Organizational Analysis: San Diego Diplomacy Council

3789 words (15 pages) Essay in Organisations

18/05/20 Organisations Reference this

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Organizational Setting:

 The San Diego Diplomacy Council was created in 1979 under the name the International Hospitality Council of San Diego and held that name until 1985, when the organization changed its name to the International Visitors Council of San Diego (IVC). From 1979 until 1985, the organization was operating with a purely volunteers base and did not start hiring full-time paid staff until the 1990s when there was an increase in the number of delegations welcomed annually by the nonprofit. In July 2004, the organization once again changed its name to the Citizen Diplomacy Council of San Diego in order to better represent its diplomatic mission. In 2015, the nonprofit relocated its headquarters to the Price Charities Building in City Heights, San Diego, and became known as the San Diego Diplomacy Council (SDDC) thereafter.

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 The San Diego Diplomacy Council vision, according to its website, is to be an organization that connects and empowers local and global leaders to create a more peaceful and stable world. The organization’s mission is to connect people and different organizations to foster positive changes within themselves, communities, and around the globe. To carry out their mission, the San Diego Diplomacy Council welcomed leaders around the world through the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and the nonprofit’s custom programs and connect these international leaders with their counterparts in the public and private sectors to address the challenges facing citizens around the globe.

 The International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program being launched by U.S. State Department in 1940 to develop understanding between Americans and international individuals. Participants of the IVLP are selected by officers in American embassies and consulates abroad based on their works within their own community through a nomination process. Through the IVLP numerous short-term visits, and careful coordination of schedules, the San Diego Diplomacy Council have brought more than 600 dignitaries to San Diego to exchange ideas and best practices regarding topics such as environmental protection, citizen safety, protecting human rights, and combating human trafficking.

 Aside from the IVLP, the San Diego Diplomacy Council also welcomed international visitors through their custom programs. These custom programs are being designed to bring individuals from various parts of the globe to exam world challenges through conferences, training programs, and exchange programs. The San Diego Diplomacy Council also brought young emerging leaders to the United States through fellowship programs such as Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) and Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Notably, in 2018, the San Diego Diplomacy Council have expand its service by creating Youth Sports Diplomacy Program and leading local community members on citizen diplomat trip to Cuba. 

Management/Leadership Practices Assessment:

 The San Diego Diplomacy Council is being led by a board of directors and an executive director. The nonprofit also has an advisory board whose main responsibilities are to meet annually and advise on how to expand the visibility of the organization within the community. Unlike the board of directors, the advisory board do not hold any responsibility over finance, strategic planning, fundraising, or evaluating the works of the executive director.

Members from the board of directors are being selected through an election process where those who are interested in becoming a board member must submit an application. From then, current members will review the application and take a pro forma vote of approval. Once the candidate has been approved through a majority vote, the newly appointed board member must be committed for three years with the option of renewing his/her membership for another term. The process of a six years term limit ensured there will be new blood and expertise to support the organization. If a particular board member shows a strong record of advocacy for the organization, once his/her term is done, that person will have the option to transition to the advisory board.

The San Diego Diplomacy Council board of directors’ roles included the financial health of the organization, oversee the works of the executive director, act as ambassadors between the organization and the community. The board of directors ensure the financial health of the organization by reviewing and hold an annual vote on the budget for the upcoming year. They are also responsible for creating a 3 year the strategic plan for the organization, which would include the vision, the goals, and how to meet those goals. Once the board have agreed on a strategic plan, every action being taken the following three years will have to be in compliance with the plan. Lastly, the board of directors a fundraising obligation toward the organization and meet once a month to review the progress of programs, fundraisers, and events.

