Helping Civic Nebraska Develop Leadership Capabilities Through Clarity, Consensus, and Coaching

Written by Seth Derner
We recently completed a 10-month project with Civic Nebraska to help develop the leadership capacity of the rapidly growing nonprofit organization. Civic Nebraska works to create a more modern and robust democracy for all Nebraskans (check out their work and sweet logo here: Executive Director, Adam Morefeld, recognized the need for a formal leadership development program as a new layer of senior leaders were identified to manage the growing staff.

We offered Civic Nebraska a solution to cost-effectively build a leadership development program from the ground up rather than adopting an “off the shelf” program. Our core purpose is to build the capacity of organizations we believe are doing good in the world and when it comes to leadership development, we believe organizations should be clear about the leadership capabilities they need to execute on their mission and vision.

We acknowledged, at the beginning, that this would require three things from their team:

  1. A commitment of time and input from senior leaders – we needed their expertise and feedback.
  2. Willingness to experiment and work with “draft versions” of program components.
  3. Long-term organizational commitment to owning and cultivating the program.

The solution we helped Civic Nebraska implement consisted of three primary components.

Number 1

Clarity of Leadership Competencies

We helped senior leaders sort and prioritize leadership competencies from an initial set of 40 to a set of 5 that resonated with the entire team. Using an iterative process where leaders used the competencies to self-evaluate and evaluate peers, the five competencies were revised and further defined so they spoke the skills needed today and looking ahead.

Number 2

Consensus Building

Self-directed leadership efforts require the buy-in of senior leaders to have lasting impact. Buy-in doesn’t come from one or two meetings. It comes when leaders have significant input and experience with the program. In this case, the program consists of an evaluation against the competencies, the identification of development goals, and an individualized set of experiences to practice and develop skills. If, after the 6 months of working with the prototype program, senior leaders recognized the value both personally and for the organization that their leadership development program would sustain momentum.

Number 3

Coaching for Individual Development

In the past two years, Vivayic has added the capability to offer coaching serves as part of our custom solutions. In this case, we provided three coaching sessions to each of the senior leaders at Civic Nebraska to demonstrate the mechanics and value of self-directed leadership development. Each of the leaders selected competencies to work on and identified their own development objectives. For many, it was their first experience with a professional coach.

As with many of our solutions, the full impact of this effort will be best measured in future years. We believe, however, that we have increased the capacity of Civic Nebraska to continue to grow its team and its impact for the state it serves.

Seth Derner
Getting Started with a Clear Agenda
Read More
Celebrating Success as an Agenda Mover
Read More
Empathy Driven Connections
Read More
Scroll to Top