Strengthening Our Values

Blog

September 01, 2017

Strengthening Our Values

By Tom Dente

President and CEO

We are excited to begin our next steps as Humentum following our merger announcement this summer. We go forward with a deep appreciation for our members and your generosity in guiding and sustaining our thriving community. As we look ahead, we are even more committed to our focus on membership as the global professional community dedicated to operational excellence.

What are our key values as a membership community? There are several that make ours unique: respect for the practitioner expert in whichever area she or he works; a deep sense of trust in each other; and finally, a strong sense of inclusion and generosity in sharing ideas and expertise. Respect, trust, inclusion, and generosity have allowed our community to adapt and thrive as our sector, organizations, and practices have evolved over the years.

Members’ collective, varied, and deep expertise continues to guide and shape our community as we become Humentum. Our recent annual conference highlighted the value of this expertise in action with almost 100 different member presenters from 58 different organizations sharing ideas, solutions, and insights on wide-ranging and critical topics. In addition to the conference, members also contribute through program advisory councils, senior leader steering committees and annual conference steering committees. Over this last year, more than 100 leaders from 86 different organizations helped us shape offerings and programs and frame issues so that our collective work as a community is relevant and valuable.    

In his book The Seventh Sense, Joshua Cooper Ramo observes that the value of a network of any kind is defined paradoxically by both strong concentration and wide distribution. For thriving networks, having more concentration while also being more distributed is not a tradeoff – both are needed to adapt and evolve. For our community, our concentration is operational excellence, or the essential organizational capabilities that support programmatic results and longer-term mission success. It is our core, the center of what we do as a community. As we become Humentum, each of our legacy organizations brings complementary areas of expertise: LINGOs—project management and learning and development; Mango—financial and risk management; and InsideNGO—finance, grants, and contracts compliance, human resources, IT and legal. This expertise is deepened by members, clients, and learners who generously share their insights and practices in these and other areas.  

As we look ahead, we will need to continue to develop and enhance our operations concentration of practice, insight, and expertise, especially as operational capabilities continue to evolve to meet new needs. We look forward to working with our community of experts in the upcoming year to continue to refine what is needed for the future. To better support this evolution, we plan to focus on the different operational capabilities in four primary categories: those that support organizational foundations such as finance, IT, compliance, and project management; those that support people including human resources and learning; those that support evidence such as knowledge management; and those that support organizational sustainability such as business development. Together, foundations, people, evidence, and sustainability help define operational excellence.

In addition to a strong operations concentration, we need to continue to expand the distribution of our community to reach more organizations and individuals who can add to our shared expertise. Over the next year, as Humentum, we will be able to offer 300 workshops in 38 countries and eLearning that is available to practitioners globally. Our online member communities of practice will also give us new ways to connect distributed practitioners around the world across traditional areas of practice and new areas including DFID and impact investing. Just this last week, a sample of topics on the online member community included discussions on M&E software selection, NICRA issues, diversity and inclusion programs, and investor expectations for impact investing.  

Respect for the practitioner, deep trust, and a strong sense of inclusion and generosity will permit our Humentum community to grow the deeper concentration on operations and the broader distribution we need to bring new value in this time of change across our sector. Thank you for all that you do to make this happen.  

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