Leading in Uncertain Times

Problem Statement

Leadership can be challenging even in the best of times. But in times of uncertainty, usual approaches to leadership may not be effective. This interactive session will explore approaches to different leadership strategies and tactics to help manage in uncertain times.

“May you live in interesting times.”
– Apocryphal Ancient Chinese Curse

We are certainly living in interesting times, and interesting times create challenges. Your usual approaches to leadership may not apply in the face of uncertainty and new demands. Uncertainty makes planning challenging, and successful tech initiatives in nonprofits require planning.

Everything from internal processes and decision making to relationships with key stakeholders to planning and budgeting for specific projects can be impacted by uncertainty, whether that uncertainty is caused by internal or external factors.

The economy can take a sudden, downward turn. A key funder can change their priorities. A change in the political or economic environment can dramatically change the circumstances that your current plan is trying to address. In many cases, these are threats that we have to take serious steps to respond to. In some, there are new opportunities. And there are some potential pitfalls that we can all acknowledge as well.

This interactive session will discuss approaches to leading in times of uncertainty to help organizations respond strategically to unexpected environmental changes and maintain successful tech initiatives. How well can your organization respond when external events significantly shift the ground you’re standing on? It’s a key test of your nonprofit’s agility and relevance.

Dahna Goldstein
Director, Philanthropy Solutions
Dahna Goldstein is Director, Philanthropy Solutions at Altum. She joined Altum in 2014, when Altum acquired PhilanTech. Dahna was previously the Founder and CEO of PhilanTech. Prior to starting PhilanTech, Dahna worked for venture philanthropies, including Ashoka and Blue Ridge Foundation New York, and produced interactive eLearning programs for Global Education Network and Harvard Business School Publishing, including the award-winning “What Is a Leader?” program. A graduate of Williams College, Dahna also holds a Master of Education degree, with a concentration in technology, from Harvard University, and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She has written extensively about change management in the nonprofit sector, including a chapter on managing change for technology in “Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders” (Wiley 2009). She serves on the board of JustGive.org and was named one of Newsweek’s 13 women entrepreneurs to bet on and one of BusinessWeek’s 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.

Peter Campbell
Legal Services Corporation
Chief Information Officer
By day, Peter Campbell is the CIO at Legal Services Corporation, America’s Partner for Equal Justice. At other times, he can be found blogging and talking about all things nptech at Techcafeteria or on Twitter.