An organisation is a living organism that needs food, love, health and change. As for CSOs, they deal with plenty of external programmes and projects, but less with the organisation itself: there is always a need to write a new project proposal or finalise a project report, cope with tight deadlines, or react ad hoc to endless problems. Little time is left to deal with organisational ethics and values, or to review an organisational budget or rethink the role of the board of directors. Such dynamics can cause people to burn out or stagnate the organisation itself.
Taking these considerations into account, the LINK Organisational Development and Leadership Programme provided CSOs with the possibility to look at deeply into themselves and to pass through a detailed organisational self-assessment with specially trained development mentors. This entailed a thorough review of internal performance and external environment, as well as the drawing up of an organisational plan for the future. The self-review programme also offered wide range of knowledge on how to become a good CSO leader and how to successfully manage a non-governmental organisation.
While the first training focused on CSO leadership qualities, a second training, held on May 21–25, 2016 in Tatariv (Carpathian region), provided support for organisational development by addressing key management issues such as: strategic leadership; CSO impact assessment; financial and human resource management; networking; partnership; and communication and outreach—all of which are necessary to successfully manage civil society organisations, both as institutions and as teams of people.
Similar to the previous training, participants took part in group work, organisational management games and simulations, while also participating in a wide range of discussions—e.g. from how to improve organisational development plans to various aspects of organisational governance such as human resources, financial management and social entrepreneurship.
According to feedback received from participating organisations, the entire programme is deemed highly valuable, very useful and stimulating. The programme has helped participants to: take a more professional approach towards organisational development, discover internal resources and informal leaders; seek outside resources for next development steps; discover what motivates staff members; find partners; review and rewrite their mission, vision and values; become more systematic and structured; register the organisation; and find new inspiration for moving forward.