ProInspire Strategy Update 1: Start With Your Result


Lessons from the Casey Foundation’s Talent Pipelines Learning Lab – Seminar 1

Monisha Kapila, CEO ProInspireBy Monisha Kapila, Founder and CEO, ProInspire

This year, ProInspire will be focused on two major initiatives related to our strategy:

1. Launching a strategy process to identify our “Bold Goal” as an organization
2. Participating in Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Social Sector Talent Pipelines Strategy & Learning Lab to accelerate our impact and influence in the field

Throughout these initiatives, we will be providing updates via this blog to share our learnings, and lessons for other organizations.

The year-long Social Sector Talent Pipelines Strategy & Learning Lab is designed to build and strengthen partnerships and contributions among key talent pipeline organizations and funders. Five organizations are participating in this inaugural cohort: AmeriCorps Alums, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), ProInspire, Public Allies, and Teach for America. The Lab is designed to increase the capacity of our organizations to deliver on their talent pipeline results, develop joint efforts to address field-level challenges and support the individual leadership development of participants.


Monisha and Gene at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Social Sector Talent Pipelines Strategy & Learning Lab

Monisha Kapila (Founder and CEO) and Gene Kunde (Bay Area Executive Director) are participating in the Learning Lab on behalf of ProInspire. We were particularly interested in this opportunity for two reasons:

  1. A core focus of the Learning Lab is on results-based leadership, an approach we have had some exposure to and want to integrate more closely into our organization. We are also looking to incorporate results-based leadership competencies into ProInspire’s programs, so participating in this gives us deeper understanding.
  2. We are working on our own strategy this year, and part of that work is thinking about our role in addressing broader talent challenges in the social sector. We believe there is a need for more collaboration at the field level to support social sector talent, and this enables us to work with peers that we respect and admire.
Discussing results-based leadership with the group

Discussing results-based leadership with the group

Here are some key learnings from the first Learning Lab, and how we are thinking about them for ProInspire:

  • Adaptive leadership involves uncomfortable changes: In order to improve results, we have to be prepared for transformative change that impacts values, habits, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.
    • For ProInspire, potential adaptive changes may include impacts on the identity of our organization, how we define our customer, and our business model to approach the problem*
  • Social impact starts with defining results: Social sector organizations need to be clear about the result they are trying to achieve, and then work backwards from there. Too often we get caught up in creating programs and then tying them to results. What condition of well-being for families, children, or communities are you seeking to improve?
    • Draft Result for ProInspire: All people have quality life advanced by social sector organizations valuing their talent*
  • Define the population you target: Be clear about whom your work is meant to benefit. Disaggregate the whole, system, agency, and program populations.
    • Draft Populations for ProInspire*:
      • Whole Population: All employees of social sector organizations in the U.S.
      • System Population: All employees of social sector organizations in Washington D.C. and San Francisco Bay Area
      • Agency Population: All employees of ProInspire partners
      • Program Population: All participants in ProInspire Fellowship and Managing for Success
    • Questions to analyze:
      • How do we define which social sector organizations?
      • Do we narrow our population to organizations focused on specific issues?
      • Do we focus on organizations of a certain budget size?

* These are draft definitions that will be refined throughout the program

Now our team is back home, evaluating our targeted results and working on an action plan for the rest of the year. We will be meeting everyone again in April for Seminar 2.

This is just the beginning of a long journey for ProInspire in defining the results and social impact we can achieve as an organization. Please comment or reach out to us with any feedback as we go through this journey!

Monisha Kapila is the Founder and CEO of ProInspire. She launched the organization to help individuals and organizations achieve their potential for social impact. Monisha brings 10 years of experience in the business and nonprofit sectors, and is passionate about organizations investing in talent to achieve results. Follow her @monishakapila.

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