Our Work

NGO Futures: Events

NGO Futures

Upcoming Workshops

  • Leading Major Change - Two-day executive teams intensive workshop for successful major changes; Washington, DC October 2-3, 2018

  • Lean Impact - Two-day hands-on workshop or people who lead teams to design and execute programs; Nairobi, Kenya January 21-22

Leading Major Change - a program for INGO executive teams

A collaborative learning and application experience

Who: CEOs and 3-4 members of their senior leadership team responsible for the successful execution of a specific change or strategic initiative in their organization.

This highly interactive and engaging program is facilitated by Conner Advisory principals, with 75 years of collective strategy execution experience, most recently with international NGOs.

What: Join peer executive teams for an intensive two-day workshop on the dynamics, risks and leadership roles involved with major change execution. Teams apply knowledge from fast-paced presentations to the major change initiative(s) participants are leading within their institutions. Research reveals that no more than 30% of major change initiatives fully achieve their intended objectives. This program teaches and supports application of the dynamics, risks, and leadership roles to lead major change, benefitting participants well beyond the current major endeavor and building a community of executive support across participating organizations.

Teams leave with a set of execution tools as well as knowledge of the leadership mindsets and behaviors required for successful realization of their changes. This includes:

  • clarity about the change dynamics they need to navigate in their organizations;

  • specificity regarding their leadership role when driving transformational shifts;

  • an assessment of risks that could jeopardize change initiative implementation;

  • a realistic prognosis for fully accomplishing their desired outcomes;

  • a high-level execution roadmap from which to build their detailed implementation plans.

After completion of the workshop, each executive team has access to the Conner Advisory principals for two 90-minute follow-up consultations to receive additional support, feedback and guidance on their execution decisions and actions.

When: October 2-3, 2018 + two 1:1 follow-up consultations

Where: Washington, DC

Why: Ultimately, when navigating the treacherous waters inherent in executing complex change, executive teams face a predictable set of execution pitfalls and issues. This program prepares executives to address these implementation challenges.

Fee of $8,500 for each participating leadership team includes the two-day workshop and two 1:1 follow-up consultations.

Contact Mike Fox, Special Assistant to the InterAction CEO, with inquiries and to register: mfox@interaction.org

Lean Impact - Achieving Greater Impact at Greater Scale

Pilot workshop sold out in a month – register while available

Our first Nairobi workshop is being offered at a 25% discount!

Who: Senior program and technical leads (VP and director level) – people who lead teams to design and execute programs.

Led by Ann Mei Chang, former Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Global Development Lab at USAID, and author of the upcoming book Lean Impact. Watch Ann Mei’s 15 min. keynote from the Lean Startup conference on value, growth, and impact here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqKMStWb3dw

What:  An engaging two-day workshop to achieve greater program impact at greater scale through sector-adapted modern tools and approaches.

  • Learn techniques from Human Centered DesignLean Startup, and Lean Data – adapted for global development and humanitarian aid organizations by Ann Mei – to explore ways to understand and optimize for customer value, sustainable paths to scale, and development impact. These tools provide structure to think out of the box, dramatically accelerate learning, build business models that will scale, and drive a faster pace of change while embracing a measured degree of risk.

  • Develop practical, concrete strategies and steps for applying these techniques in existing context and constraints.

Participants will leave the workshop with new ways of thinking, a suite of new tools to design programs that deliver better results, and a greater network of peer connections.

When and Where: 

  • Nairobi, Kenya January 21-22, 2019, 8:30 am coffee, 9:00 – 5:30 pm workshop, includes lunch, register here.

Why: This workshop is for you if you lead teams to design and execute programs and are seeking ways to achieve greater impact and/or scale in programs; need to diversify funding - non-traditional funders looking for greater innovation or different solutions; desire to transform your working culture to be more agile and iterative; want to build skills in using modern design tools & approaches; and/or want to better understand "beneficiaries" and how to most effectively address their needs.

In this wildly changing world, we can achieve greater program impact at greater scale.

Tailored Leadership and Skill-Building Workshops

InterAction partner Good Wolf Group discounted in-house services

Zander Grashow’s Good Wolf Group provides capacity-building workshops and leadership development services at a discount for InterAction member organizations. Read more here: https://www.interaction.org/document/tailored-leadership-and-skill-building-workshops


Previous Event Highlights


  • Leadership in a Permanent Crisis, 1st Cohort April 2017; 2nd Cohort October 2017: two days for InterAction executives to focus on building strategy and stamina for leadership work over long periods of time with Zander Grashow and the Good Wolf Group.

  • Lean Impact, 1st Cohort April 2018: two days for people who lead teams to design and execute programs to explore ways to understand and optimize for customer value, sustainable paths to scale, and development impact, and develop concrete strategies with Ann Mei Chang.

  • Collective Problem Solving, June 2018: participants learned a method for cultivating the wisdom of others in solving a major problem with Zander Grashow and the Good Wolf Group.

InterAction Forum CEO Track 

  • June 2017: InterAction member executives shared their experiences adapting to the future and learned from each other about challenges, approaches, and areas for growth. CEOs learned about characteristics of transformational change leaders identified through studying high-impact people in the field. And CEOs and general Forum participants alike learned about the latest advances and challenges in innovative finance for development.

  • June 2018: InterAction member executives learned and discussed building innovation cultures in the workplace; heard from the Gates Foundation about sentiment research and from a Europe coalition about sentiment shifts in Europe; and learned and discussed how to influence boards in being as helpful as possible in seeing through major organization change.

CEO Retreats

  • December 2016: Participants explored embracing disruption to increase impact, innovative finance models, and then in breakout groups discussed where their organizations are and want to be with the fragile state humanitarian-development nexus; NGOs as economic intermediaries; increasing organizational, program, and global relevance; and strengthening civil society. Finally Good Wolf Group business adaptation expert Zander Grashow facilitated an exploration of the personal side of adaptive leadership, leading discussion and individual exploration of what each of our roles is as a leader through thought-provoking exercises. 

  • December 2017: Participants learned from each other about the evolving leadership role of NGOs and how they can keep contributing to leading successful change in society. Several CEOs shared details about recent reforms or new business models as part of a response to research, presented by The Bridgespan Group, on the range of broad nonprofit business models currently in practice. Transformational change expert and Co-Founder and CEO of Conner Advisory, Ed Boswell, also led a discussion on how NGOs can execute major change within their organizations and the six dimensions that are necessary for executing that change.

Advisory Council: Semi-annual convenings