Posted on : August 12, 2018

The Bridgespan Group, with support from Omidyar Network, undertook what is possibly the first data-driven study of NGO leadership development in India.  The report has some fascinating findings with respect to picking leaders.

Surveying approximately 250 leaders from Indian NGOs and the Indian offices of international NGOs, the study looked into NGOs’ efforts to strengthen their leaders’ skill sets and build their leadership bench. However, the study shows that less than 40% of Indian NGO leaders view their own organisation as a primary source for recruiting senior leaders. So,external recruiting—though more risky and expensive—is the norm.

When asked about previous roles for their senior leadership teams, just 39 % of those surveyed cite internal promotions. The most common sources for leadership talent are other NGOs, mostly Indian NGOs, and the for-profit sector.

The cost of bringing in leaders from outside the organisation is high, and research from the for-profit sector reveals that nearly half of all external executive recruits fail within the first 18 months. That rate might well be more pronounced in the nonprofit sector, which can require more of a cultural adjustment. Yet few NGO leaders said they had the time or ability to create adequate on-boarding processes. (Story courtesy:Forbes India)