NGO Soul + Strategy

014. Between Power and Irrelevance: what *is* the future of transnational NGOs? An conversation with my two 'co-conspirators' on the book

July 19, 2020 Tosca Season 14 Episode 14
NGO Soul + Strategy
014. Between Power and Irrelevance: what *is* the future of transnational NGOs? An conversation with my two 'co-conspirators' on the book
Chapters
NGO Soul + Strategy
014. Between Power and Irrelevance: what *is* the future of transnational NGOs? An conversation with my two 'co-conspirators' on the book
Jul 19, 2020 Season 14 Episode 14
Tosca

Summary

Tosca focuses on her new book ‘Between Power and Irrelevance: the Future of Transnational NGOs’, which she co-authored with George Mitchell and Hans Peter Schmitz. Barney Tallack, ex-Oxfam leader and independent consultant, also made important contributions towards the book. 

  • Why transnational NGOs have a hard time living up to their (bigger) promises and claims 
  • How our transnational NGO sector is still governed by a 20th-century legal architecture for charities, and how this is detrimental on many levels
  • If NGOs want to transform themselves into movements, brokers and thought conveners, they’ve got to change the expectations that society puts upon them, and – equally important – change their own cultural norms and assumptions
  • Topics covered in the book, such as strategy; digital adaption; measurement; governance reforms; leadership (development) challenges, collaboration, and mergers and acquisitions  
  • How the book offers value for ongoing academic discourses -- such as why NGOs are in trouble; what’s the impact when NGOs are too focused on size and growth; and the implications when NGOs are ‘too successful’
  • Unique features and messages of the book: 1) it is written based on a deep knowledge of NGO leadership perspectives and realities; 2) the sector’s change management capacity is woefully inadequate in proportion to the amount of organizational change it has to navigate if it wants to remain relevant, effective and legitimate; 3) and the gap between the sector’s espoused set of values and principles, and its real in-use behaviors needs to be narrowed seriously if it wants to continue to be relevant – or even survive.

Quote

“We had to walk a delicate dance between the expectations and standards of academics and those of practitioners in writing this book. It was our strong history of mutual respect and collaboration as co-authors that made it possible”


Bios of authors and further information on the book

George Mitchell, Baruch College, City University of New York, USA

George E. Mitchell’s LinkedIn profile
George’s Google Scholar page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ognhAnMAAAAJ
George’s Research Gate page: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/George_Mitchell10
Baruch College faculty page for George:
https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/mspia/faculty-and-staff/full-time-faculty/
George’s Faculty bio page: https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/mspia/faculty-and-staff/full-time-faculty/georgemitchell.html

Hans Peter Schmitz, University of San Diego, USA
Hans Peter Schmitz’s LinkedIn profile
Faculty page University of San Diego: https://www.sandiego.edu/soles/leadersh
Research Gate site for Hans: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hans_Peter_Schmitz
Google Scholar site for Hans: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=HbBzLFAAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

More info about book here - see temporary 30% discount coupon!

Show Notes

Summary

Tosca focuses on her new book ‘Between Power and Irrelevance: the Future of Transnational NGOs’, which she co-authored with George Mitchell and Hans Peter Schmitz. Barney Tallack, ex-Oxfam leader and independent consultant, also made important contributions towards the book. 

  • Why transnational NGOs have a hard time living up to their (bigger) promises and claims 
  • How our transnational NGO sector is still governed by a 20th-century legal architecture for charities, and how this is detrimental on many levels
  • If NGOs want to transform themselves into movements, brokers and thought conveners, they’ve got to change the expectations that society puts upon them, and – equally important – change their own cultural norms and assumptions
  • Topics covered in the book, such as strategy; digital adaption; measurement; governance reforms; leadership (development) challenges, collaboration, and mergers and acquisitions  
  • How the book offers value for ongoing academic discourses -- such as why NGOs are in trouble; what’s the impact when NGOs are too focused on size and growth; and the implications when NGOs are ‘too successful’
  • Unique features and messages of the book: 1) it is written based on a deep knowledge of NGO leadership perspectives and realities; 2) the sector’s change management capacity is woefully inadequate in proportion to the amount of organizational change it has to navigate if it wants to remain relevant, effective and legitimate; 3) and the gap between the sector’s espoused set of values and principles, and its real in-use behaviors needs to be narrowed seriously if it wants to continue to be relevant – or even survive.

Quote

“We had to walk a delicate dance between the expectations and standards of academics and those of practitioners in writing this book. It was our strong history of mutual respect and collaboration as co-authors that made it possible”


Bios of authors and further information on the book

George Mitchell, Baruch College, City University of New York, USA

George E. Mitchell’s LinkedIn profile
George’s Google Scholar page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ognhAnMAAAAJ
George’s Research Gate page: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/George_Mitchell10
Baruch College faculty page for George:
https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/mspia/faculty-and-staff/full-time-faculty/
George’s Faculty bio page: https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/mspia/faculty-and-staff/full-time-faculty/georgemitchell.html

Hans Peter Schmitz, University of San Diego, USA
Hans Peter Schmitz’s LinkedIn profile
Faculty page University of San Diego: https://www.sandiego.edu/soles/leadersh
Research Gate site for Hans: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hans_Peter_Schmitz
Google Scholar site for Hans: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=HbBzLFAAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

More info about book here - see temporary 30% discount coupon!