After rapidly and successfully adjusting to remote operations, talent managers are now looking ahead to what the advancement team of the future looks like. The following offers insights from talent managers at a variety of organizations for how they are weathering the storm. It offers key considerations for planning, recommendations for best practices, and innovative examples from colleges and universities that respond to our teams’ physical, mental, and emotional needs as we transition to new models. The inspiration of this article was the result of a national advancement talent management leaders convening that was co-facilitated by Yvette Marsh, Executive Director of Talent Management, Louisiana State University Foundation and Angelique Grant, Senior Consultant and Vice President at Aspen Leadership Group.
If you were working remotely before Covid-19, your transition to remote work was probably much easier than your colleagues who had been working at your organization’s home base. Responsibility for communication pre-Covid-19 generally fell to the remote worker. Now that burden has shifted to managers. If you are managing staff then there are new guidelines for managing up, down, and laterally. Your ability to be successful will revolve around how well you communicate, set clear goals and expectations, advocate for and provide the necessary tools for successfully meeting those goals and expectations, and maintain your organization’s culture and your team’s alignment to its mission.
Your ability to quickly reset your organization’s overall financial situation after COVID-19 will likely depend on attracting significant philanthropy. While all arms of your organization will make difficult sacrifices, your advancement team may be key to protecting your organization’s long-term viability, and you must work closely with leadership to assess, rethink, and reset critical staffing decisions.
Experienced administrators and board members recognize an outstanding advancement officer when they meet and work with one, even as they recognize a true philanthropic partner. One of the greatest gifts these leaders can make to their organizations is to act upon that recognition.
Seldom does promotion come with a corresponding investment in management training. You do not need to look far to find studies pointing to how poor management is the top reason for staff turnover. After many years of managing people, few things have been more effective in making me a better manager than writing out my management philosophy. Why does having a management philosophy work?
There is no single decision-making process and structure that will work for every organization in every search. But laying out important considerations and making choices in advance will help hiring managers — and the search firm partners who assist them — achieve the best possible search outcomes.