involvement in the national and international conversation about the importance of full funding for outcomes and the damage created by overhead rate caps. Even so, more widespread change is not yet visible. Has the effort stalled, or is it still influencing key decision makers? In this session, find out more about the state of play in this important area.

How to Scope, Select, and Use Outside Counsel

Whether you have an in-house counsel or not, all organizations at one time will seek the assistance from a law firm. This session provides both an in-house and outside counsel view of how to maximize the value of legal services from a law firm. Learn how to develop a scope of work for both US-based and international law firms; what questions to ask when interviewing attorneys; what to consider when using pro bono or paid counsel; how to find resources to pay for legal fees; and what to expect long term from your legal counsel.

Impactful Strategic Partnerships: Assessment as the First Step to Success

In this session, participants will enhance their understanding of how to best determine whether their organization is ready to pursue a strategic partnership with another NGO, and the type of partner best suited to strengthen their ability to achieve their mission. Participants will discuss how assessments can be used at different stages of strategic partnership discussions, and learn about different tools to help with the assessment process.

Intellectual Capital: Using Audits to Identify your Organization's Most Valuable Asset

Do you know what knowledge lies within your organization—explicit and tacit knowledge, also known as your organization’s intellectual capital? How does the information flow within your organization? What is the value of this knowledge and how can one measure it? Come learn from experts the process by which to discover the information and knowledge flow within your organization, where it resides, and how to capture/disseminate/and use it as a learning tool. Join the discussion on strategies that can be developed to create a knowledge architecture and a culture of continuous learning in your organization.

Kidnapping: Negotiations and Resources

Approximately 45% of global companies and organizations rate kidnap and ransom as a risk of greatest/high concern according to Clements Worldwide Risk Manager Survey. What occurs behind the scenes in the event of a kidnapping? Are all kidnappings the same? How can you be prepared? This session provides an overview of top countries for kidnapping and what locations Clements Worldwide research sees express kidnapping vs traditional kidnapping occurring. Hear from the Crisis Negotiation Unit of the FBI and their efforts in resolving complex hostage taking and kidnapping cases throughout the world. Learn about the FBI's role and US government policy with regards to kidnappings as well as how the FBI works with NGOs and security companies to secure a positive outcome. Learn about the available crisis management insurance resources in the event of a kidnapping for ransom, wrongful detention and/or extortion including investigation and negotiation support.

Leading Transformational Change

This interactive session focuses on the human dynamics of orchestrating major transitions within your organization and the role that you and your senior leaders play in the change process. Specifically, the presenters will address the success patterns demonstrated by executives who achieve full realization of their strategic endeavors. This session will help attendees better understand critical change dynamics in play during major transformation, learn about the most common implementation risks that jeopardize large-scale change, and understand leadership’s role as well as the responsibilities of other key players. It will also help to establish a baseline for what it means to be prepared to lead strategic change including the mindsets and behaviors required for success.

Listen Like a Jedi Master

In today’s world where attention is a scarce resource, no leadership skill is more valuable than actively listening to someone—really doing it, not just nodding and planning what you’re going to say next. Active listening means listening with all your senses, not just your ears to hear beyond the words. This fun and interactive session introduces a five-step, practical model of communication based on dynamic listening, reflection & reframing, asking resonant, open-ended questions, and interest-based problem solving. Packed with 1980's pop culture references, Jedi mind tricks, ridiculous drawings and bad puns, this session will deepen your listening skills, enhance your ability to identify your own strengths and weaknesses as listeners, and learn concrete techniques to strategically enhance your communication skills. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between effective listening and the ability to manage conflict and emotionally charged and difficult conversations.

Making Fraud and Corruption Mitigation Part of Your Organizational DNA

Setting the right tone at the top to help global staff and partners understand the importance of mitigating fraud and corruption has never been more critical or more challenging. What organizational practices, behaviors and actions help set the right tone? What discussions do senior leaders, right up to the CEO level, need to have so when an incident happens the response is coordinated and swift? Hear from senior leaders how their organizations address this issue.

