Training Today

By     Oct 9, 2015

Field Notes

These articles were originally featured on Field Notes, National Arts Strategies' ArtsJournal blog where we mine, distill and contextualize ideas; provide frameworks that anyone can use; and offer everyone in the field the opportunity to discuss the underlying issues.

CC Guillaume Lemoine via Flickr

CC Guillaume Lemoine via Flickr

This week on Field Notes, we're talking about career paths. We've broken this conversation down into four questions. We'll dive into a different question each day this week. Today is the final day of this week-long conversation. The last question we're exploring centers around overcoming the obstacles you've identified. How do you close your learning gaps? How do you convince your boss to take a chance and give you that project?

When pondering how best to tackle the obstacles in your way to career advancement or change, you must first understand what options are out there, what's the current state of training and leadership development in the field. In What Social-Sector Leaders Need to Succeedresearch conducted by Laura Callanan, Nora Gardner, Lenny Mendonca and Doug Scott on behalf of McKinsey & Company, we learn that nonprofits spend an average of only $29 per person on leadership development. Compare that with the $120 that for-profit businesses spend. We also learn that after an analysis of 20 years of foundation spending in the social sector only 1% went toward leadership development. This is certainly and obstacle when we think about our options for accessing training inside our jobs. How might we ensure investment in ourselves in a sector where leadership development is highly underfunded?

There's a lot of great information in this research. It outlines the growing number of emerging leaders in the social sector, the most critical attributes for leadership in the sector (based on responses from individuals in current leadership roles) and how well emerging leaders perform in those leadership attributes.

What were the four essential attributes?

  • The ability to innovate and implement
  • Surrounding oneself with talented teams
  • Being a skilled collaborator and experienced in bringing multiple partners together
  • Being committed to quality improvements

The results give us insight into the training needs in the field. The results also give us, as individuals, insight into what attributes we most need to focus on personally to climb the leadership ladder. When looking at training options or leadership opportunities, do they help you address these areas? Are these areas you find are addressed in your day-to-day work?

Check out the entire report online at McKinsey & Company and share with us what you think.

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