Review of AADK s Management and Governance

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1 Review of AADK s Management and Governance Final Reports John Hailey January 2012 INTRAC Oxbridge Court, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES UK 0

2 List of abbreviations AADK AAI GS LT ActionAid Denmark ActionAid International General Secretary Leadership Team

3 Contents PART I REVIEW OF AADK MANAGEMENT Executive Summary Part I Management Introduction Managing change and AAI: key findings Change Management Change and the next Strategic Plan AADK s organisational culture Affiliation with ActionAid International Relations with ActionAid International AADK s leadership & management: key findings AADK s Leadership Team Organisational structures and management roles Management functions & processes Conclusions Summary of findings Lessons learnt Future: the way forward Annex 1: Interviewees Annex 2: Survey findings PART II REVIEW OF AADK GOVERNANCE Executive Summary Part II Governance Introduction AADK governance: key findings AADK Governance: the context MS Repraesentantskabet (AADK s Council) AADK s Board Board processes and deliberations Board relations Conclusions Summary of findings Lessons learnt Future: the way forward Annex 1: Interviewees Annex 2: Survey findings

4 Executive Summary Part I Management The aim of this review is to assess effectiveness of AADK s leadership and management at a time of very significant change in the organisation. AADK has been through considerable change over the last seven years including a doubling of staff numbers since 2006, a move to a new headquarters office, and joining ActionAid International. The general feeling is that the management team handled these complex changes well. AADK is perceived as a stronger, more confident and sustainable organisation compared with how it was in Currently there is an air of some uncertainty in AADK, and staff are concerned about the direction of AADK s future strategy. AADK is seen as an organisation in a period of transition. Staff have high expectations that its new strategy will clarify direction and focus. Alongside the major changes that AADK has experienced over the last few years it is also in a period of cultural transition. One hand it appears to have an evolving, open culture with a new global dimension because of its membership of AAI. On the other hand it has the somewhat introverted, personalised feel of the existing MS culture. This clash of cultures is a potential source of tensions that will have to be worked through as the organisation evolves. The process of affiliation and the merger of MS and ActionAid country offices have been completed. Most of those interviewed saw the merger with AAI as being a positive step as it enabled access to a global network, provided greater leverage, and new opportunities for new knowledge creation and learning. Among the challenges arising from the merger are ongoing issues around integrating strategies, systems and processes. AADK also has to learn to manage and negotiate its new dual identity while in reality it is a triangular identity balancing AAI, with Danida, with AAI membership. AADK s Leadership Team is seen as capable and effective. Its relationship with AADK s Board was seen as balanced and appropriate. Roles are understood and governance / management boundaries honoured. LT decisions are made in a timely and responsive manner, and communicated effectively across the organisation. AADK s current GS has demonstrated clear leadership since his appointment. The LT may need to delegate more operational aspects of its work and allow coordinators to play a more managerial role. It should consider how to work more closely as a cohesive leadership team rather than a group of senior managers linked in a set of bilateral relations. AADK s organisational structure has evolved over time and experience. Compared with many contemporary INGOs AADK appears to have a relatively flat structure with limited delegation of authority or responsibility. 3

5 Opinions are divided on the problems associated with such flat structures with some staff advocating greater delegation and spreading the managerial load, while others are concerned that this would create a layer of middle managers which would jeopardise the close relationship with senior management and undermine the existing consensual culture. AADK is a well-managed and well-administered organisation. Activities are allocated to appropriate functions. Staff have clear roles and functions outlined in job descriptions. Offices appear well designed, fit for purpose and well signposted. Core administrative functions appear to work well and there is ongoing investment in core business processes. AADK s finance and management information system is adequate and evolving. But more needs to be done to integrate and align the system with AAI s systems and processes, and deliver reliable, timely data in a suitable format. Compared with many INGOs internal communication within and across AADK is effective and engaging with regular staff meetings. AADK has developed and maintains a personnel/human resources function appropriate for an organisation of this size. It successfully undertakes core personnel activities (recruitment, remuneration, appraisal, training, etc), but some suggest that is should play more of a strategic human resource role The key lessons to be learnt from the recent change and merger process include the importance of the commitment of, and communication between, the Council, Board Members and the Leadership Team. The appointment of an experienced and credible Change Process Manager. Proactive leadership of the change process marked by a clarity of purpose and a willingness to take decisions rather than delay the process. The need to invest in preplanning, scheduling and local coordination and communication processes. AADK is a work in progress. The next phase of its development is crucial and much depends on the way the next strategic plan provides direction and focus while still ensuring AADK s particular values and identity, while meeting the needs of key stakeholders both in Denmark and globally, as well as AADK s co-members in ActionAid International. 4

