Star Track, new talent management programme for the Non-Profit sector

By City Of Good  /
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  • 47% of NPO leaders admit no succession plan in place
  • World’s first talent management board game customized for NPOs
  • 8 NPOs tackle succession planning

The talent crunch has become a pressing issue here in Singapore and this is even more pronounced for non-profit organizations (NPOs). With a recent survey showing 47% of NPO leaders acknowledging that their NPOs do not have an effective succession plan for leadership positions, this weak talent pipeline has led to a failure to deliver on the NPOs’ strategic directions.

In response to this gap, Star Track, a new talent management programme, is launched specially for the NPO sector. Star Track is a collaboration between the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership (CNPL), an NPO that promotes leadership development for the NPO sector, and Mercer, the renowned Global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. The programme is conducted in two distinct phases comprising the ‘Talent Game’, a proprietary tool of Mercer and a ‘Strategic Conversation’ which is facilitated by a CNPL People & Organization Practice Leader.

The Talent Game, developed by Mercer’s in-house research team, was launched in 2014. Specifically targeted at top levels of management, the tool has found favour in predominantly growth markets like the Middle East, South America and Asia (especially China) where many business operations are growing. The game requires participants to make talent investment decisions thereby treating its talent pool like an investment portfolio. This encourages them to address strategic talent issues through the process.

”This is an exciting partnership for Mercer with CNPL and we applaud their endeavor to bring this leading edge simulation to the NPO sector. The NPO sector faces a multitude of talent management challenges and this game is a great way to not only shine a light on some of these challenges but also to equip leaders in the NPO sector on how to address these challenges”, said Shai Ganu, ASEAN Business Leader for Talent Consulting at Mercer.

A total of eight teams from eight NPOs namely Council for the Development of Singapore Malay/Muslim Community (MENDAKI), Hospice Care Association (HCA), Women’s Initiative for Ageing Successfully (WINGS), Young Women’s Christian Association of Singapore (YWCA), Methodist Welfare Services (MWS), National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) and Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) have registered for Star Track.  Each team at the workshop will comprise a Board Member, Executive Director and senior staff member of each NPO.  The workshop will kick off with a session on the definition of talent before the board game is played and the teams are presented with talent scenarios that require them to make decisions.  An assessment is then made based on the decisions undertaken during the game-play.

Within 2 months after the Talent Game, CNPL will follow up by facilitating a strategic conversation with those participants who are keen to pursue a talent management programme within their NPO.  This includes gathering feedback and insights on what it takes for succession planning to be effective in their specific environment. 

Mr. Yoon Wai Nam, chief executive officer of CNPL, emphasized that Star Track will allow the NPOs to create a talent pipeline. “Through the process of succession planning, top management levels can identify competent individuals who are highly experienced to hold mission-critical positions in the non-profit organizations. These high-performing individuals will be engaged in decision-making processes to ensure the NPOs are run with good governance and best practices, resulting in maximum benefits for the respective beneficiaries.”