Despite being an elected board, the board members of the organization did not suffer from an uneven set of skills. The San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Board of Directors came from a diverse background of business, finance, science, public affairs, law, and philanthropy. This rich background allowed them to competently advise the Executive Director on how to seek out new resources to aid the organization’s operation. As Ilhm & Shumate pointed out, “the board of directors as individuals, may bring varied resources and take more active roles in facilitating and determining nonprofit collaboration beyond turning their personal affiliations into organizational collaboration (Ihm & Shumate, 2018).” For example, during the monthly board meeting in April 2019, the board members were advising the executive director and the operational director to pay attention to particular newly elected mayors within the San Diego region as these officials have shown to be sympathetic to diplomatic works and can be valuable project resources.

Furthermore, the board members’ diverse background also greatly enhanced the organization’s financial success with fundraising and sponsorships. “By taking advantage of social connections in other organizations, board members can access critical resources and information and enhance administrative innovation, financial success, and organizational performance and survival.” For instance, one of the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s board members is the Director of External Affairs for Sempra International. This connection ensured that the organization can count on sponsorship and collaboration from the business. Additionally, the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Board of Directors also take an active role in the activities of the organization. Notably, members of the board not only attend the organization’s events and assisted in fundraising but also occasionally hosted dinners hospitality for incoming delegation and appreciation dinners for partners.

However, despite the incredible experiences that the board members brought to the organization, being an elected board does bring an instability to the organization. Even though a 6 years term limit was not a short time to create constant changes and adjustments in leadership, it stills invoked a need to seek out community leaders as the next potential candidates. Over the extend of the past five months, the Executive Director have expressed interest in recruiting at least two community members to be a board member.

While the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Board of Directors have shown good leadership in directing the organization, the management of the Executive Director is no less important. The Executive Director of the organization have 13 years experience in policy development, institutional fundraising, program management, and humanitarian assistance. She not only holding the leadership role at the San Diego Diplomacy Council, she is also a Committee Chair for City of San Diego International Affairs Board. Due such a rich background, the Executive Director was able to be more aware of how current event affect the staffs. However, while the Executive Director allows the staffs room for creativity, she often take up too much responsibilities and do not relinquish enough tasks to interns. Leading interns to sometimes do not have enough work to do and their capacity was not being utilize the fullest.

SWOT Analysis:

Programming & Service Model

Positive

Negative

Internal

Strength

  • Community reach

Weakness

  • There is a lack of standard with inputting data into system

External

Opportunities

  • Continuously growing in service (Youth Sport Program, Cuba and Myannmar)
  • Need within community for diplomacy due to the current politics

Threats

  • Funding being cut due to political climate
  • Growing too fast and taking on too much

 

Human Resource Practices:

Positive

Negative

Internal

Strength

  • Have a strong pool of interns

Weakness

External

Opportunities

  • Continue to expand on benefits

Threats

  • Staff leaving the Program Associate position to seek better opportunity

 

Collaborations/

Partnerships:

Positive

Negative

Internal

Strength

  • Have a well establish relationship with local leaders and businesses

Weakness

  • Overuse of resources

External

Opportunities

  • Increase in schools collaboration toward education program

Threats

  • Competing for projects

 

Marketing/Social Media Strategies:

Positive

Negative

Internal

Strength

  • Have robust followers of newsletters and Facebook

Weakness

  • Not as active on Twitter and Instagram as Facebook

External

Opportunities

  • Recently contract a PR person to assist in marketing

Threats

  • Decrease in chance for fundraising due to lack followers on Twitter and Instagram

SMART Recommendations:

Management/leadership Practice

Key Finding: The Executive Director have a hands-off leadership style that sometimes there is no clear direction for interns. She also does not pass on enough projects which result in the organization not being able to utilize interns’ skills to their full capacity.

