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successful tri-sector leaders
Balancing competing motives.
Have a strong desire to create ‘public value’, however this is not at the expense of their own motives for wealth creation, power and a strong sense of mission.
Combine idealism (often found in not-for-profit) and pragmatism (found in government and business) to serve a wide array of people.
Acquiring transferable skills.
In business, one must use scarce resources to exploit market opportunities.
Government must bring competing interest together to create regulatory environments that benefit the public.
Not-for-profit organisations have limited resources, focus on the long-term and look for creative ways to further social good.
Developing contextual intelligence.
Not only able to see parallels between sectors but also accurately assess differences in context and translate across them.
Forging an intellectual thread.
Concentrate on a particular issue or theme overtime building subject matter expertise in the process.
Developing and applying an intellectual thread across sectors provide the ability to transcend limitations of sector-based thinking.
Over their career, tri-sector leaders strengthen their intellectual thread.
An intellectual thread increases one’s credibility and capacity to cross and seamlessly integrate across sectors.
Building integrated networks.
Critical for any career.
Integrated networks across sectors are used to convene project teams/think tanks to develop solutions for cross-sectional issues.
Maintaining a prepared mind.
Preparing financially to be in a position to take up positions that are financially less lucrative, at least in the short-term.
Comfortable deviating from traditional career paths when opportunities arise to extend one’s skills and experience across sectors.
Rather than focusing on a specific job or career, focus on a set of skills, capabilities, values, experiences one wants to have as a frame of reference.
How to develop trisector leadership skills
overcome systemic barriers across sectors
Strategies to develop an employer-employee
compact as allies
Tour of Duty
fixed-term (e.g. 4 years) projects
Purpose of relationship is stipulated at the forefront
based on trust and investment from both parties
construct mutually beneficial tours to be effective as a strategy of employment (for the employee) and recruitment (for the employer)
Employer-employee compact (white collar)
Lifetime employment and loyalty.
Predictable career trajectory.
Low employee turnover.
Rapid unpredictable change.
Employees encouraged to think as ‘free agents’ in charge of their own destiny and therefore, employability.
Winner takes all mentality.
Lack of job security and performance-driven culture results in more adaptable and entrepreneurial employees.
However, the most adaptable and entrepreneurial talent constantly seek other jobs, making employee retention extremely difficult.
need for tri-sector leaders
Many of the world’s most difficult problems require collaboration between government, business, and not-for-profit sectors.
Tri-sector leaders are individuals who are able to bring the differences that separate the three sectors, thus developing more holistic and sustainable solutions.
The paths to tri-sector leadership varies, some begin in government and then move into the private sector, others start in the not-for-profit sector prior to moving into government.