6 1. Introduction The aim of this review is to assess effectiveness of AADK s leadership and management at a time of significant change in the organisation. Specifically the review focuses on the effectiveness of change management process in AADK in recent years, in particular regarding the consequences of the reduction of Danida Frame funding; its affiliation with ActionAid International and merger of MS and ActionAid country offices. Key lines of inquiry include the effectiveness of change management processes; the quality of management communications and information; the cohesiveness of senior management as a team; the clarity and speed of decision-making; staff and management development opportunities; and the characteristics of organisational culture. Key lessons and recommendations for the future are identified in the concluding section. Methodology This report is based on a review of archival materials (reports, internal data, staff survey results, etc), as well as extensive semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders. These include AADK Council and Board members, senior management, current and former staff working in Copenhagen, former staff of MS country operations, as well as external consultants who have supported AADK in recent change processes (see Annex 1 for list of interviewees). The majority interviews were undertaken face to face in Copenhagen while a smaller number using Skype. This analysis is complemented by indicative data from the survey questionnaires that were sent to current and former staff in October 2011 (see Annex 2 for details). This questionnaire was answered by 28 respondents from across the organisation (20 current staff, 8 former staff). 2. Managing change and AAI: key findings 2.1. Change Management AADK has been through considerable change over the last seven years. It had to cope with the consequences of the reduction in Danida Frame funding, the appointment of a new management team and the introduction of an ambitious new strategy. This has resulted in a doubling of staff numbers since 2006, a move to a new larger headquarters space at the end of 2009, joining ActionAid International, the merger of existing MS country programmes with ActionAid s activities and the refocusing of AADK s programmatic work. Implementing one or two of these activities or processes would be demanding for most organisations but for AADK to complete all the major change initiatives is worthy of note. Interestingly of all these significant changes most staff see the office move as most significant partly because it was handled well, partly because there is now greater flexibility of space, and partly because allows for much greater interaction between staff. 5

7 The general feeling is that the management team handled these complex changes very well. Staff scored senior management highly for making the right strategic decision when introducing recent changes (see Annex 2: Q.2 Survey Responses). On an informal ranking undertaken during the course of the review the great majority of those interviewed scored these change processes as 8/10. A high score when compared with similar change initiatives in other organisations, and it is commendable that most changes now appear embedded and accepted. It should be noted that the survey data suggests two areas of possible concern. First, the way that the change process was communicated to the staff (see Annex 2: Q.21 & Q.3 Survey Responses, and which is explored further in section 2.4 below). Second, the degree to which all staff were treated fairly during the change process (see Annex 2: Q.4 Survey Responses). This seems latter issue seems to relate to how MS field staff were treated as a result of the integration with ActionAid offices locally, and the different terms and conditions they were offered. AADK is perceived as a stronger, more confident and sustainable organisation compared with how it was in 2004\5. It has moved from being a dull to an exciting organisation a place where young people want to be, and where journalists can go for a quote. It was a rather lost organisation with low morale. The old MS had stagnated having been spoilt with easy money. During the course of the interviews experienced staff commented on the level of innovation, the quality of new staff and new programmatic work. Responses to AADK s last staff survey suggested that staff were positive about working in AADK and the jobs they performed. Staff commented that it was a much happier place to work. They felt strong loyalty to the organisation and were committed to seeing through the change process Change and the next Strategic Plan Currently there is an air of some uncertainty in AADK. Interviews with staff often concluded with concerns about what future direction that AADK might take. AADK is seen as an organisation in a period of transition as it digests the full implications of joining AAI, the consequences of the AADK s new campaigning priorities, and the potential consequences of uncertain future funding (fuelled in turn by the recent resignation of the Head of Fundraising). This uncertainty is also reflected in concerns about job security, talk about the negative impact of change, and some evidence of growing levels of stress among staff. Interestingly this feeling of uncertainty is somewhat at odds with survey responses that suggest that staff are confident about AADK s future as a result of the changes recently introduced (see Annex 2: Q.9 Survey Responses). While the sentiments expressed appear contradictory they also indicate that the organisation is in a state of transition. Clearly the changes introduced in the last five years have been accepted, even embraced by some, but there is also a yearning for greater clarity and more focus. Staff have high expectations that the new strategy will provide such direction and focus. They are also fearful that the new strategy will undermine AADK s established identity and core values. As a result they expect staff to be fully involved in the forthcoming strategic planning process. It should be noted in this regards that there are mixed views as to whether staff were adequately consulted in the past on decisions regarding the organisation s future (see Annex 2: Q.7 Survey Responses). A strategic planning committee, which includes staff members, has been established 6

