Can Nonprofit Boards Afford to Underinvest in Management Leadership Development?

McKinsey & Company has just issued the results of a substantial study: To better understand the state of (nonprofit) leadership in the US social sector… The findings suggest that chronic underinvestment in (management) leadership development…(may risk) the sector’s capabilities to fulfill emerging missions effectively and to adapt to fast-changing demands.
Results from the study show that nonprofit managers need to improve their own and their peers’ strengths in “(1) ability to innovate, (2) ability to surround selves with talented teams, (3) collaboration, (4) ability to manage outcomes.” For themselves, they want ability to participate in cross-sector networks, time to experiment or take a sabbatical.

They also want. … “more support, structure and supervision for emerging managers under their direction to take on significant challenges and more opportunities for mentorship of younger executives.” Management leadership development, as opposed to training, involves the potential for mission enhancement and organizational effectiveness, among other desirable outcomes and/or impacts.

Nonprofit board member interviewees were not included in the study. Obviously boards would need to approve the budgets to achieve these objectives. But boards have some major cultural restraints. Based on my experiences, the boards represented by my comments can be classified as small or mid-sized. *

Boards Need More Strategic Perspectives: The McKinsey study estimates “…that more systematic focus on, and investment in (management) leadership in the social sector could pay off (long-term) in more effective delivery of social interventions.”

According to the latest available 2014 data, nonprofit CEOs gave their boards a B- grade in developing strategy. In quantitative terms, in 2012, 40% of the CEOs gave their boards grades C, D & F grades for their strategy efforts. (

Nonprofit Boards Are Conservative In Many Ways: When it comes to investment in assets, programs or leadership boards often look to the bylaws for guidance. They determine that they are often required to maintain the organization’s assets. Investment in management leadership development does not provide an immediate return to meet this standard. ROI may even be hard to judge after substantial investment and time because judging qualitative behavioral outcomes can be difficult.

Examples Of Conservative Boards
A faith-based nonprofit wanted to hire a program development director but didn’t want to risk one year’s salary in the event the person didn’t perform well. The board applied for a grant from another faith-charity to hire her. She performed extremely well from the outset!

I recently encountered a very able CEO, managing an operating budget in excess of $10 million, who wanted support to attend some conferences to keep his skills current. All the board would allocate was about $700 to attend some local university lectures.

Board Rotations Won’t Help The Management Leadership Cause: Normally nonprofit board members have tenures ranging from two to six years. Many may be dedicated to the organization but are not long-term oriented. Without a continuing meaningful involvement in the nonprofit after meeting their board obligations, their interests move elsewhere.

Addressing The Management Leadership Deficit

CEOs, in my opinion, have an obligation to develop relationships with their board members, to make certain that board members view their board experiences as meaningful ones. Perhaps over time, some CEOs can develop an informal management leadership advisory group composed of current and former board members. This new group can help him/h or successors to keep the management leadership development issue in front of the board and prospective donors. It will also be useful to generate funds and to develop networking partnership opportunities, for both incumbent seniors executives and emerging managers.

Foundation support is critical. Large foundations, like Ford and Gates, have been supportive of management leadership development, at about a $50 million level annually for about 20 years. ** But a consortium of foundations needs to be established with the mission of moving annual total U.S. foundation investment in nonprofit management leadership development beyond 1 percent, the current level. This can’t happen overnight.


The McKinsey report has highlighted a significant problem for 337,000 small and mid-sized public charity organizations in terms of management leadership development for current and future nonprofit executives. It seems current management leadership can do little for itself, given the financial pressures it faces and the short-term orientations of the boards with which it must interact. Without additional support by a consortium of large foundations to alleviate the gap involved, about one-third of all public charities will not have the capabilities to fulfill emerging missions effectively and to adapt to fast-changing demands.”

* As shown in the McKinsey report, in 2013 there were about 1 million public charities, including registered congregations in the United States. About one-third were non-reporting, with less than $25,000 in gross receipts. Another 372,000 reported their total assets for 2012. Ninety percent of the organizations in this group (337,000) has assets of less than $5 million. This substantial proportion can be estimated to be small to mid-sized nonprofits, about one-third of the one million public, (501(C)(3), charities. (

** About $150 annually for each of the 337,000 needing management leadership development.

Nordic Capital, Apax nearing listing of Capio – report

STOCKHOLM, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Private equity firms Apax and Nordic Capital are looking to list Swedish health care company Capio soon, possibly during the first quarter next year, Swedish business…

Uber Faces Legal Action In India Following Arrest Of Rape Suspect

Screenshot 2014-12-07 03.50.20 A suspect in the alleged rape of an Uber customer by her driver in New Delhi, India has been arrested. The man is named Shiv Kumar Yadav, and he will go before a New Delhi court on Monday, according to Reuters.
Madhur Verma, New Delhi police deputy commissioner, said that Uber may also face legal action for failing to run background checks and failure to have a GPS device in the car. Read More

Apple Debuts New iPad Air 2 TV Ad ‘Change’ with New Website Section

Apple today debuted a new ad for the iPad Air 2 named “Change” which showcases the new tablet being used in a wide variety of professions and situations. The ad shows the tablet being used by artists, motorcycle enthusiasts, photographers, and schoolteachers as its full-screen visuals shrink to resemble the form of the device itself.

