The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) present a webinar on ‘What non-profit managers need to know for 2019’. Learn more about the ACPNS: http://bit.ly/2S8dzxg

Transcript

Ruth Knight, Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies

Hi everybody, welcome to today's webinar. We're just going to give just one more minute to see who else is joining us today but I hope you can all hear us, and possibly even see us.

My name is Ruth Knight and I'm from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies, and I've also got Associate Professor Wendy Scaife here in the room with us to listen in and possibly contribute if necessary, so it's great to have you here Wendy, thank you very much. Sure and welcome everybody.

So we'll just give everybody one more minute and then I think we'll kick off. And

waiting in the wings we have Emeritus Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes and non-profit executive and ACPNS recent graduate from yesterday is Sally

Addison. So you'll have a variety of voices today.

And over to Ruth. Great so we'll make a start, and I'm just going to introduce ourselves with the camera now but then I'm going to turn off the camera so that you don't have to worry about looking at us, you can look at the screens and the slides, but just before I do turn off the camera, I just wanted to first acknowledge the  traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today and pay my respects to their elders past present and emerging. And acknowledge the important role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders play, people play within our community here at QUT.

So thank you so much for joining us today. We are really super excited about just sharing some of the research that we've been looking at and exploring over the last year, and that is one of the missions of the centre here is to help leaders like yourselves understand what research is coming out across the world, and how we can apply that research within their own organisations. And as leaders we really need to think about how we can use research, or what kinds of research that we can even conduct ourselves. So we're super excited to have this time with you and hopefully we're going to share some very valuable information to help you think a little bit about your leadership in 2019, and as Wendy said Emeritus Professor Myles McGregor-Lowdnes will also come up after I've spoken, with a few tips.

And he's going to share some of his wisdom with you and Sally Patterson, who is a graduate from this Centre will also share some of her leadership tips with you as well. So thank you very much for joining us, and I do just put the Tweet name there because we are on Twitter, and we always share a lot of research and a lot of information on Twitter. And of course if you're on Twitter please follow us, but also share some of your research - and if you're not on Twitter, please feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn as well where we share some of the research as well.

All right so I'm going to turn off my video so that you can have a look at the slides now. Just to let you know, you may have some questions - you might have some questions throughout the webinar, so if you do please go down. You'll see a little button at the bottom which says QA, and that is the place for you to put some questions for us now. Hopefully we'll have time at the end to address a few of those questions, but even if we don't we will get back to you, or it helps us understand some of the questions that you've got, and we may be able to address some of those in future webinars in 2019. So please put your questions in there.

But I thought that we would just test it and maybe you could just put in there one of your leadership frustrations currently at the moment. Can you actually just test that for me and put in some frustration that you’ve had as a leader, or a challenge that you're addressing as a leadership team? If you can just put that in then I'll know that it's working and I can see your comments, but also that just gives us some ideas about some of the challenges that you may be facing as an organisation.

Now as we go through today's webinar I'll also be giving you the references of the research that I'm talking about. If you're listening to the recording maybe in the future and you want to have those references just feel free to email us and we will send you the references. Great, I can see that the question-and-answer box is working thank you very much for putting in your comments, and it's great to have that interaction and participation.

Right, sorry, to kick us off then I really think that maybe leadership in 2018 has really given us a lot of different challenges throughout our organisations and as a sector, so there's been a lot of research that's come out though, and it's fantastic to see more and more research worldwide coming out about the third sector. And in terms of all different areas. So we've had more research about governance fundraising leadership and performance organisations, and this research is really fantastic for us who want to understand a lot more about the sector and how we work as organisations, but also to give us some really practical ideas about how to be better leaders and how to govern our organisations.

So it's really exciting to see some of this research come about, and for us to apply it within our organisations. So I think 2019 is really about being very honest with ourselves about what the challenges are, sharing those challenges with each other, and addressing those challenges through our own research but also the research that's been done around the world. And when we're able to do that and really think about designing solutions to overcome those challenges, and if we can do that collaboratively obviously that's even better, because we're working together as a sector and working cross-disciplinary. Maybe even with different organisations or with academia, and different types of people, so I think it's really good for leadership in 2019 to think about our challenges - use the research that we've got, and allow that to help us design some solutions.

So personally I think that leadership in 2019 is not just about management but it's really about becoming designers of solutions to complex and challenging situations and challenges within our organisations, and really applying the research now. It's funny then that in actual fact some of the research that has come out this year is about measuring performance and using performance data, and so it's incredibly important that we can when we come up with strategies, and that we’re actually looking at whether our strategies are working, and how effective they are.