8 to coordinate the process, ensure that the planning schedule is met, make sure that suitable evidence is available to support strategic decisions, and incorporate staff views as to strategic direction and priorities AADK s organisational culture Alongside the major changes that AADK has experienced over the last few years the organisation is also in a period of cultural transition. One hand it appears to have an evolving, open culture with a new global dimension because of its membership of AAI. On the other hand many interviewees acknowledge and alluded to the introverted, personalised nature of AADK s established MS culture. This clash of cultures poses some interesting tensions that will have to be worked through as the organisation evolves. Such introversion is a potential threat to future sustainability as it undermines moves to embed recent changes or be agile enough to respond to changing circumstances. Staff commented on how AADK s established culture felt too comfortable, Danish and homogeneous. One respondent described AADK had a living around culture in which we were comfortable leading our lives, while another described as a discussion culture which was marked by safe internal discussions and informal contacts including direct access to Board members and management. Among the consequences of having such a comfortable highly-personalised culture is that personal relations can start to shape management decisions. It also militates against efforts to create a performance culture (as some would like to see), or benchmark AADK with other INGOs, or engage staff in new debates or alternative ways of working Affiliation with ActionAid International The process of affiliation and the merger of MS and ActionAid country offices has been completed. The process of integration at country level went at different speeds depending on the local context, capacities and the readiness of local offices to embrace and digest such a major change process. While the process was generally seen as successful, interviewees identified a number of concerns as to the merger process and its consequences, including: That there are ongoing issues around integrating strategies, systems and processes, and the level of investment of time and resources needed to complete this. That there is some uncertainty as to what extent AAI staff understand or value AADK s particular approach to capacity building, campaigning, etc. That in some countries AA staff appeared to see the merger process as an MS activity and so just got on with their jobs and apart from attending local change committees did not actively engage in the merger process. That there was some inconsistency in the way that local MS staff were engaged in, or understood the consequences of the merger at a local level. More time and resources could have been invested in internal communication as a way of highlighting progress, addressing concerns, sharing good experiences, and clarifying issues. The analysis of survey data suggests that staff were satisfied with the way that management provided a rationale and vision for the changes being introduced (see Annex 2: Q.1 Survey Responses). However, they also felt that more could have been done to communicate with the staff about the way the changes were being implemented (see Annex 2: Q.3 Survey Responses). It was also suggested 7

9 that a dedicated staff member needs to take responsibility and oversight for internal communication during the course of the merger process. That some loyal MS local staff left (often because of AAI s levels of pay or its conditions of employment), and as result much of the MS ethos and institutional knowledge was lost. However, when pressed, most of those interviewed accept that this was an inevitable consequence of the merger Relations with ActionAid International Most of those interviewed saw the merger with AAI as being a positive step. It allowed access to a global network, provided greater leverage, and created new opportunities for new knowledge creation and learning. Responses to AADK s last staff survey suggested that the great majority of staff (80 percent) had supported the merger with AAI. Typical of the comments was that it was great to be part of a glocal organisation and working with people all over the world. This should be seen as a strong endorsement in light of the rather negative views expressed when the merger was first proposed in For many AADK staff there was little direct contact with AAI staff, and so there has been little psychic integration and as a result many AADK staff have not got there heads around being part of AAI, or even what it is like being part of an international organisation that is dominated by the South. Such comments, as well as mixed views as to whether staff fully appreciated the benefits of AADK s affiliation (see Annex 2: Q.11 Survey Responses), suggests that more needs to be done to facilitate understanding and promote further integration with AAI processes and programmes. Other issues that may need to be addressed include the concern expressed by some interviewees that they feel somewhat disempowered by AA s approach. They see AAI as quite a controlling and hierarchical organisation that does not appear keen for Affiliates, like, AADK, having too much autonomy. As a consequence AADK staff are having to learning how to negotiate with AAI. One of the challenges identified is how AADK deals with its new dual identity (in reality it is a triangular identity balancing AAI, with Danida, with AAI membership). This challenge includes how to balance the demands of key stakeholders (Danida, AAI and members), and the practical consequences of having to face both ways. For example, resolving to what extent should MS structures/departments mirror AAI's, or whether campaigns be determined by Danish priorities or driven by the concerns of AAI members in the South? In general, it was acknowledged that it was too early to assess real impact or added value of the merger, as the integration process was evolving and ongoing particularly in respect of financial and planning systems. 3. AADK s leadership & management: key findings 3.1. AADK s Leadership Team The LT is seen as capable and effective. The current LT was seen as more professional in their dealings with each other and other colleagues particularly when compared with some earlier management teams. There was less use of backchannel work and LT members appeared to walk the talk (i.e. proactively promoting shared values, demonstrating appropriate behaviour, not undermining each other, etc). LT s relationship with the Board was seen as more balanced and 8

