The Human Side of Excellence

Blog

July 17, 2017

The Human Side of Excellence

By Tom Dente

President and CEO Humentum

The humanitarian and development sector inspires people around the world with its strong purpose, innovative solutions, and spirit of collaboration. Yet change for our sector is accelerating with the growing complexity and challenge of social problems as well as increasing pressures on funding, organizational models, and delivering long-term results. Disruptive change seems to be the new constant in our sector. Many days, it seems, disruptions emerge across multiple levels, not only from the external environment, but also at the organizational and partner level, and even at the team and individual level.

What can help? As a community, we believe that operational capabilities and operational excellence enable individuals and organizations to better navigate, adapt, and thrive in periods of change. But operational capabilities are not static, and practices and approaches are evolving more quickly, often influenced by the same external forces.  

In this more challenging and complex environment, we at InsideNGO recognized that we had to do more to deepen and support operational expertise and capabilities to meet the needs of our community. The opportunity to do more drove us to explore merging with LINGOs and Mango over the last year. While we had collaborated in the past, mergers were still relatively rare in our sector, especially the mergers of three successful organizations. Our guiding questions during this time were: If we bring together our organizations, are we better able to meet the sector’s emerging needs and the challenges of the future? Together, can we better achieve the promise in our mission to “inspire and achieve operational excellence for organizations focused on positive societal good?” After a year of good work leading to our formal agreement, we believe the answer is a resounding yes. We look forward to expanding our communities of practice and enhancing our learning and consulting services to meet your needs for shared expertise and greater collaboration on operational issues. 

As we move ahead, we are also staying focused on strengthening what I believe may be our most important attribute as a community: the multiple connections and relationships that operations professionals create that span the globe. In my six years with InsideNGO, I have been inspired by seeing these relationships in action: experts helping experts, practitioners welcoming their peers, learners sharing insights with others after a workshop. We are a global community of practitioners, leaders, and experts dedicated to operational excellence. But it is the trust, generosity, and personal connections made each day, in many different ways, have made our community truly vibrant.

For me, our new name, Humentum, reminds us that in a more volatile and interdependent world, these relationships matter even more. In the end, we are a human and a deeply caring community. Our shared success is based upon the human touch: each professional establishing relationships of trust, generously sharing insights, and collaborating for good. These actions each day renew and sustain our community. Humentum also reflects our belief that it is by expanding human capabilities, through learning, sharing, and developing as individuals and in our teams, our organizations, and our sector, that will create and sustain operational excellence. Finally, we believe that operational excellence creates momentum for social good by supporting the many programs and initiatives our sector delivers for the betterment of humanity. We aim to work diligently to meet the many aspirations that our new name embodies.

These are revolutionary times in technology, communications, and knowledge development.  Innovation, creativity, and disruption may seemingly arise from any direction. Leveraging the strengths of our growing global community will allow each us to respond better and bring the best solutions to these new challenges and opportunities. With our merger, our community will be stronger, as we offer new services, different ways to convene and collaborate, and enhanced learning services. But our efforts will continue to be centered on each of you, fostering the human connections, supported by trust and powered by generosity, that create true excellence.

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