Episode 10: Executive Teams + Income Inequality
Fresh Research podcast

Part 1: Libbie Landles-Cobb

Only about half of nonprofits surveyed agreed that their executive team communicates to others. Two-thirds agreed that their teams focus on the right work or use their time effectively. Now, that’s not Michael Scott-level executive management but it could use some work.

The Bridgespan Group has come up with what it calls the first comprehensive study of effective executive teams. “Increasing Nonprofit Executive Team Effectiveness” was written by Libbie Landles-Cobb, a partner in the San Francisco office, is co-author, along with Henry Barmier and Kirk Kramer.

The results draw on a diagnostic survey of more than 360 nonprofit executive team respondents and dozens of interviews with nonprofit CEOs, coaches and consultants.

Bridgespan created a sequence of five steps, formulated as questions, that executive teams can implement as a guide to increase their overall effectiveness:

    • Is the CEO effectively managing the executive team?
    • Is the executive team focused on the most important work?
    • Does executive team composition support its ability to do the work
    • Do meeting and communication processes support superior decision and execution?
  • Does the team’s dynamic foster the right conversations and results?

Part 2: Nicolas Duquette

Nicolas Duquette, an assistant professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC), recently published “Inequality and Philanthropy: High-Income Giving in the United States 1917-2012.”

The paper looks at giving and income of top income groups over the past 95 years, including giving versus inequality and giving versus tax rates of the top 0.1 percent of tax returns. He found that giving by high-income households has moved inversely with income inequality and talks about some other observations from looking at different periods of time within the past century. He also discusses some theories on what impact the changes from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might have on charitable giving this year and next.