10 appropriate. Roles are understood and governance / management boundaries honoured. Respondents commented on the way that LT made decisions in a timely and responsive manner, and LT members communicate these to different teams and units across the organisation. As with any such process different managers will place a different emphasis or slant on in the way they communicate LT decisions which in turn may explain some of the comments about the way different units and teams interpret LT decisions. This is an inherent dilemma for all organisations. It is commonly resolved by insisting on clarity in the way decisions are made, or by distributing minutes of senior management meetings (itself an onerous chore and one that is easily open to manipulation). AADK s current GS is seen as powerful, dynamic, and visionary. He has demonstrated clear leadership since his appointment and AADK is a very different organisation from the one he entered he has pulled us along with him. The way that the GS works closely with the Chair and members of the Board is effective and powerful. Although some interviewees felt that AADK s leadership needed to be more conscious about the way it should ensure a balance between the way it demonstrates proactive leadership and exerting authority, while still nurturing MS s much-valued consensual culture. There appears to be a growing acceptance that the LT need to adopt a new management style. One that is less focused on operational and tactical issues and is more concerned with matters of substantive strategic concern. In order to do this the LT may need to delegate more operational aspects of their work and that coordinators play a more managerial role. A number of interviewees suggested that the LT will also have to work more closely as a cohesive leadership team, rather than a group of senior managers linked by a set of bilateral relations. There has been some turnover of LT membership and this has highlighted the importance of succession planning. There are fears that AADK may not be able to recruit and retain LT members with sufficient skills and credibility, and that there is no obvious pipeline of home-grown managers to fill LT posts. This is an issue of some concern when seen in the context of AADK s current employment policies limits staff staying more than 8 years, and the lack of strategic human resource or career planning for staff Organisational structures and management roles AADK s organisational structure has evolved over time and in the light of experience. Units have been through different iterations and names. They are mission-orientated with freedom to set performance targets and operate autonomously within strategic guidelines. There is little evidence that they operate as isolated silos, although, as in any organisation, there is always room for greater interconnectivity, integrated communication and shared learning. Compared with many contemporary INGOs AADK appears to have a relatively flat structure with limited delegation of authority or responsibility. While flat structures allow a degree of interaction and direct engagement in decision-making there is growing awareness of the dysfunctionality of flat organisational structures in terms of pressure on senior managers due to the number of direct reports and the expectations of staff as to the way they communicate with members of the LT. This 9

11 impacts on their ability to play a leadership role or on their time to engage in generative strategic issues. Consequently, there is a strong case to be made for coordinators to be given more managerial responsibility and financial authority. However, opinions are divided on this issue. Some staff advocate greater delegation and spreading the managerial load. Others argue that this would merely create a layer of middle managers which would jeopardise the relationship of staff with LT members, promote professionalism and introduce managerialist tendencies that might undermine the consensual and more equitable structure that had served MS well in the past. To overcome the problems associated with flat structures those arguing to retain the present structure suggest that staff take more responsibility in managing and monitoring themselves and be better at self-management - itself a tough call for staff who have little management experience. In this regard it was noteworthy that there was no obvious evidence that management is seen as a valued activity, or evidence of staff being engaged by current developments in management thinking, or even actively looking to undertake any management training. 3.3 Management functions & processes In general, AADK appears a well-managed and well-administered organisation. Activities are allocated to appropriate functions. Staff have clear roles and functions outlined in job descriptions. Offices appear well designed, fit for purpose and well signposted. Core administrative functions appear to work well and specific support activities, whether it be governance support or the way the reception works, are appropriate and commendable. There is ongoing investment in core business processes. These are evolving, becoming better integrated and user-focused in order to meet the demands placed on staff particularly arising from the merger with AAI, the demands of AAI s ALPs methodologies, as well as the changing demands of donors. There was also some recognition that management could do more to track performance and ensure targets are met or followed up (see Annex 2: Q.5 Survey Responses). Management Information Systems AADK s finance and management information system is adequate and evolving. It was well-adapted for the needs of MS and meeting the demands of Danida, and the Finance Team is seen as capable and effective. But more needs to be done to integrate and align the system with AAI s systems and processes, and potentially the demands of other donors. There are questions about the ability of the system to deliver reliable, timely data in a suitable format. However, it expected that such concerns will addressed as the management information system is in the process of being updated and further integrated with AAI s systems. There is also recognition that some of these concerns arise because of the level of understanding among of staff generally as to how to use the system effectively, as well as being able to track performance and measure outcomes. There was general agreement that AADK staff need more training in using financial management systems and analysing financial and programmatic data. Internal communication Compared with many INGOs internal communication within and across AADK is effective and engaging. There are regular fortnightly team meetings followed by staff meetings when the GS and LT members share issues with staff, answer questions 10

