Announcing Our New Distributed Leadership Structure!

You’ve seen updates from us over the past several months about NCAP’s leadership journey—and now, to kick off 2023, our staff and board are thrilled to announce our new leadership model! We are using a distributed leadership model made up of a collaborative team of staff, with support and oversight from our board of directors. Staff have been successfully using pieces of this model for the past 6+ months, and the board has officially adopted this as our organization’s leadership model going forward.

We recognize the value of a more “leaderful” approach (leading together, collectively) rather than consolidating power (and burden) onto the shoulders of one or more executive leadership staff.

Distributed leadership allows all staff to step up in important ways to be leaders in their own domains. Each staff member heads up a different area of our operations and programming, depending on their expertise and capacity. For more complex or bigger tasks, we create teams to explore, decide and implement together. Our leadership values can be read at the end of this page of our website.

Organizational chart with a red heart in the center, surrounded by green blobs with program staff and a golden circle of support staff encircling, with board and partners at the bottom

We take cues from the wisdom of nature, learning from a group (or skein) of geese flying in coordination for hundreds of miles per day.

The goose in front of the V formation doesn’t lead for the entire journey, because it would be too tiring for them to keep flying straight into the wind without the assistance of a bird in front of them to follow behind. When the goose in the lead gets tired, it moves to the back of the formation and another goose takes the lead. When a goose falls out of formation due to an injury or illness, two birds usually stay behind with it. At NCAP, we work together as a team to rotate through certain leadership tasks, leading at some times and stepping back at other times. We support and lift each other up.

At NCAP we recognize a need for the nonprofit sector to innovate in order to address long-standing critiques of extraction and burnout of employees and volunteers. We have learned a great deal from other organizations that use distributed leadership in order to glean best practices and insights, and we are happy to share our takeaways with other organizations.

We are working together to further the pesticide-free movement in new ways and contribute to a paradigm shift in how nonprofits operate.

We have put greater care into supporting all staff and utilizing their unique skills and experiences to drive our mission forward. More people involved in decision making means more creativity, equity and success. If you’re wondering who to contact at NCAP with a particular question or need, visit our staff and board page to find out.

Last year we completed 45 years of advocacy as part of the pesticide-free movement!

Our staff and board have been learning and growing each step of the way, refining our distributed leadership model so we can continue as a strong and innovative organization. We thank you for supporting NCAP as a leader in promoting safe pest and weed solutions for the health of people and the environment. We couldn’t make this happen without YOU and we are so excited to keep growing together.

- From NCAP Staff & Board -

NCAP’s history with shared leadership:
NCAP has several years of experience using various leadership models. Most recently, after careful discussion and planning among all staff and board, in October of 2021 NCAP moved from having an executive director to a model with two co-directors and greater empowerment of all staff. In June 2022, both co-directors stepped into new opportunities with other organizations, and the remaining staff unanimously agreed with the support of the board of directors to pursue creating a flatter organizational model where duties would be spread out among staff. On November 30, 2022 the NCAP Board of Directors officially voted to approve this new distributed leadership model.

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  • Ncap Staff
    published this page in BLOG 2023-01-25 10:36:13 -0800