Assessment - Organizational Team Dynamics

During a training exercise, lack of organization was identified as one of several weaknesses affecting the team managed by the Youth Director of a non-profit organization.  The Youth Director leads a team of 15 leaders with responsibility for approximately 130 students.  He was anticipating significant growth within his student population in the coming 12 months as construction on a new facility is completed.  The organization was experiencing varying degrees of success with planned activities, little growth in student population, and miscommunication on the part of the leadership team.  The Youth Director had no means of determining the cause of fluctuations in the student population.  Ex Nihilo was tasked with creating an infrastructure to support the mission of the organization and defining the critical path for leadership.

An assessment was conducted to gain an understanding of the current initiatives, team dynamics, existing roles, practices and vision for the future.  The assessment was conducted via informal meetings and information gathering sessions.  Observations revealed that there
was poor communication amongst the leadership team as it relates to:

  • Understanding the organization’s mission and purpose
  • Relating one’s role to the overall mission
  • Short-term and long-term goals for the organization
  • Individual goals and objectives necessary to accomplish the mission
  • Planned initiatives, responsibilities and expected results

An examination of existing roles and support functions revealed some overlaps in responsibility.  Duplicate roles were eliminated.  Cross-functions were integrated to provide the Youth Director with access to available resources from other areas outside of his responsibility.  An investigation of best practices was conducted.  Through research and meeting with successful industry leaders, a methodology was selected for implementation and presented to the Youth Director for approval.

A tactical plan was created to align the key components of the short-term vision with the overall mission statement.  Organizational goals and objectives were developed to support the short-term vision.  An organizational structure was created to support the administrative and instructional requirements of the organization.  Streamlined roles, responsibilities and projected resource counts were defined.  Individual goals and objectives were defined to support the five key components of the tactical plan.  High-level procedures were developed for several key components of the plan.

Finally, recommendations were made regarding the use of automated tools to support the mission statement. Implementation tasks included a redesign of the web site, creation of a repository to facilitate tracking, reporting and increased communication between the leadership team, students and their parents, e-mail distribution lists, and planning tools.

As a result of this effort, the Youth Director has been able to clearly communicate the mission, short-term vision, roles and responsibilities for the organization.  Follow-up discussions with the leadership team reveal a clear understanding of the organizational mission. The leadership team has embraced the organizational change and assumed the newly defined responsibilities.