12 and face challenges. Staff are also informed of discussions and decisions made at LT s retreats twice each year and share issues and decisions with staff pre- and postretreats. Communication was supplemented with an internal newsletter published regularly. systems work well; the tube, intranet and the AADK web site are appropriate for an INGO of this size. Although more could be invested in the way material is presented or translated, and how internal search engines work. It should be noted that survey feedback suggested that internal communication was an area of some weakness. There was limited support for the contention that senior management communicated clearly and regularly with staff about the changes. While some alluded to this as a matter of some concern during the interviews it was not seen as a major problem. Partly, because AADK s last staff survey suggested that the majority of staff felt that internal communication had improved and that management provided staff with sufficient information and were involved in staff meetings. It should also be noted that research evidence suggests that concerns about poor internal communication are often symptomatic of staff insecurity and feeling uncertain about what the future holds (as has already been noted above), rather than a direct reflection on the efficacy of internal communication processes themselves. Personnel/Human Resources AADK has developed and maintains a personnel/human resources function appropriate for an organisation of this size. It successfully undertakes core personnel activities (recruitment, remuneration, appraisal, training, etc) as well as being responsible for regular staff surveys. However, there was some comment that is should play more of a strategic human resource role in terms of being more forward looking. For example by being more proactive in identifying future skills needs, developing an organisation-specific competency framework supported by a career development strategy, investment in more targeted training and coaching, and a more rigorous appraisal process that was both developmental and performance related. It was noted that any investment in developing the skills and careers of staff with sufficient potential may not benefit the organisation because of the eight-year limit to employment contracts (five years plus a possible three year extension), and that some flexibility to the current policy need be considered in light of these strategic considerations. It should also be noted that there was some confusion during interviews about the use of the term human resources which most organisations use to refer to their personnel function and which AADK uses to refer to a capacity building initiative. AADK may want to reconsider this nomenclature in order to facilitate relations across AAI. 4. Conclusions 4.1. Summary of findings AADK has been through considerable change over the last seven years, and that the general feeling is that the management team handled these complex change initiatives well. AADK is perceived as a stronger, more confident and sustainable organisation than what it was before. However, AADK is also seen as an organisation in transition, and there are high expectations that its new strategy will provide such direction and focus. 11

13 The process of affiliation and the merger of MS and ActionAid country offices has been completed. There are still ongoing issues around integrating strategies, systems and processes but most of those interviewed saw the merger with AAI as being a positive step. It enabled access to a global network, provided greater leverage, and new opportunities for new knowledge creation and learning. One of AADK s challenges is to deal with its new dual or triangular identity balancing AADK values and identity with the demands of Danida, and imperatives of AAI membership. AADK s Leadership Team is seen as capable and effective. Roles are understood and governance / management boundaries honoured. LT decisions are made in a timely and responsive manner, and communicated effectively across the organisation. However, the LT may need to consider delegating more operational aspects of their work so that coordinators play a more managerial role, and LT members play a more strategic role. AADK is a well-managed and well-administered organisation. Staff have clear roles and functions outlined in job descriptions. Administrative functions appear to work well and there is ongoing investment in core business processes. More needs to be done to integrate and align the system with AAI s systems and processes, and consideration given to how to provide more strategic human resource management support Lessons learnt The key lessons to be drawn from the recent change process and the merger with AAI include: 1. That the Council and Board were committed to the change process and the merger with AAI. They were regularly updated by the GS of progress and issues arising and able to manage potential sources of resistance. 2. AADK s senior management were proactive and engaged they drove the process. They managed key stakeholders, provided guidance, or worked to remove blocks to the process. They moved the big stones. 3. The appointment of effective Change Process Manager based in Nairobi was crucial. This role was played by an experienced external consultant who was able to maintain the confidence of both sides, and provide a positive narrative and vision for the change process. His role was to help coordinate the local processes, provide advice, support local change process managers, create a log frame for the process, and ensure liaison between AAI & MS. 4. Both the LT and the Change Process Manager demonstrated a willingness to make clear decisions when necessary in other words being prepared to use judgement and take risks to resolve issues rather than procrastinating and delaying whole process. The general conclusion was it was best to try to complete the merger process as quickly as possible to avoid derailing contextual changes and to minimise the impact of disruptive gossip and speculation. 5. That there was significant investment in scheduling and planning the processes, functions and schedules involved. Detailed Guidelines were prepared and each country had its own National Change Committee. 6. Staff concerns and issues were handled in a sensitive and transparent way; and that early in the process staff were reassured that their jobs were secure if they wanted to stay on. 12