  1. Recommendation: The Executive Director and Operational Director needs to include within the intern handbook requirements regarding the timeliness of interns’ schedule.
  • Specific: An intern cannot leave once there he/she have finished with his/her task and there is no more work being assigned. 
  • Measurable: By the end of the month, the Executive Director and Operational Director are able to evaluate the time being inputted by intern to see if it is comparable to their output work.
  • Attainable: Create a standard timesheet where an intern will input the start and end time of each day including a total of working hours by the end of the week. 
  • Relevant: This act will allow the Operational Director to keep better track on interns working hours and compare with the amount of work they produced.
  • Timely: The timesheet must be submitted by the end of each month for evaluation.
  1. Recommendation: The Executive Director needs to set aside specific tasks for her interns to ensure that while she is away attending meetings, her interns do not waste time waiting for work.
  • Specific: Each week, or each day, the Executive Director should set aside tasks for her interns and email the tasks’ list to them.
  • Measurable: There should be an evaluation at the end of each month to determine the amount of work the intern have accomplished for the organization.
  • Attainable: Sometimes at the end, or at the beginning, of a day, create a list and email it to the interns so they will start their work hours knowing what to do.
  • Relevant: By delegating tasks more frequently, the Executive Director will have more time focusing on management and growth of the organization.
  • Timely: When delegating tasks, there should be at least a suggested deadline.
  1. Recommendation: The directors and manager of the San Diego Diplomacy Council should agree on a standard list of minimal tasks that they can delegate to all interns.
  • Specific: When an executive intern or an operational intern ran out of things to do, he/she should be able to ask for work from the Programming Director or IVLP Manager. The task being delegate can be as simple as inputting contact information into the database.
  • Measurable: The directors and manager will be able to how much small tasks got accomplished on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis.
  • Attainable:
  • Relevant: Workflow will not get backed up and leaders within the organization will be able to focus on more important tasks.
  • Timely: This idea should be discussed and explore in the next staff meeting.

Programming/Service Model

Key Finding: There is a lack of standard with inputting data into system, the current political climate created an uncertainty in funding from the federal government and the threat of overreaching in capacity due to taking on too much.

  1. Recommendation: There should be a standard procedure on how to input data into the main system, Salesforce.
  • Specific: A staff should be delegate to train all newcomers on the data entry standard procedure.
  • Measurable: Within six months, programming staffs should be able to find information easier in the database.
  • Attainable: When there is a newcomer, there should be one designated day for basic data entry training by a staff. If everyone received the standard data entry training, the organization will see less mistakes in the system.
  • Relevant: This training is incredibly important for programming staffs to be able to find resources for schedules coordination.
  • Timely: This idea should be presented in the next two months after the Regional Summit in September.
  1. Recommendation: The organization should pitch for support from local communities and businesses.
  • Specific: SDDC should advocate for the importance of their work and how it impacted local businesses since San Diego region have a binational market.
  • Measurable:
  • Attainable:
  • Relevant: Advocating for support from local organizations will decrease reliance on federal funding.
  • Timely: The organization should start in September with its Regional Summit.
  1. Recommendation: The organization should slow down and do an evaluation at the end of the year to see what needs to be improve on for each department.
  • Specific: There should be a year end staffs meeting to evaluate accomplishments and needed improvement.
  • Measurable:
  • Attainable:
  • Relevant: The year end meeting will allow the staffs to plan operations for next year.
  • Timely: There should be such staff meeting in December of this year.

Human Resource Practices

Key Finding: The position of Program Associate was newly created and part-time leading to the chance of high turn-over due to staff often would like to seek better opportunity. 

