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Being a Digital-first Leader

New technology adoption requires leaders to embrace humility and adaptability

If you are in the business of shepherding a nonprofit into the next decade and beyond, you will likely hear the phrase “change management” a lot. That’s because transforming a nonprofit still wedded to pen and paper into a thriving digital-first operation takes a good deal of both “change” and “management” to succeed.

Aparna Kothary, director of technology operations at Global Citizen Year, has firsthand experience with change management. She had to implement new technology to help her nonprofit, which organizes gap year study-abroad programs for high school seniors, measure the impact of their work. The task forced her to realize that she not only needed to get buy-in from top-level management, but also to approach the process itself with patience and acceptance of setbacks.

“When you put a lot of work into building something, you think it’s great and you want everybody else to think it’s great, but approaching it with humility is so important,” she says, “because people are going to poke holes in it and see things that you didn’t see.” In addition, people learn in different ways and have different skill sets, and so foisting online trainings on staff without support in place isn’t fair, she adds. “If our end goal is user adoption, it’s our responsibility to train people in a way that that works for them.”

Please select this link to read the complete article from Stanford Social Integration Review.

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