Mergers and Acquisitions: Emerging Opportunities for NGO Consolidation?

International development is an extraordinarily crowded landscape, with many large, medium, small, and a multitude of very tiny organizations, often with overlapping objectives, capacities, and programs. Yet it is a sector that has seen very limited merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. This thought-provoking session considers the case for more M&A activity in the sector, the potential barriers, the stages for implementing an M&A, and other insights.

Merging Lanes: How INGOs are Engaging in Impact Investing for Increased Impact

INGOs are rarely discussed as critical players in the impact investing ecosystem, yet they play a major role in building the movement’s infrastructure, incubating social enterprises for investment readiness, designing innovative blended financing mechanisms, and making investments directly. In fact, INGO-managed or -founded impact investing funds encompass more than $400 million in assets. This panel of impact investing practitioners will use case studies from a working group composed of over 40 INGOs to illuminate how INGOs are already adding value, set out ideas for how INGOs could increase their impact, and discuss some of the challenges they face in conducting this work within global nonprofits. During this session, the soon-to-be-released report, Shaping the Future: International NGOs in Impact Investing, developed by the INGO in Impact Investing Workgroup, will be unveiled.

Navigating Private Sector Partnerships

With the continued shift of working in partnerships across our community, this session will explore the evolution of partnering with the private sector based on Accenture Development Partnerships experience working with over 250 cross sector partnerships with NGOs, businesses and governments. During the session, we will share lessons learned and trends to consider for the future, with a focus on preparing for, pursuing, and implementing partnerships with the private sector, including hearing lessons learned from Save the Children. Come prepared to share and discuss challenges and successes from your own experiences.

OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control): The Landscape

Within the US Department of the Treasury, OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals. In this session, get an update on changes in sanctions for certain countries and what has remained status quo, take the opportunity to ask about countries where you operate and any current limitations, find out about the general licensing process and more. Questions are welcome.

Performance Enhancement (Minus the Steroids): Training Maximizers

Training and capacity building are often seen as a solutions to improve on-the-job performance and build professional skills and technical expertise. But it often fails to deliver despite excellent resources, useful content, and a participatory training methodology. Should organizations stop putting time, energy, and money into training if it’s not achieving the desired results? No! Is there a better way to approach training? Yes! Join Dr. Will Thalheimer—a devotee of research-based learning design—as he shares practical insights on learning and professional development, based on two decades of compiling wisdom from top-tier scientific journals. If you're looking for evidence-based approaches to maximize the effectiveness of training, this session is for you.

Roundtable: Business Development Senior Staff

Join senior professionals to talk about the challenges of managing business development strategies and operations. Come and share ideas with colleagues around topics that will include organizing the business development function, USAID’s new small business approach, and other topics that the group suggests.

Roundtable: In-House Legal Counsel

Take part in an open discussion with colleagues on topics such as current initiatives and challenges as well as the identification of available resources for the community.

Roundtable: Operations Leaders and Managers

Meet with colleagues who have broad operational/cross-operational responsibilities to discuss what challenges you face in your area, what changes are taking place, and more.

Roundtable: Project Management

Engage in an open discussion on tools, best practices, challenges, successes, and experiences with project management. Raise issues you are facing and get practical advice from your colleagues.

Roundtable: Risk Management Directors and Managers

The many vulnerabilities INGOs deal with have created heightened attention to risks of all types. Share with risk management colleagues what’s high on your radar including risk mitigation and management plans.

Roundtable: Safety, Security, and Staff Care (Duty of Care)

Join an open discussion on tools, strategies, policies, and resources related to duty of care. Attendees will be grouped by interest in staff care or safety/security.

Sharing Information Globally

How do you collaborate across a global organization for effective planning and sharing of organizational information? Two Humentum members will describe their tools, processes, and share their experiences. Hear about PIH’s integration of Microsoft business solution tools including Office 365 and SharePoint to collect and deliver information, and Oxfam’s use of Smartsheet as a system of innovation for collaborative planning to inform budgeting and program delivery. The specific tools mentioned are meant to illustrate the processes.

