We take great care in identifying, vetting, and approaching leaders who are potential ambassadors to ensure there is a mutual good fit and match between the candidate and the community. We take these extra steps to ensure 1) ambassadors will enjoy a positive experience as an engaged member of the community and 2) the community evolves and grows with quality.
Courtesy, respect, and thoughtfulness guide a systematic approach to recruiting and vetting new ambassadors.
For consideration, candidates must demonstrate:
- Strong affinity for the community’s purpose—the belief that performance matters and that building high-performance organizations is a vital pathway to achieve meaningful, measurable, and financially sustainable results for the people and causes served.
- Strong desire and expressed enthusiasm to be a member of the community over and above any benefits gained through affiliation.
- Meaningful accomplishments in their lives and work that demonstrates excellence in their field and contribute to the community’s purpose.
- Depth of knowledge and expertise of what high performance is and what it takes to build high-performance organizations, whether through experience in leadership, management, programs, financial health, organizational culture, internal monitoring, external evaluation, or other related disciplines.
- Ability, willingness, and time to contribute to the community and advocate its “performance matters” message in their communities and networks.
- Alignment with community norms to ensure a reasonable fit with the community’s group chemistry and protocols that allow for and encourage dissenting views, independent thinking, and objectivity—always done with respect and courtesy.
- Ability to separate himself/herself from his/her organization
- Ability to avoid unreasonably skewing, constraining, biasing dialogue or extreme positions
- Comfort with constructive conflict and the willingness to respectfully call others out.
These are the heartfelt ties that bind each ambassador within the community.
Guidelines to Ensure Broad Diversity
It’s important that, as a community, we walk the talk. As we say in the Performance Imperative:
“Executives and boards cultivate diversity and inclusion at every level of the organization, because a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives contribute to an organization’s creativity, empathy, and effectiveness.”
We follow these guidelines to help ensure the healthiest composition of the community.
- Diversity: Diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and class is extremely relevant and important. We cannot simply give lip service to our desire to build a diverse community.
- Age, Role, and Experience Balance: In discovering candidates to consider as potential ambassadors the clear preference is for those in leadership positions, while also ensuring some balance to bring along the next generation of leaders and those in lead staff roles with their direct hands-on experience.
- Geography: Because most philanthropy is local, we need to ensure broad geographical representation, not limiting ourselves to those who live on the two coasts. At the same time, we want to give preference to achieving clusters of ambassadors to increase the opportunity for place-based activity to augment national/international efforts. While the community is primarily U.S.-centric, we will continue to consider individuals outside the U.S. We believe international members will benefit from participation and potentially play a role in developing an internationally focused community over time.
- Foundation/Government/Civic/Business Representation: Specific to the community’s overall purpose of catalyzing a movement that pushes the social sector forward to higher performance, we must ensure we are sourcing individuals who are (a) philosophically aligned with our community purpose; (b) already providing support and funding organizational-development and high-performance initiatives; and (c) providing or who are predisposed to provide such support and funding.
- Discipline Representation: While the initial impetus for the community came from leaders in performance management and evaluation, a healthy community benefits from different perspectives. Just as the community needs deep expertise in performance and evaluation, it needs similar expertise in leadership, management, people and culture, program design, and finance, as well as a constructive blending of practitioners, academics, vendors/consultants, policy types, etc.
- Domain Representation: We also want to source individuals representing the breadth of the social sector—versus the community’s initial emphasis on ambassadors from the human services arena. The community benefits from the different experiences of leaders from healthcare, K-12 education, workforce and economic development, climate change/environment, and arts/culture.
We Need the Right People
People are key. For the community to fully achieve its potential we need the right people to come together in community to trigger a mindshift within a vital core of the social sector to accept that mission and performance are inextricably linked.
The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.”
John W. Gardner