14 7. Communication is a necessary investment in any change process significant time was spent explaining the process, portraying the benefits, and countering misunderstandings. Challenges and problems were acknowledged and explored openly. In hindsight it is apparent that in any similar change or merger process a dedicated staff member or communications champion should take responsibility and oversight for the timeliness and quality of internal communication. 8. Some form of post-merger follow-up process is needed to ensure the integration has bedded down and problems have been addressed. This includes visits soon after the initial process was completed (in this case c. six months after integration to monitor and provide support); followed by more formal evaluation in each country two years later to assess the impact of the merger and highlight ongoing issues. 5. Future: the way forward The following section identifies some possible options and recommendations that AADK may want to consider in the next phase of its development. Change and the Next Strategic Plan 1. That the next phase of AADK s development is crucial and much depends on the way the next strategic plan provides clear direction and focus. That AADK s particular values and identity are preserved, while meeting the organisation s mission and the changing needs of key stakeholders both in Denmark and globally, as well as AADK s co-members in ActionAid International. 2. That the new strategy must be based on reliable evidence including analysis of donor trends, survey data, internal audits and reviews, external analysis, organisation assessments, and the findings of impact studies and other evaluation processes. 3. That staff must be directly involved in developing the next strategic plan and be adequately consulted and receive sufficient communication as to issues raised or the progress of the planning process. 4. That an understanding of the changing externalities is important to the development of a relevant strategic plan, and that the planning process should incorporate analysis of future developments in the external environment. 5. That as part of the preparation for this strategy AADK may want to generate feedback from peers (i.e. other INGOs) through some form of reputational audit as well as by benchmarking processes and practices with those of other INGOs. 6. That the new strategy must clarify what type of organisation AADK is. How it handles its new dual identity? Confirming its identity and values in a way that meets the aspirations of both its Danish constituency of support and its wider stakeholder base. Clarifying how AADK does it add value and differentiate itself while still remaining viable and sustainable. 7. That the strategy should not underestimate capacity considerations or the potential cost of any investments needed; and ensure that managerial processes and organisational structures and systems are fit for purpose, capable of maintaining quality standards and are mission driven. 8. That the strategy needs to address the issue that further changes are likely and that some flexibility is needed in the next strategic period. This is partly a consequence of the choices around new strategic plan, partly projected 13

15 funding challenges, partly possible changes at a senior management level, partly as a consequences of joining AAI and working through a new set of partners and co-members, and partly as a consequence of the fundamental change in mindset that all this entails. Leadership roles 1. That investment need be made in a process of LT development including a leadership development process that raises awareness of way present LT works, the power dynamics within it, and how to best work as, and seen to be, a unified team. 2. That this LT development process needs to be complemented by succession planning, career development etc to help identify and develop existing MS staff to take on leadership roles. Consideration need be given to how best to create a pipeline of home-grown managers to fill future posts and maintain a degree of institutional memory 3. That LT ensures a balance between demonstrating proactive leadership and exerting authority, while still nurturing MS s much-valued consensual culture marked by empathy, dialogue, and transparency. 4. That the LT become less focused on operational and tactical issues and more concerned with matters of substantive strategic concern. In order to do this the LT may need to delegate more operational aspects of their work and that coordinators be given more managerial responsibility and financial authority. 5. That coordinators need developmental support to take on more line management responsibilities (including appropriate management training or mentoring), and that consideration be given to how they are rewarded or incentivised. Other related issues to consider include the efficacy of the span of control of line managers and the development of a more flexible, tiered organisational model able to maximise management capacity. 6. That the work of coordinators is supported by a more mission-driven and performance orientated culture. This new performance culture is marked by more proactive approach to holding staff to account, more use of targets and KPI, promoting and monitoring consistent standards and quality across the units, clearer division of labour, and more systematic staff development and career development processes. This performance Culture is mediated by the development of a supportive and conducive work environment in which staff and volunteers feel valued and their voice is heard, and a degree of managerial sensitivity and flexibility that allow for different personal and contextual issues. Management functions and activities 1. That management is seen as a valued activity, and more support be given to engaging staff in current developments in management thinking, or to enable them to undertake management training. 2. That AADK s finance and management information system be adapted and further integrated with AAI s systems and business processes. 3. That investment is made in targeted training to enable staff to use the management systems more effectively and analyse financial and programmatic data. 4. That the personnel/human resources function should play more of a strategic human resource role, and be proactive in identifying future skills needs, developing an organisation-specific competency framework supported by a career development strategy, investment in more targeted training and 14