Strategic, Organizational, and Technology Change

In their first book, Building a Better International NGO, James Crowley and Morgana Ryan explored the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of NGO transformation to stay relevant over the coming decades. Their soon-to-be released new book, Navigating Change for International NGOs, centers on ‘how’ to make change happen. The session picks up key themes from the first book—matrix organizations and leveraging IT—and focuses on how to implement changes in these areas, in particular, how NGOs can establish the essential components of a high-performance (matrix) organizational model and why NGOs have so much trouble capitalizing on IT.

The Blueprint for Radically Improved Training Evaluations

Whether you conduct formal training sessions, deliver capacity building to partners and beneficiaries, or support professional development efforts, you need good feedback on the value of the learning. The feedback you collect should inform decision making, but too often training evaluations ask the wrong questions at the wrong time. Also evaluations are often not designed to take advantage of the opportunity to extend the learning process. In this session, Dr. Will Thalheimer highlights key takeaways from his recently published book, Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form. A thought leader in this field, Dr.Thalheimer will discuss how to avoid the dangers of current evaluation forms and, more importantly, provide you with a blueprint for how to get valid, constructive feedback.

The Maturing Cloud: Legal, Security, & ICT Impact

Cloud technology is no longer an emerging technology. Businesses have been abandoning their large server rooms for a cloud solution that offers a more cost effective way to have accessible IT resources. But cloud computing is still a maturing solution. Cloud concerns over security and international data privacy requirements, data ownership, legal and contractual issues are still being figured out. In this session, hear from several leaders in the cloud solution industry as they reflect on these challenges and look ahead to the future.

The Resilient NGO: 12 Questions for Thriving through Change

Is your NGO struggling to meet demands for making transformational change in how you pursue your mission? Do you believe resilience needs to become a part of your NGO's DNA? In this session, a 12-step framework will be shared guiding you through three dimensions for creating a change-enabled NGO. Through a mix of lecture, discussion, and self-assessment, you'll leave with specific recommendations of steps to take to create a more resilient and resolute organization, one that thrives through change.

Understanding Teaming Agreements from a Legal Perspective

Teaming agreements are often an indispensable part of partnering arrangements at the funding opportunity stage. Prime and sub organizations routinely sign these documents that govern their intended partnering relationships starting at the proposal/application stage and then if an opportunity translates to a successful award. Yet often there is not a complete understanding of common clauses or language in teaming agreements, how to negotiate an agreement that is appropriate to the specific opportunity, or how enforceable the agreement is and under what circumstances. In this session, a panel of legal experts talks about teaming agreement documents, common requirements, and if and when they are enforceable. This will be an interactive session with a practical overview and time for specific questions.

We Have a Strategic Plan, Now What?

Your strategic plan is completed but the work is just beginning. How do you implement it, make the organization aware of what the plan includes, and hold staff accountable for results? This session will introduce general approaches while focusing on performance management processes linked to the strategic plan.

What Does Outcome Funding Really Mean?

Mario Morino wrote Leap of Reason to tell the story of how he invested in a series of non-profit organizations (NPOs) essentially to figure out what kind of funding really produces outcomes. He then decided the best way to propagate his learnings was to create a community of ambassadors—experts from the NPO community—to take this knowledge to the broader world of funders and implementing NPOs. Core to the ambassadors’ community messaging is full funding for organizational effectiveness. Hear from several ambassadors in a conversation with our own ambassador, Eric Walker, about this important work that encompasses organizational effectiveness and effectiveness assessment in the context of outcome funding.

Working in "Partnership:" The Promise and Pitfalls of Prime/Sub Relationships

When two or more organizations come together to collaborate on a project, the point initially is to secure funding. Thinking about implementation in detail often comes later if the project is successful. These arrangements are often referred to as "partnerships," but that masks differences in roles, responsibilities, expertise and scope. Whether an organization is a prime or sub—and many organizations do both—there are challenges to making these relationships work well in practice. In this interactive session, panelists discuss the pitfalls of partnership and provide practical tips on how to lay the foundation for successful implementation at the outset and beyond.