So one of the big challenges that our students and the organisations that we've been working with, has been on what is good performance - you know, what is and what isn’t great performance. And how do we measure that? But it's not just about reporting - so we do need to report our performance and our outputs, and sometimes outcomes for our funders and our donors and our communities. But really it's about how do we use our performance data or the information that we have within our organisations to really improve what we're doing. What we've been hearing is that in the past you'd probably, you know, invite a consultant every three years to come and do an evaluation and look at the past performance, and tell you whether you've done a good job.

Things are changing in the sector, and now we know that organisations need up-to-date information continually to make wise and great management decisions about the future of the organisation or the service, or the activity that you're performing. So it's hard to spend their funding in the future, so performance data is now not so much about looking back but it's definitely helping us make good future decisions now.

Interestingly though - it is a challenge for us is that there is no exact science to measuring performance in the sector. As you know we do a whole range of different things and performance isn't this exact science of how we measure it. So there's been a few articles about this in 2018 and I just wanted to share a couple of them with you to see if this gives you any tips. So the first paper that I just wanted to share with you was one that really discusses the importance of measuring - the importance of measuring performance to justify what you do and it challenges leaders to really venture beyond the performance data to address the questions of why and how.

So instead of just thinking about outputs and how many people you've seen this year or how many activities you've undertaken, but really then trying to think about that data and telling us about the outcomes and how effective and efficient we've been. So using that data to be really purposeful in terms of helping us with the decisions that we have to make every day. 

This paper - so like nearly a thousand hospital managers - they were looking at hospitals, but they compared what the managers were saying in public, private, and non-profit hospitals - and they found that the key things to managers using performance data really effectively was this attribute of being more receptive to feedback. So when the managers - they really wanted feedback and they valued employee input - and they took ideas and they listened to their customers and their clients. When they were really receptive to this feedback, really bonus managers were using their performance data much more critically and analytically, and were able to really improve their performance.

But it also found both bureaucracy and thunder requirements were also real challenges for these managers, and of course that's definitely something we've heard here at the center a lot this year, but sometimes there's a lot of barriers and there's a lot of difficulties and challenges even with getting feedback and collecting that data.

So it's really important then, I think, that in 2019 we think about how we can work collaboratively with our funders and our donors and think about what types of feedback that we need to be able to assess our performance. The article concluded with that people are more likely to be open to new ideas and learning when they welcome and reflect on feedback, so maybe one of the challenges for us as leaders in 2019 is how do we listen to ideas from our staff and our customers? And how do we get buy-in from staff so that we can use this performance data more effectively and help them learn how to use feedback well to improve our practice of course.

Another article that's come out this year is an interesting one by Benjamin, Voida and Bopp, who looked at whether organisations were using data and information that they collected about performance to really influence policy. So it's really taking this another step further in saying, well you know we've got this information - are we using it to really think about our practice and our policy. And the research was an in-depth examination of how staff into large non-profits collected information, how they use their information about the services and activities, and if they were able to use that learning to make good decisions and change policy.

What they found through their research is that there were many challenges for leaders and managers, and maybe you can relate to this, you know that there was often in these organisations a fragmented data environment. So for example, different departments were collecting different types of information, and the resulting duplication - so different departments and even organisations within the sector were collecting similar types of information, but not really pulling all the information together to help them with some sense making, and making policy decisions.

They also said, you know, that sometimes the data that these organisations were collecting was quite dubious, and it was a lot of cost to collect all this data. Up to 60 per cent of staff time can be taken up with data collection. And that's all if it's going to be really useful and helpful, and it's how can you learn and improve what you're doing.

So we know that data collection is becoming and has become a very important part of our role as leaders, but maybe the leadership challenge in 2019 is to make sure that you're collecting the right data about your activities and services, and using it then to promote best practice and policy.

Another research paper that's come out this year is very interesting. This was a study done by Umar and Hassan, and they set out to argue that non-profits supporting employees to learn and improve were more likely to collect information in  a purposeful manner. So they surveyed about twenty-six non-profits and they analysed the relationship between how much staff they supported to learn.

They assess how well these staff had some really good clarity about why are they collecting the information and how it was helping them, and also the capacity for staff to actually evaluate or reflect on this data, what it was telling them, and they evaluate what that meant about their performance.