16 coaching, and a more rigorous appraisal process that is both developmental and performance related. 5. That further consideration be given to the strategic implications of the eightyear limit to employment contracts (five years plus a possible three year extension), and some flexibility to the current policy need be considered (e.g. extending up to twelve years) 6. That to avoid confusion that consideration be given to the use of the term human resources in AADK because in most INGOs it refers to the personnel function rather than a programmatic initiative. 7. That more investment be focused on developing organisational learning across AADK, and the processes used to capture and disseminate learning. 8. That specific attention be given as to how best to capture, analyse and disseminate learning from AADK s recent change processes. For example, engaging external authors/researchers to analyse the context and processes involved and identify key learning s from these change processes (including joining AAI, governance changes, office relocation, growth in staff, etc.). This could be undertaken as a two types of analysis one as a change management case study (see if a researcher Copenhagen Business School would be interested in preparing this) and another study on this process as a reflection on the wider changes in civil society in Denmark and globally. AADK and AAI 1. That AADK needs to continue investing in building the capacity of AAI to help it meet expectations and delivers its strategic objectives. 2. That AADK supports the process of awareness raising of, and integration with, AAI by seconding staff (from AA to MS and vice versa) either as through enhanced shadowing experiences or direct staff exchanges. 3. That AADK needs to be proactive in briefing AA affiliates and country programmes about the way that MS works, identifying the implications for MS staff and volunteers and clarifying roles, reporting lines and levels of responsibility authority. 4. That AADK staff are encouraged to participate in AAI management and leadership training to both develop management skills and gain understanding of issues facing AA staff 5. That AADK staff need to be proactive in identifying focal points and contacting specialist staff across the AAI federation to lever up new knowledge, understand local needs, access ideas or policy analysis, and support their campaigns. 15

17 Annex 1: Interviewees Those interviewed during the course of this review include: 1. Board Chair: Trine Mach 2. Secretary General Franz Mikael Jansen 3. Director International IPSU Birte Hald 4. Director Training for Change Peter Christiansen 5. Director Fundraising & Comms Claes Amundsen 6. Resource Director Kirsten Devantier 7. Global HR Team/Union Rep (Academic) Birgit Moller Jensen 8. Finance Team Coordinator Nimbus Poulsen 9. T4C Team Coordinator Rikke Mikelsen 10. Global Contact Team Coordinator Lasse Jensen 11. Campaigns Team Coordinator Kirsten Sorensen 12. Campaigns TC (on paternity leave) Nils Brogger Jakobsen 13. Organisation Support Coordinator Zoja Blakaj 14. Union Rep (Technicians) Erik Jepsen 15. Ex-AAI/MS Change Process Manager Peter Marinus Jensen 16. Ex- Head of Comms & Fundraising Vibeke Vinther 17. Ex-Principal TCDC Prudence Kaijage 18. Ex- County Director (Kenya) Jesper Lauridsen 19. Ex-Country Director (Tanzania/Moz) Kristian Petersen 20. Ex-CD Kenya, Uganda (now SCF) Mads Joergensen 21. Management Consultant/LT Coach Peter Friis 16

