Power Shift and Governance Reform

In light of long-standing frustrations by international civil society organisation’s (ICSO) executives and board members with their current governance structures (e.g., cumbersome decision-making, under-representation of key constituencies and uneven strategy execution), the International Civil Society Centre sponsored a lab in September 2018 to explore the root causes of these challenges with leaders from eight ICSOs. In cooperation with Ed Boswell from Conner Advisory, the participants analysed the intersection of their power dynamics, organisational intent and governance models. Each of these leaders identified changes their organisations should (or must) implement in order to function more effectively and delivered on their promised impacts.

In 2020, again in co-operation with Ed Boswell from Conner Advisory, the Centre organised a follow-on lab (Power Shift Lab 2.0) attended by CEOs, Heads of Governance, Board Chairs and Board Members from 7 organisations. The virtual Lab focused on how to successfully execute the most urgent power shifts and governance reforms that an organisation’s intent requires.

This year, the progress made will be systematically reviewed and learnings will be put to test by critical review. To increase the momentum for the Power Shift community, the Centre takes a 3-step approach:

  • Mini Lab (16 – 17 March; virtual) on power shift progress to date (incl. drafting or recapping statement of intent, stakeholder assessment, degree of difficulty and assessing progress)
  • Hard Talk event (second half of June; virtual) including open conversations with partners, sceptics, spoilers and donors on progress made with power shift
  • CEO clinic (16 September; virtual) to share the ambitious approaches with CEOs and/or Board Chairs as part of the Vision Works event and to develop guidance on how to progress.

Event is invitation only