The research found that non-profits where employees received higher encouragement for learning - so that's time and energy they were given and rewarded for learning. They noticed staff were more likely to collect performance data and actually use that in a really helpful way, but interestingly it really depended on the non-profit's capacity to conduct performance assessments, so the staff really needed some confidence about what they were collecting, and how they were using it.

It also really depended on the clarity of the organisation's goals, so once again I think it's going back to that, you know, are collecting information for the right reasons and do they understand how it's helping them improve. So we've really at the centre here talked a lot this year with people about reflective practice and how important it is for your staff, and your leadership team, to do reflective practice.

It can be one of those things that you don't get time for, or it feels like it's not necessary. This research is showing that it definitely is very, very necessary for your staff and of course your leadership team to constantly reflect on what information you're collecting about your services and clients, and how this is helping you improve your performance. So, and just to let you know, this is one of the reasons why in 2019 we're actually at the centre going to be starting some communities of practice to help people learn how to do reflective practice, and apply that research. And think about why they're collecting information and using that information, but I'll tell you more about that in a few minutes.

So I think to some of those particular research articles and when I was thinking this through and as we've been talking with people this year I think it's really challenging leaders to promote a learning culture within their organisation, collect and use performance data that helps you understand if you are healthy, and really getting the outcomes that you want and you need within your organisation and not just outputs.

It's terribly important that we're looking at outcomes as well, and helping your staff understand the difference between outputs and outcomes, and of course then assessing whether that means you can improve your performance. So I think that's one of our leadership challenges for this year, but I'm ready to just introduce you to another couple of pieces of research which is all about innovation and solving problems. I think a theme that's coming through across the sector is we are constantly having to lead change and having to look at complex challenges, both within our organisation and externally with the communities that we work with.

This is really about how we build innovation within our organisation and how we solve problems. Now, we are very lucky at QUT, we are really - we work in an environment of innovation. I mean there are world-class researchers just right here at QUT, everybody look. Actually when you're on campus here at QUT. So we're very lucky, we're very lucky, and this really inspires us to constantly think about how we can do what we do better.

There are many organisations I know that don't have that luxury and don't have that culture of innovation, and they really have to develop that culture, and think about how can we improve people's ability to think creatively about our problems, and how we can work smarter and more effectively. So this is an issue that has been addressed in the research this year, and I'll just touch on a couple of articles that have been published about it now.

This one was actually some research that looked at boards and how boards can become more innovative, and the researchers looked at the attributes and the processes that were most important that either had a direct or an indirect effect on the amount of innovation that was occurring. From a broader perspective. So the study found what was most critical and had the biggest effectiveness on innovation, was the board culture. Incredibly important that the board is using critical questioning about challenges and about problems. So it's about asking the right questions thinking strategically about what the challenges are that we're facing, and how we might overcome those challenges. But it was also they found that the social capital was incredibly important, so having a shared vision about what you are trying to achieve. The board really needs that. Very important. And all of those things were positively related to innovation. But it was quite interesting, this actually found that there was one thing that decreased in the place, and interestingly it was too much diversity on the board.

So we we know that it's important to have a wide range of views and perspectives, because otherwise you get groupthink, and you don't want that, and no innovation is going to come out if everybody's thinking the same thing or saying the same thing. But what they found was that too much diversity could actually decrease innovation. Now that's an interesting thing for the board to think about, but it really means that we just have to think about who is on the board and how are we working together to think about different ways of looking at problems and addressing problems.

So I think probably this article, this research really makes us think about whether the board has the right culture to foster new ideas and innovation, and also just to think about our risk appetite for innovation. Because it is important that the board remains innovative - thinking and activities for the rest of the organisation. So it's terribly important that the board gets it right and the board has a view that innovation is good, and they're willing to innovate, and then it's more likely that the rest of the organisation will as well.

The last article that I wanted to talk to you about which I found, is one of the most interesting that I've read this year was a case study. It's a really great case of a obviously real example of a large non-profit called the Columbus Regional Health Hospital in the US. 

They had a disaster happen. It was a major flood as you can see from that photo, and they had to evacuate most of the hospital. It destroyed a lot of the equipment certainly in the basement areas where they did a lot of their work, and there was a lot going on there, but it was a terrible disaster for them. And what happened is they had to close a lot of their medical facilities due to this flood.

They very quickly realized that it was going to take millions of dollars and probably twelve months of renovation and clean-up to get this hospital back to where it needed to be, but they had a really great culture already and the culture was around being committed to these staff members and the community, and they didn't want to have to make any redundancies. They didn't want to have to stop serving their community with the medical community, so they started thinking immediately - how can we be innovative when we're looking at this disaster?

