The social sector has an urgent and essential role in affecting civil discourse and advancing the common good. Social sector enterprises must be effective in delivering their missions, efficient in stewarding funds, and resilient so as to overcome and grow stronger from the challenges they face. To achieve this alignment requires dedicated resources and attention.
Whether the change agent comes from within the organizational community or from outside the organization, s/he must take responsibility for achieving transformation goals, aligning systems, and resolving business challenges — leveraging opportunities in the day-to-day to acculturate improvements to the entire infrastructure.
Trellis Partners’ assessment and advisory services help teams understand their infrastructure and enable them to manage the changes necessary to strengthen it. And our term executive model embeds expertise right into nonprofit workforces to deliver on change, infrastructure, and growth goals.
For a period of six months to two years, the term executive engages as a regular employee, dedicated specifically to direct organizational change and drive the co-creation of conditions to sustain organizational effectiveness.
Four main principles undergird the distinct structure and methodology of the Trellis term executive model:
Embedded leadership – The practitioner must be fully embedded in order to develop internal relationships, learning the emotional culture and experiencing the evolution along with colleagues and reports.
Inside-outsider perspective – An outsider working from within brings a unique and powerful perspective. They combine the invaluable loyalty of an insider with the critical objectivity of an outsider.
Time-bound intervention – Sustaining new organizational habits requires practice, and practice requires time. Yet by bounding the change effort within a two-year timeline, the Trellis model doesn’t assume intensive cultural change will continue indefinitely with the same intensity.
Work with what works – Even a struggling organization isn’t 100% entropy. Term executives find and leverage what works in leading staff to co-create the conditions they want and need for ongoing success. The Trellis term executive pulls together an internal campaign to facilitate synergies between program planning, business systems, leadership, and culture.
Our model is unique. We don’t provide short-term, part-time consultants. For a term of roughly six months to two years, we embed expert practitioners as full-time employees on the executive teams of social enterprises to drive the creation of conditions for organizational effectiveness. We work ourselves out of a job. We leave organizations stronger than when we found them.
Download Trellis Partners’ theory of change, Achieving Ongoing Effectiveness + Resilience in Social Enterprises, to learn more about our approach.