Editor’s letter

Not-for-profit was once one of those grubby phrases that lurked unspoken in the dictionary of ambitious managers. It was the overgrown career path to nowhere, travelled gratefully, but only by retired managers happy to bolster less than bulking super package, or failed public servants packed with bureaucratic procedure but very little appreciation of management practice and marketplace priorities. That, at least, was the popular mythology and few future-focused leaders cared to look much beyond the fringe of perception. But in the organisational realm of not-for-profit, as in virtually every other corner of our increasingly crowded and competitive world, things have changed.
Even without assigning our regular contributing writer Mark Story to report and explain the transition, it is obvious to even the casually interested that institutions like charities, churches, lobby groups, and arts enterprises are out there battling with the rest of the corporate melee for slice of the sponsorship dollar, the ear of decision makers and the hearts, minds and purses of the hoi polloi. Many of them are succeeding, often against seemingly stacked odds. There is reason for this. They are responding to the challenge of change and have learned that inspired leadership and motivated management are central to success.
Not-for-profit is large and rapidly growing sector within the economy, both in terms of people employed and dollars raised and managed. It is increasingly professional and commercial, offering “long-term career paths”, adopting best practice management standards and attracting “really talented” people who also relate to the element of altruism that many of these organisations offer. This is career option talented managers now willingly embrace on their way to some other “personal summit” or as satisfying professional end in itself. Our cover story begins on page 18.
Every organisation, not-for-profit or acquisitive conglomerate alike, needs to identify, develop and deploy the leaders in its ranks to survive and flourish and that is the thrust of our leadership feature this month. Consultants Christian Dahmen and Mark Hammond have created an 11-step approach to developing leaders because, they say, “leaders who are not capable of developing leaders will not be successful anymore”. Management magazine’s focus is leadership. Leadership is the ultimate expression of effective management. Leaders exist everywhere, sometimes hidden, in management ranks. Dahmen and Hammond argue that developing the next generation of leaders in any enterprise helps create culture “where effective leadership is valued”. The story starts on page 25.
There’s lot more to read in this issue. It contains stories about e-learning, about developing CCO – conflict competent organisation – and about when to drop project that looks likely to fail.

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