And basically they did a lot of collaboration. You'll have to read the article yourself, it's a fascinating case study, but in summary they did a lot of collaboration with other community organisations and the community. They really got their staff to think innovatively. They really encouraged innovation across the whole of the organisation, and what it did was it brought everyone together, and I think they didn’t actually have to make anyone redundant 

They all worked tremendously hard to get this hospital back running as quickly as they could, and in fact the article lets us know that they did it in six months rather than twelve months that they had predicted. And also what they did was that once the hospital had reopened, they decided that they were going to invest in innovative activities that they needed, to recoup some of this lost money. And they really wanted to think much more innovatively about how they were running their organisation, so they developed an Innovation Center, but they nurtured innovators throughout the organisation

Everybody basically and anybody who was creative, and could start thinking about solutions, and they created innovation teams, and taught them some tools called design thinking. And they use design thinking to enable and empower their staff to think through challenges that they will have in their organisation. And then of course they started to actually act on some of these ideas that these innovators and these teams were coming up with. They found that they were saving then millions of dollars a year once they had created this culture of innovation, so it's a really interesting article to read and I highly encourage you to have a look at that case stud

But maybe the leadership challenge for us, I suppose, is perhaps to think about, well, maybe what kind of floods we're having. It might not be a physical flood, but what other types of crisis or challenges are you having in your organisation that could be critical to your survival, and what are the values behind how you create empowerment throughout your organisation. How you nurture innovators throughout your organisation so that you can not only just survive but thrive through times of torment, change, and when things are going or when things don’t go to plan or a crisis happen

It means then that you're much more in a better and healthy position then to run your organisation and be sustainable, so there's some really helpful learning and tips from these case studies. And I think what I've taken away from reading these is that our leadership challenge for 2019 may be about how we encourage creativity and innovation throughout the organisation to solve problems, and we want to do it earlier rather than later. We don't actually want to wait for the crisis to have occurred. If we can build a culture of innovation it means then that people are constantly looking for ways to solve problems, and it means they're more open to change and they're much more willing to change and less resistant to chan

So I think those are some of the key things that I've learnt from some really interesting research. Now of course there's been lots of other research as well, and I can't share it all with you today, but that's what we do here at the Centre is try and share some of those most important ideas that we're getting, and what we're learning from the resear

Hopefully that's just given you a few things to think about and - great - I can see some fantastic questions coming through, so we turn over to our guests here, so thank you very much for joining us and I'll just tell you a little bit about Myles.

Myles was actually - he sits on a wide variety of boards and has obviously consulted and given advice to the sector and leaders in many different topics, so has some special interests in law and ethics and accounting. And now, he has retired formerly from most positions but works with Caxton Hall lawyers part-time. And so thank you Myles for taking the time to be here today and just sharing with us. Maybe some of your leadership tips for 2019 are needed.

Yeah Myles, could you just unmute yourself so we can hear you -

 

Emeitus Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes

Hello, yes, fantastic, thanks.

Well welcome everybody, and thank you for the opportunity to join with you today. I'm sure you enjoyed Ruth's pearls of wisdom about leadership. I just follow up on a couple of things firstly in terms of measurement - there are some traps for young players and make sure that you don't fall into them.

Measurement often is very expensive so you've got to choose what you measure very carefully to make sure it's cost-effective and secondly are you going to measure the right thing. If you're not measuring the right thing you may get false readings and yeah you may do your precious resources as well, because you're trying to manage something that dumb. Yeah it's the wrong, it's the wrong measure, it's the wrong leaver to pull. And beware of what we call perverse incentives when you try to measure things.

The classic example of this is what we call ‘Hello Nurses’ in the UK in the National Health Service system, whereby the policymakers will want to make sure that people were treated promptly in casualty rather than being left in in triage. So what they did was tied incentives to patients presenting being attended to. What that did is overwhelmed the health system because they couldn't - because they just didn't have the resources to treat everybody at peaked times and in a moment's notice. they employed what we called ‘Hello Nurses’ and the nurse would come and say hello to everybody.

I came in the door and that counted as a ‘meeting the person’ and ticking off the performance measures, and that was clearly counterproductive because people wait at the same time or longer because there was only one able to do triage who is merely - I'm saying to older people as they came in the door, so the tips for young young players.

