Daily Buzz: Are You Suffering From Founder’s Syndrome?

Micromanaging, lack of transparency, sticking to the status quo—when leaders embody these principles, nonprofits can’t grow. Also: When it comes to microcredentialing, put learners first.

You’ve done the hard work: You started a nonprofit. But as the organization moves on from its small beginnings, it’s time to loosen your grip—or face the risk of Founder’s Syndrome.

“As nonprofits develop from start-up to adolescent, many founders continue in their initial leadership role, preventing innovation and new ideas from emerging,” says Karolyn Benger on Blue Avocado. “Their strong voice stifles others, and they claim to be the only one who really knows what’s right for the organization, making key decisions behind closed doors.”

Sound familiar? If so, you, or the organization you work for, is likely suffering from Founder’s Syndrome, which Benger says can be devastating for increased success and growth.

To beat out Founder’s Syndrome and promote a healthy future, Benger says nonprofits need to develop a culture of exploration and collaboration, where every team member feels empowered.

“Nonprofits are about people—their needs and feelings—and everyone wants to feel valued and heard,” she says. “Organizations that cultivate an environment of open expression benefit from innovation and the vibrancy of fresh ideas.”

Put Learners First to Build Credibility

Microcredentialing can seem like a shortcut—a way to get around the more extensive training that can come with a standard credentialing or certification program. But it can also provide a more affordable and portable way for people to achieve further education, says Kathleen deLaski on EdSurge.

The only question: Will learners actually trust it?

“The simple answer: only if we intentionally focus on designing around that question,” deLaski says.

That means creating an accessible, transparent taxonomy to help learners, and their employers, navigate what deLaski calls the “sea of new credentials,” as well as tools that “allow learners to visualize the relationships between skills, career pathways, and salary opportunities.”

Other Links of Note

How you define success has a big impact on your business, according to new research from GallupInc. explains the findings.

Great photography is a must. Nonprofit Marketing Guide shares where to find the best stock images.

Looking to boost meeting attendance? The Wild Apricot blog shares six strategies to start on today.

(tadamichi/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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