  1. Recommendation: SDDC should look for candidates in students who recently started their school program and would like to gain experience.
  • Specific: Particularly, the organization should hire college sophomores or those who are about to start their graduate programs.
  • Measurable: Hiring who recently started their school program would decrease the high turn-over as that person will most likely stay between 3-4 years.
  • Attainable: There will always be students looking to build their work experience to prepare for the job industry.
  • Relevant: By decreasing the chance of turn-over between 3-4 years, it will allow the organization time to build upon the position.
  • Timely: SDDC should try this approach in the next vacancy.
  1. Recommendation: The organization should slowly build this position to be more stable.
  • Specific: The organization should slowly build this position to be a full-time staff.
  • Measurable: It will decrease the turn-over rate.
  • Attainable: As the organization continues to grow and take on more projects, there will be a need for a full-time Program Associate.
  • Relevant: It will decrease the need to new hire and training time.
  • Timely: The Executive Director and the Board of Directors should evaluate the growth of this position within the next 2-3 years.
  1. Recommendation: The organization should explore more benefits and professional growth for the position.
  • Specific: SDDC can offer the opportunity of working from home for a certain amount of hours or days during the week. The organization can also offer more growth opportunity such as conferences or summit attendance.
  • Measurable: Evaluate if there is a decrease in turnover rate for the position within the next 2-3 years.
  • Attainable: SDDC already started trying a working from home program.
  • Relevant: It will decrease the need to new hire and training time.
  • Timely: Should start now.

Collaboration/Partnerships

Key Findings: Collaborations with local organizations to coordinate the schedule for incoming delegations sometimes lead to overuse of resources for projects.

  1. Recommendation: SDDC staffs should continue to network in order to find new

resources.

  • Specific: SDDC staffs should do research and network at conferences to obtain new leads.
  • Measurable: The amount of resources will increase in the database.
  • Attainable: SDDC staffs are community members and often attend events.
  • Relevant: It will create a more diverse leads for programs.
  • Timely: The SDDC staffs should start now.
  1. Recommendation: The staffs should rely more on the database rather than their brain for resources
  • Specific: Use the database rather than using their memory for resources.
  • Measurable: The programs will show more diversified resources.
  • Attainable: Once there is a standard procedure of data-entry, the database will be a good tool for this task. 
  • Relevant: It will make programmers’ job easier.
  • Timely: The staffs should start using the database now since there is information already exist for usage.
  1. Recommendation: Create a section in the database for each lead to determine how often that resource get used.
  • Specific: In each resource account should have a section for a list of program dates.
  • Measurable: The programs will show more diversified resources as staffs can see how many times a resource is being used.
  • Attainable: Once there is a standard procedure of data-entry, the database will be a good tool for this task. 
  • Relevant: Rather than asking other staffs, the programmer can just check the database for information.
  • Timely: The staffs should start using the database now since there is information already exist for usage. Once there is data entry training, the system will be more user-friendly.

Marketing/Social Media Strategies

Key Finding: The San Diego Diplomacy Council is not as active on Twitter and Instagram as they are on Facebook. Usually, there are only 1-2 posts each month on Twitter and Instagram versus a continuous posting on Facebook and a rather frequent release of newsletters. The lack of activities on Twitter and Instagram can lead to a decrease in chances of receiving support from large corporation

  1. Recommendation: Delegate the task to an intern.
  • Specific: The staffs should delegate an intern who is good with social media to update all platforms.
  • Measurable: The rise of followers on SDDC accounts.
  • Attainable: Since interns are usually young and more active on social media, they will know how boost a post. 
  • Relevant: It will be one least task the staffs have to worry about.
  • Timely: Start now.
  1. Recommendation: SDDC should be as equally active on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Specific: Copy and paste the main content of a Facebook post onto Twitter and Instagram around the same time.
  • Measurable: The rise of followers on SDDC accounts.
  • Attainable: The act of copy and paste the main content is relatively easy.
  • Relevant: It will cut down operating time.
  • Timely: Start now.
  1. Recommendation: SDDC should have an active account on all three platforms to build fundraising support.
  • Specific: When appealing to a large business such as Alaska Airlines, the corporation often look for how many audiences can the nonprofit reach in order to expand their brand.
  • Measurable: Fundraising support increase.
  • Attainable: It does not take a lot of effort to be active on social media if there is a designated personnel to handle the task.
  • Relevant: It will increase support and funding.
  • Timely: Start now.

References

  • Ihm, J., & Shumate, M. (2018). How does a board of directors influence within-and cross-sector nonprofit collaboration? Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 4.

Appendix A: Include an organizational chart.

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