But let me get on to two issues of leadership for next year. First one is just to remind you that non-profits usually are about culture. They're people organisations. They're largely workforces which are at the frontline with people, so unless you have a appropriate culture in your organisation… Your frontline staff do their work and that requires leadership by the board to the CEO, and senior management team in terms of building and maintaining their culture. If you don't have that it doesn't matter what measuring you do, you'll be in trouble, and I think it's going to become even more important in 2019 as among the things which I would suggest that leaders look out for these.

If you're in operating in Queensland, I know that around the country and around the world, but if you're operating in Queensland we have a Human Rights Bill before the Parliament that will become law, probably in the mid-next year, and the human rights regime will be modelled on that in the ACT and Victoria, and it will require those organisations which it reaches - it will require a different sort of decision-making in your organisation.

You will have to make decisions about clients based not only on your current view, but also on the principles of human rights as set out in the act, and that may require a different decision-making framework for organisations. For many you will already be doing this - considering the human rights of your clients, or both, or your stakeholders but it may require different protocols. And so I'll be watching the progress of that bill and looking to trends and precedents in Victorian the ACT to give you an idea of how you build that culture in your organisation so that decisions are made in accordance with the bill right at the frontline. So they don't come back to bite you.

Secondly for those doing business in Queensland, Stamp Duty and Payroll tax exemptions have changed a little, and if you are buying property you ought to check your constitution with a lawyer to make sure that you still comply for stamp duty concession. And the final thing about Queensland is that we expect a new Trust Act to come in next year, not quite sure when, but we’re expecting next year - and that's important for non-profits because the act has a whole chapter on charities.

Our charities are regarded in state law and particularly the definition of what is a charity in state law, it's slightly different to the Commonwealth definition, and also various issues of when charities can need administrative powers, other powers, and in ceasing or redirecting charitable assets.

Enough said about that there is a lot of happening in terms of legislation. There's the Slavery Bill, which will require large non-profits and large for-profits to check their supply chain to make sure it's not infected or besmirched by any slavery issue, so that you're not using child labour to harvest rubber to produce your latex gloves in  health situations. And so - we require procurement checking in detail now.

This won't affect small non-profits directly but if small non-profits collaborate or supply large non-profits, then the small non-profits may have their supply chains examined by large non-profits that have to comply with the Slavery Act. There's a Whistleblowers Act which will be coming into federal parliament which may catch people and you'll require whistleblowing procedures in the Tax Office and Treasury Administration Deductible Gift Recipient Registers and reporting is on the move to change - basically putting it simply, they'll be moving out of the ATO into the ACNC with some ATO attention.

And so environment culture health from our health community organisations and arts and culture will be be transferred some time next year. We're still waiting for the exact legislation but consultation has already occurred. If you're operating charity - operating overseas, then the ACNC has new external conduct regulations. These regulate your governance and your procedures for operating overseas and so you need to check that one if you fall within the definition of operating overseas or whether it's just an ancillary. But if you are, then you will need to document and annually comply with those external conduct regulations of the ACNC.

Ruth I think those are the key tick boxes for me for 2019. It will be an interesting year with a Federal Election coming up and I expect at least some of the parties will have our policy. These are relating to non-profits, not only about funding, but also about tax and other administrative issues. We do not. Ruth.

 

Ruth Knight, Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies

Thanks Myles. Fantastic tips and a lot of information there, and I think it's reminded me that we don't have to know everything. We have to know those people who can give us some great information advice, and really make it simple for us to understand as leaders what we need to think about it.

Maybe one of the pieces of advice is to get on our mailing list. And Paxton-Hall Lawyers have a great non-profit bulletin and Myles contributes to that, so you can be kept up to date with legal issues and case law. Very, very interesting stuff - especially if you don't have a background in law, but all very, very important research and things that we need to think about as leaders in 2019.

So thanks Myles, and now I introduce you to Sally. Sally Paterson is from New Zealand - thank you joining us all the way from New Zealand. But yesterday you were over here graduating. You've been studying with us for the past year and you decided to study because you've been in the not-for-profit sector for many years an executive, and also as a consultant, working with many organisations particularly in the areas of communications.

Thank you so much for joining us, and it would be great for people just to hear from you a little bit about what your think leadership looks like in 2019 for you, and how have you been able to apply some of the research studies. How are you able to apply that next year.

 

Sally Paterson

Thank you Ruth and I thank you also Myles. I feel like I'm following in some very big shoes, particularly having one day under my belt since I graduated. But I'm lucky to be here - my background was in PR and Communications and you know after about 10 years working for communications, I was working for fast food – a major fast food outlet, and also a child health research funder, and it became quickly very apparent which organisation that I wanted to you know work on late at night, and which organisation that I really threw myself into.

