Tag Archives: Aid Work

Re-framing how we design the projects we implement – starting with one simple question

We are complex human beings

We are human. No shock there. We are all complicated individuals who have a unique set of experiences and thoughts. Our challenge in making change happen, is that we are not always sure what the people we seek to serve want or need. Because it’s really hard to find this out when we are under pressure to get results. Continue reading

Aid Works will be presenting at the Humanitarian Leadership Conference 2021

We are super excited to have been accepted to present at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership’s Humanitarian Leadership Conference 2021. We will be discussing the findings of our Racism in the Aid Sector Survey Report, which we conducted last year with Thomson Reuters Foundation.

We can’t wait to connect with researchers and change-makers to discuss the future of leadership in the aid sector Continue reading

Shifting from exit interviews to entry interviews – to help change leadership approaches and create ideas

I read in the book ‘Originals’ by Adam Grant the idea of entry interviews instead of exit interviews, and realised this is an approach I was already doing – but didn’t realise.

I’ve been honing this over the last few months.

The concept is that instead of waiting to ask for ideas when employees (in my case consultants) leave, seek insights when they first arrive – gathering new suggestions and ideas. This makes sense, as how often in an exit interview – is the person looking at their watch and reading for the next thing?

Here’s some of the questions I have asked in the past during the onboarding:

We want to instil discussions about the tough topics with social change makers who want to do the hard work and make change happen – the rest of this article can be found via The Innovation community.

Managers who coach and lead

Managers in the social impact sector are overworked, under high degrees of stress and pressure to achieve results, and have to keep thinking about how to make sure projects show evidence of change and value for money.

This isn’t easy, as often we are expected to do more, and to reach more people, with less funding.

It may lead, perhaps, to a more evaluative form of management and feedback, and probably to an aversion to risking trying new ideas. It’s hard.

But what if in 2021 we focused more on people than results?

What if we focused on coaching our teams in the true form of coaching? Not career coaching, but coaching to help them take the lead and facilitate the teams’ ideas – truly listening to what they have to say.

It may take longer – at first – to give them this time and support – but the rewards and possibilities will be worth it.

  • What went well?
  • What was a challenge for you?
  • What else? (My favourite question)
  • What does success look like? (Future focused)
  • What does support look like? (Future focused)

Join us on The Innovation, our online community of change-makers, to connect with others and discuss important topics including leadership and anti-racism, access tools, tips and more.

When you create change and new ideas, you will have to deal with poorly delivered feedback

You tried really hard, put emotional labour into your creation. It could be a new blog, report, presentation, workshop, website or gadget.

And then you start getting feedback. And this can be hard.

Change and creating something new is hard and fulfilling work. Remember – not all feedback is useful, and you don’t need to listen to everyone. But you do need to stay level-headed, even if the feedback is not easy to work through.

We want to instil discussions about the tough topics with social change makers who want to do the hard work and make change happen – the rest of this article can be found via The Innovation community.

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

Why creative ideas may be rejected by change makers

If you work like us, you may have many ideas about improvements to projects/processes on the edge of the box. You might bend, break or blend other ideas. Or you could come up with amazing outside the box thinking.                                          

However, often we get knocked back by clients or other change makers,  and sometimes get frustrated.

Why can’t they see what I see? Continue reading

Lessons from facilitating remote team implementation

I currently lead several new projects in South Sudan and Somalia for a client. New teams, new projects, new dynamics, new client needs, new stories, new biases, new worldviews. Here’s some lessons from the last couple of weeks. Continue reading

Compliance vs change: How to shape your team culture

2020 has taught us that it’s even more important to have a strong team culture. Leaders are responsible for the organisation of team culture – but the culture is then defined by what happens when leaders are not looking. What you do, how you act as a leader, is what the culture becomes. Continue reading

How (and why) to compensate people of colour for their emotional labour

There’s been a lot of conversations about anti-racism recently, between individuals, in organisations, in the media, on the street. We ourselves have talked to a lot of people – of all colours – as we love to connect and support. But we’ve noticed something that perhaps needs more light. Continue reading