Sustainable Leadership Arrangements

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Short Briefing & Process Update

Leading / Serving The Way

Short summary of joint reflections on leadership and strategy

The NVC network is looking to create a sustainable and effective leadership configuration. After Gary Baran left his ED role, Jori Manske has been Interim ED and, while Jori has been serving the organization well, she also wants clarity as to the long-term arrangements as do we all.

Stefan Wisbauer has been asked to lead a process of reflection and implementation to move us towards a more permanent leadership configuration.

Stefan has sought to clarify some key aspects of strategy going forward and outline options for leadership could be configured. This document is a brief summary of both those aspects and is intended to align the GCC and network in terms of outlook for the transition to a permanent configuration and inform any candidates for roles within this configuration.


The joint explorations have made clear CNVC wants to embrace a leadership philosophy that embraces the underlying consciousness of its work, creates leaders throughout the organization rather than manages top-down but also as brings structure and clear responsibilities where that is beneficial.


Before we get to these two key components (strategy & leadership configuration), we have made some pragmatic assumptions for giving a manageable scope to the exercise and bring more focus to the open questions, the assumptions made are as follows:

Presence: It is desirable for the NVC movement to maintain a US registered charity (amongst other things as a strategy for being able to process donations)

Identifiable leadership: Any part of the global network with multiple employees in one location will benefit from a person or team taking responsibility for its functioning

Connection to governance: Any such person or team would be linked into future global governance structure(s)

Activities: We will continue to organize NVC training (amongst other thing) for the foreseeable future


In terms of strategy, while they may be reviewed in executional strategy or other aspects, we saw some areas of activity continuing as a ‘given’ for future leadership to continue guiding:

Training Provision: NVC will continue to organize IITs and other forms of NVC trainings, specifically larger trainings happening in locations around the world

Training Certification: the process of initial and ongoing certification of NVC trainers

Materials Provision: NVC will offer and see to distribution of NVC materials being available through agreements as with Puddle Dancer

Network Support Provision: being available to the network and those outside in connecting with those with the right expertise, similar interests etc. as per the requests received or needs identified

Other areas seemed less clear at the outset but the intention to address the following areas under the new leadership arrangement were expressed:

Projects: finding more efficient ways of supporting projects globally. Rather than relying on surplus training revenue, in addition to existing fundraising efforts, by turning to third-party fundraising (foundations etc.) for larger projects and leveraging the global network for the delivery of such projects. This can comprise both central fundraising with foundations / corporates etc. as well as supporting the network in such efforts by providing documentation of successful efforts, an institutional backing where beneficial, coaching etc. It will require building stronger capabilities in this area into the office and a leader with the right network / experience would be an effective strategy for kick-starting growth in this area.

Services: more clearly outline and systematically market/build other service offerings alongside training to the outside world, this is likely to include Mediation, but may also include Coaching or Consulting (e.g. on feedback/evaluation systems, strategy, organizational development, ...) services. The idea is to have a clearly defined offering such that also larger clients can be reached than trainers may on average do with ease on their own. Execution would happen through the network and value sharing principles etc. may be agreed per project.

Platform Provision: building effective online and other platforms for connection. CNVC makes a natural host for such applications to serve the entire network. Platforms can take the shape of online communities with

Leadership Configuration

It has become clear that a ‘team approach’ to leadership is the favored model of most members of the group. The GCC will aim to define more closely what this could look like in its October meeting.

Initial thoughts are that the team could comprise a CEO/ED, between 1 and 3 employee members (i.e. ‘senior management roles’), possibly 1 or 2 GCC members if they are willing to dedicate sufficient time and specialist members as needed (e.g. if a certain challenge like executing a new fundraising strategy with foundations implies specific needs). The team may evolve around issues salient in the organization at a given time but should also have stable, longer-term participation beyond the CEO. Role splits like that between a Network Services Leader and a Development/Fundraising-focused role could still be incorporated in this model as well.

More details on all of the above aspects (spirit, assumptions, strategy and leadership configuration, can be found on

as downloadable files under Item 7 (a full length and shortened version).

After agreeing on an outline Leadership Configuration, a search process for candidates internally and externally will begin.