So that started my journey in the non-profit sector, having come from the corporate sector, you know, and I've really loved it after working for the private health research funder, I moved on to an environmental organisation, again providing communication support but, you know, working closely with the chief executives in both organisation,  you often deal with the problems in an organisation. Whether they be human resources issues, whether they be revenue gathering, or you know difficult media issues, or contracts.

So you know, the ability to compliment kind of hidden learnings, and actually understanding research this year has been just amazing, so I won't talk about that.

(inaudible)

But maybe just to continue some stories people can relate to, about getting your feet on the ground in the sector and the challenges. And you know, some of the things I learned about leadership (inaudible) being like people come out of an organisation for three years with.

And we're talking about innovation and culture, and you know, if you’ve not got the right group and the right culture – none of it will happen. My observation is people in the not-for-profit sector are often innovative – lean budgets along with belief in the mission means that you do work really hard. You don’t have the luxury of big budgets. You don’t get to be lazy. You have to work really hard to design solutions. But I would say, when you rely on public trust and public funding, and partners, you know, there’s often fear of losing support. What if this doesn’t work or we lose support? What if this doesn’t work, will we look bad in the media? What if this doesn’t work you know, will one of our partners (inaudible).

These problems, we’re facing on a daily basis. In my studies (inaudible) the governments paper I did that talked about orgs and what makes them effective, you know, where that culture of innovation comes from – really it’s gotta come from the top.

(inaudible)

The chief executive I worked for before, she put in a pretty clear process which was, make sure everyone understands the mission – so that’s about the communication. Get the mission repeated back. Deliver on the mission, and then a very firm debrief. We never ever missed a debrief after we put a program into action. The whole team came together and talked about what worked and what didn’t. So you never felt like the failings – or that something didn’t work – were just your own. You always felt like they were shared. So when you saw something as part of the process or something not working – that’s just part of the process, that’s a culture thing isn’t it. You know the other thing is bravery – you do have to be really brave to have a good culture. She once said to me there’s no good workplace culture fairy. You have to be brave when you say you don’t agree with something. You have to be able to have difficult conversations to have a good culture – that’s something that’s really hard to do, like all difficult conversations of course.

The other thing is trust. The way we did it at the past organisation I was at, we would sit down – we would say on the 1 to 10 scale and 10 is I’m not coping. If someone said a 7 it meant they had enough work but they could take a bit more. If someone was at a 9 that’s when you knew they were beginning to not cope. If someone was at a 5 you’d quickly throw them in to assist the person who was at capacity.

So when you get that trust from your teammates, when you're all prepared to roll up their sleeves, you know, I think that a culture of innovation, you know, just thrives on that kind of, you know, cultural behaviour measurement well.

I think there's probably not a non-profit that doesn't struggle with this and you mentioned before the difference between outputs and outcomes. I think again studying this year has really crystallized the difference for me. We've been really good in the past at measuring outputs as Myles said, measuring outcomes is much more difficult. They cost money - you've got to pick them well but in terms of getting our partners on board, in terms of getting our public on board, in terms of getting volunteers on board it is really important to do.

So organisations and I should try and find the funding, or get partners to do it that can that can work well too. Sometimes we have major partners who will just throw a couple of questions on to the end of a major survey they're doing, for example, and you can get some data that way. So you know it doesn't always have to cost you money.

There's, we know, innovation and measurement coming down to financial sustainability. My studies this year really helped me understand innovative new ways of funding organisations such as social enterprise. We discussed the new exciting concepts such as social investment or social impact bonds, so really I feel like that we’ve come so far in six years. I can't wait to see where it takes me next year. I think in the past and my past practice we just hadn't been using the research, and if you can give comfort to people within the organisation, and particularly the board, you have some basis via decision (inaudible).

You add in the environmental aspects from your own organisation, well it's a really great place to start - to give the trust of the organisation, trust of the stakeholders, trust of the board. So you can be brave both in terms of how you do things and also how you innovate. I think that's probably about it for me Ruth.

 

Ruth Knight, Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies

Thank you so much and it's great to see that from the research but you're learning how to apply it and also helping other organisations in your role in New Zealand so thank you so much for sharing what you're thinking about this year. Good luck with everything and all of your leadership responsibilities, I would say, in 2019. Thank you so much Sally, stay on the line just in case we do have any questions for you.

So I just wanted to, yeah, once again, just thank Myles and Sally for their contribution today and for sharing with us what they're thinking about and learning and applying as leaders in the sector.

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