18 Annex 2: Survey findings This analysis is supported by some indicative data from the survey questionnaires sent to current and former staff in October These were answered by 28 respondents from across the organisation (20 current staff, 8 former staff). On a scale of 1-5 (1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree), staff were asked to score the following statements in terms of their level of agreement: 1. Senior management have offered a clear rationale and vision for the changes introduced to the organisation. a. Scoring: 3.6% (1) 10.7% (3) 7.1% (2)25.0%(7)53.6%(15)0.0%(0) Senior management have made the right strategic decisions in introducing changes in recent years. a. Scoring: 3.6% (1) 0.0% (0) 14.3% (4) 32.1% (9) 46.4% (13)3.6%(1) Senior management have communicated clearly and regularly with staff about the changes. a. Scoring: 10.7% (3) 17.9% (5) 14.3% (4)35.7%(10)21.4% (6) 0.0%(0) Senior management have treated staff fairly when introducing changes in to the organisation. a. Scoring: 0.0% (0) 17.9% (5) 14.3% (4)42.9%(12)25.0% (7)0.0%(0) Management are effective at tracking performance and ensuring targets are met. a. Scoring: 3.6% (1) 14.3% (4) 25.0% (7)53.6%(15)3.6% (1)0.0%(0) AADK programmes such as People4Change, Training4Change and Global Contact, link well together and are aligned with AADK strategy. a. Scoring: 0.0% (0) 17.9% (5) 14.3% (4)17.9%(5)42.9%(12)7.1%(2) I was adequately consulted over decisions made regarding the organisations future. a. Scoring: 10.7% (3) 14.3% (4) 14.3% (4) 21.4% (6) 39.3% (11) 0.0% (0) Change processes did not undermine my ability to do my job well. a. Scoring: 0.0% (0) 7.1% (2) 14.3% (4) 39.3% (11) 39.3% (11) 0.0% (0) As a result of the changes introduced, I feel confident about AADK s future direction a. Scoring: 11.1% (3) 14.8% (4) 22.2% (6) 25.9% (7) 22.2% (6) 3.7% (1) I have a clear vision of AADK s role in and contribution to Danish society a. Scoring: 0.0% (0) 25.0% (7) 3.6% (1) 46.4% (13) 21.4% (6) 3.6% (1) I have a clear vision of the benefits of AADK s affiliation to AAI. a. Scoring: 7.1% (2) 7.1% (2) 10.7% (3) 32.1%(9) 42.9% (12) 0.0% (0)

19 Executive Summary Part II Governance The aim of this review is to assess the effectiveness of AADK governance structures as introduced by the Council in 2009, and identify specific lessons and make recommendations. The current governance structure has evolved over the last decade. Feedback suggests that this new model seems to be working well. The new Council structure is now in place and is bedding down well. It is the highest MS-AADK authority. There have also been significant revisions to the makeup of the Board and the way it works. These changes include a reduction in the number of Board members (BMs) and a reduction in the number of subcommittees. Today AADK now seem to have a more diverse and engaged Council and more effective Board. The evolution of the AADK s highly representational governance structure has been a necessary learning process. It has been a developmental process at a time when MS/AADK was going through other significant changes. These include joining the AAI federation, closing its own country programmes, and relocating its offices. The Council is AADK s ultimate governance structure, with the Board having delegated authority. The Board is accountable to the Council. Council meetings are held regularly following an appropriate format that allows necessary business to be undertaken, and also facilitates sharing knowledge and experience and Council feedback to staff. It is seen as a more accessible, informal (and comfortable) representational process than was operated in the past. Interviews suggest a consensus that the present governance structure should be allowed to continue and Council members be given the opportunity to learn how it can work and benefit to AADK. However, as one might expect in such a representational structure, there are a few dissenting voices over such issues as the way Council deliberations are managed and agendas set or to what extent the Council should be an open forum for wider debate. The feedback suggests that the current Board is a good Board. It is seen as working well, and Board roles and responsibilities are clear. BMs seem to understand balance between governance and management and not overinterfere in operational and management matters. Board attendance is good and BMs actively engage in other AADK events. Board membership appears a good balance of gender, competencies and age. Although the makeup of the Board appears relatively youthful compared with other Boards of similar sized INGOs or across AAI. In general there is a positive view of Board processes (timely distribution of papers, chairing, meeting discipline, scheduling and timing, etc), and the way that BMs have been involved in strategic planning processes. Most interviewees felt the way that the Board monitor the AADK s performance, 18

20 appraised the Secretary General was appropriate and effective. However, there were mixed views on some specific aspects of Board working, including issues around Board agendas and the balance of Board deliberations, the quality of Board papers, and the Board review processes. Most commented that relations within the Board were very good, and Board discussions were marked by constructive dialogue and friendly relations. It was seen as fairly open Board and relations were reinforced by regular Board retreats or overseas visits. BMs appeared committed and engaged. But there was some concern that new BMs took time to understand their role and the issues that AADK faces, and there were calls for more effective induction processes supported by more developed mentoring or buddying support for new BMs by existing BMs. The Chair is seen to play an effective and appropriate role in managing meetings and liaising with AADK s management and the wider public. She is seen as the public face of AADK and is proactive in way she handles the media, undertakes interviews, or responds to political issues. There was some concern was expressed about the quality and scope of relations with AAI, It was felt that Board/AAI relations would be improved if BMs attended more AAI events, the role of Governance Focal Point was reclarified, and access to AAI s web-based information systems improved. 19

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