Apple has also posted a new “Change” section on its website, spotlighting the apps used inside of the ad such as illustration app Tayasui Sketches, cinematography app iStopMotion Plus, automotive app OBD Fusion, and AutoCAD 360. The ad is also backed by the song “Who Needs You”, which is performed by American rock band The Orwells.

The new “Change” ad campaign for the iPad Air 2 follows Apple’s “Your Verse” campaign for the original iPad Air, which debuted last January and showed the specific use in the iPad in a number of dedicated fields. Those stories noted the iPad’s use in mountaineering, sports, choreography, oceanography, travel, musical composition, and more.

India On The Verge Of A Tech ‘Gold Rush’

The technology industry’s new Bay Area hub may be pretty far from San Francisco. The Bay of Bengal is shaping up to be the next hot startup market.

Highly skilled Indian tech workers — some unable to get U.S. work visas — are returning home from the United States or leaving Indian divisions of U.S. tech companies, eager to build their own companies in India. The country surpassed Japan as the world’s third-largest economy by a key measure this year.

India is now home to the four cities with the most tech workers on LinkedIn, according to a user study published in June by the career-focused social network. Bangalore — commonly known as the Silicon Valley of India — leads the way, followed by Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai.

In fifth place is the San Francisco Bay Area, home to the original Silicon Valley.

tech centers

Last year, India pulled in $1.8 billion in venture funding, according to a recent report from Ernst & Young — three times more than it brought in in 2006. Venture capitalists invested an estimated $1.26 billion in Indian companies in the first six months of this year alone, according to the startup industry site Your Story.

It’s still not equal to China, which attracted $3.5 billion in 2013. And the U.S. continues to pull in gobs of VC funding — $33 billion last year, according to E&Y. However, strong signs point to growth for India, as more and more of the country’s 1.2 billion citizens move online. About a quarter of the population is now connected, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. The country is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s second-largest Internet market this month, the trade group said in a recent release.

“The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and three years from 100 million to 200 million,” the Internet and Mobile Association said in a statement to The Hindu, an English-language daily newspaper. “However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users. Clearly, Internet is mainstream in India today.”

At the same time, India’s middle class is growing. About 50 million people, or 5 percent of the population, now earn middle-class incomes, according to E&Y. That number is expected to grow to 200 million by 2020.

Internet access and a growing middle class mean more Indians are now shopping online. “E-commerce is the low-hanging fruit,” Vivek Wadhwa, an Indian-American entrepreneur and frequent tech industry pundit, told The Huffington Post. “It’s where the biggest opportunities are.”

venture capital
India, which comprises the lightest gray on this chart from E&Y’s 2014 report on global venture capital, pulled in $1.8 billion in VC money last year.

Currently, India’s e-commerce market generates about $2 billion in sales a year. That’s small compared to China’s annual Internet sales of about $300 billion, or the $260 billion spent in the U.S. last year.

But by 2020, India’s online retail sales could reach $30 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Flipkart, an e-commerce site founded seven years ago in Bangalore, raised $1 billion in July, the largest round of funding ever granted to an Indian company. Founder Sachin Bansal, who previously worked as a senior software engineer at Amazon India, said in July that he aims to grow the company into a $100 billion behemoth in the next five years.

In October, rival Snapdeal, an online marketplace headquartered in New Delhi, sold a $627 million stake to Japanese business titan Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of media and telecom giant SoftBank. The investment kicked off SoftBank’s recently announced plan to invest about $10 billion into India’s e-commerce industry over the next decade.

American tech giants have taken notice. Last month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos graced the cover of GQ India — a space usually reserved for Bollywood stars — following a $2 billion investment in his company’s India operations, announced a day after Flipkart’s $1 billion funding round.

india startups
Investment in e-commerce outpaced other sectors in the first six months of 2014, per this Your Story chart.

India also has a growing number of web startups. Founded by a former management consultant for New York-based Bain & Co., Zomato, a restaurant review index similar to Yelp, pulled in $60 million in funding last month, bringing its total valuation to $660 million. The popular chef social network Cucumbertown, co-founded by a former engineer at “Farmville” maker Zynga, launched a new feature called RecipeWriter in October in hopes of dominating India’s food-blogging niche. ZoomCar, a nascent car-sharing service targeting India’s bustling cities, raised $8 million in October in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, the powerful Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.

“Over the next three years, I see a gold rush happening, as you’re going to have a bunch of billion-dollar companies. Then everyone will be there,” Wadhwa said of India. “That’s how venture capitalists are — they’re like sharks. They sense a drop of blood and they’re all over it.”

One expert noted that economic forces aren’t the only thing at play in fueling the startup scene.

