As CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Dorri McWhorter is on a journey to evolve the 140-year-old social service agency into a 21st century social enterprise. When she embarked on this transformation five years ago, Dorri was the fourth CEO in eight years and inherited a 120-person, $10 million organization that was losing $1 million a year. Today, the YWCA is a 175-person, $23 million organization that’s breaking even as it continues to serve 200,000 women and families across Chicagoland. Dorri’s visionary leadership, creative engagement and strategic, people-first approach are at the core of this transformation story.
In this episode of Let Go & Lead, Dorri shares how she overcame the challenges on her journey by redefining what’s possible, employing a B2P (business to person) approach and flipping performance management on its head.
Episode discussion guide – “Nonprofit is a tax status, not a business model.”Continue the conversation with others, or take the time for personal reflection, using the below episode discussion guide.
- In a world of limited perspective people—those who take the world as it is—and expanded perspective people—curious, voracious learners—where do you fall? In what ways does Dorri regularly expand her perspective?
- Do you tend to fix what’s broken or see what’s possible? What impact does this have on your work and the outcomes of your organization?
- Dorri expects her leaders to actively support their team members in achieving their goals. Who does this well in your organization? How?
- If you could change your title to creatively reflect the value of your work, what would it be? What words come to mind that evoke the importance of what you do each day?
- Dorri’s stakeholder value chain worksheet helped her team connect their work to impact. Take a few minutes to map your own value chain impact. What does it look like? Any surprises?
- Key to Dorri’s early success was recognizing her team as the experts. How do you rely on your team’s expertise today? What benefits do you realize in doing so? What would you gain by doing this more often?
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