“There’s some cultural shift between generations — the current generation of not only younger people, but 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds are more willing to take risk,” said Yossi Feinberg, an economics professor who heads Stanford University’s Ignite program, which for three years has allowed students in Bangalore to telecommute to lectures at the California college. “There’s this idea of success in India that you have a family, a steady job, and now people are open to having experience in a startup where, even if it fails, it’s a valuable experience in the job market.”

Australian tech listing boom raises red flags

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is experiencing a record-shattering boom in technology listings as start-ups starved of venture capital funding pursue backdoor listings, a trend that has regulators concerned companies are trying to take short cuts to get to market.

TV marathon of every Star Wars film finally exists—but only in Germany, Austria

The first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Seemingly the entire world had rebels on the brain after JJ Abrams and company released its first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And mere days after the opportunity to endlessly dissect one minute and 39 seconds of footage frame-by-frame, a cable network in Germany was ready to provide some alternative alliance distractions.

Running now through December 14, Germany’s Sky Deutschland has programmed a temporary channel called Sky Star Wars HD, and it’s dedicated to airing the entire Star Wars franchise on a 24/7 loop. Fans able to access Sky Star Wars HD (meaning subscribers in Germany and Austria) will get all six films plus 20 making-of featurettes and two series documentaries (Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy and Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed). According to Broadband TV News, that slew of additional content includes two exclusive In the Life of… episodes with actors Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker (aka C-3PO und R2-D2). Fans hoping for a re-airing of the rare holiday special or screenings of related films like the long-lost Black Angel or fan-made The People v. George Lucas will have to look elsewhere.

“We all know that for Star Wars fans it is too long to wait till Dec. 18, 2015,” Sky Deutschland VP of Programming Gary Davey told The Hollywood Reporter. The company hopes its marathon will make the wait “a bit sweeter.”

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‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ Tops Box Office For Third Consecutive Weekend

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” continues to dominate the domestic box office, but awards season hopefuls “Wild” and “The Imitation Game” proved their might with impressive limited release showings on this sleepy post-Thanksgiving weekend.

In its third weekend in release, “Mockingjay – Part 1” earned an estimated $21.6 million. Lionsgate’s penultimate chapter in the massively successful franchise has now earned $257.7 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday. And yet, even though “Mockingjay – Part 1” is on track to become the second-highest grossing movie of the year by mid-week, it’s still about $78 million shy of where the previous installment, “Catching Fire,” was in its third weekend just last year.

For Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker Rentrak, this deficit is only concerning for the overall box office, which is down 4.6 percent for the year. “We are nearing the finish line for 2014 and that is a lot of ground to make up, but luckily we have some big movies on the way,” he says of “Into the Woods,” ”Exodus: Gods and Kings,” ”Annie,” ”Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” and “Unbroken.”

While audiences wait for that fresh fare, some still turned out to catch up with the leftovers. DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” took second place with $11.1 million in its second weekend, while the raunchy Warner Bros. comedy “Horrible Bosses 2” claimed third place with $8.6 million. The fourth and fifth place spots went to Disney’s animated “Big Hero 6” and Paramount’s space odyssey “Interstellar,” which earned $8.13 million and $8.0 million respectively.

“The Pyramid,” Fox’s R-rated horror pic, just barely cracked the top 10 in its debut weekend with a less-than-stellar $1.35 million from 589 locations.

“It’s one of those status quo, boring weekends. But it’s not boring in the specialized or indie world,” Dergarabedian said. “For me that’s where the excitement is.”

“Wild,” a Fox Searchlight release starring Reese Witherspoon, opened in 21 theaters Wednesday, earning an estimated $630,000 over three days for a strong $30,000 per-theater average. The Oscar-winning actress has been getting lots of buzz for her soul-searching turn in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best seller.

The biggest success story of the weekend is The Weinstein Company’s Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game,” which took in an estimated $402,000 from eight locations for a stunning $50,250 per-theater average. Star Benedict Cumberbatch is also expected to be a major contender on the awards circuit this season.

As Dergarabedian puts it: “People wanted to see what the fuss was about and went out in pretty big numbers.”


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” $21.6 million ($31.6 million international).

2. “Penguins of Madagascar,” $11.1 million ($23.5 million international).

3. “Horrible Bosses 2,” $8.6 million ($7.1 million international).

4. “Big Hero 6,” $8.13 million ($4 million international).

5. “Interstellar,” $8 million ($22.8 million international).

6. “Dumb and Dumber To,” $4.17 million ($3.7 million international).

7. “The Theory of Everything,” $2.67 million ($282,000 international).

8. “Gone Girl,” $1.5 million.

9. “The Pyramid,” $1.35 million ($3.8 million international).

10. “Birdman,” $1.15 million.


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:

1. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” $31.6 million.

2. “Fleet of Time,” $29 million.

3. “Penguins of Madagascar,” $23.5 million.

4. “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” $23 million.

5. “Interstellar,” $22.8 million.

6. “Paddington,” $13 million.

7. “The Crossing,” $8.1 million.

8. “Horrible Bosses 2,” $7.1 million.

9. “Women Who Flirt,” $5 million.

10. “Big Hero 6,” $4 million.


Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


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