Organisation & Management Competencies

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What?  This is the business end of the Centre. All the things that need to happen that are outside of the core message.

Organisation & Management Competencies

  • Business management
  • Organisational structure
  • Monitoring & evaluation

Why? Most centres operate as commercial entities and are subject to laws, regulations, norms and requirements which vary from country to country. Centres take and make payments and need a system for that. Recording the work of the centre is important for posterity, annual reports, grant applications, publicity and general administration for dealing with the public, statutory bodies or companies and internal communications.

Reality Check:

Many people get involved in the environmental and social change movement with excellent knowledge and huge commitment. Centres will be able to make their biggest contribution to the world and the communities they are part of when they are well managed and have a sound business strategy, as well as the right set of attitudes and abilities behind them. We emphasise this because often the gaps or weaknesses in change-making projects such as learning and demonstration centres are in their business and organisational management.

Whatever their size or ambitions, centres and the organisations running them can have excellent facilities and demonstration programmes, or fantastic transformative learning programmes - and a great team of people running them. But if the business aspects of the organisation do not work well this will put the organisation and its team at risk of having to put a great deal of time and energy into fundraising to pay for its core staff or running costs, or selling assets to finance losses, and eventually potentially closing or being sold. The team managing the centre can spend a lot of their time ‘fire-fighting’ a whole series of financial or staff crises, rather than on the activities that they are most passionate about and fulfilled by, and which have the greatest benefit for the planet and the communities that they are part of. Having the right business and management competencies in place, or outsourcing them if that is the best option, is essential for the centre to maximise its long term positive impact, as well as to create the employment stability and career development that its staff / team members deserve.


  • Identifying and putting in place the local legal requirements for financial, health and safety and employee matters.
  • Exploring and implementing a suitable organisational structure.
  • Outsourcing skills when it is most appropriate (e.g hiring an accountant).
  • Identifying and doing the most effective outreach (marketing/publicity/social or other media).
  • Record keeping.
Organisation and Management Competencies
Competency Indicators of Competency (What)
Business Management
Financial Administration

Financial administration is the day-to-day operation of a business. Every organisation (even those with non-traditional financial models) deals with transactions.

  • Efficiently carries out day-to-day financial tasks such as bookkeeping, pricing, invoicing, making and receiving payments, banking, payroll, tax filings.
  • Displays good general organisation skills
Financial Planning

Medium- to long-term financial planning is important because every organisation needs a vision of what it wants to achieve, the resources needed to get there and where those resources come from and go to. Planning for having those resources available when you need them can make the difference between success and failure. “Profit is vanity. Cashflow is sanity”

  • Creates realistic business development plan
  • Draws up realistic cashflow projections
Grant/Funding Applications

Grant and funding streams are a significant source of income for many organisations. They can be for running costs or discrete projects. They often come with conditions and limitations. They often require an input of resources from the applicant (e.g. a percentage of the project cost or a level of voluntary labour) and have a time limit. The applicant often must pay the full cost of the project and claim the funding on completion. Significant financial planning can be necessary.

Related Competencies:

Project Design/ Implementation

Financial Planning

  • Accurately assesses suitability for grant or funding streams.
  • Clearly and concisely provides the required information
  • Designs an appropriate and achievable project
  • Implements the project
  • Records and keeps adequate documentation
  • Submits the required documentation at the appropriate time
Legal: Health and Safety

For most organisations in most countries it is a legal requirement to have Health and Safety policies and documentation systems in place, with serious consequences for negligence that leads to an accident. Fostering a safety culture is important.

  • Understands the responsibilities, implications and consequences of the Health and Safety Legislation for the relevant country
  • Writes, updates and implements a site-specific or organisation specific health and safety policy
  • Keeps a file of the relevant documentation
  • Fosters a safety culture within the organisation
Legal: Regulatory Compliance

Most organisations are subject to country specific legal regulations. Understanding what these requirements are, their implications and how to comply with them makes operation of your centre more likely to succeed. Compliance with additional requirements may be necessary for accessing funding streams or networks.

  • Understands the regulatory compliance requirements specific to your organisation, e.g. charities regulator, insurance requirements, tax certification.

Hospitality is looking after people’s needs and making them feel welcome. This enhances visitor’s experience, encourages wellbeing and relaxation, ultimately amplifying your message. Senior hospitality will often oversee catering, cleaning and related functions.

  • Anticipates the needs of visitors and provides them. E.g. food, water, toilets, accommodation, shelter, suitable spaces, rest, time to process.
  • Has a strong orientation and positive approach to customer service.
  • Provides for the additional needs of less abled visitors.
  • Communicates with visitors on the provision of needs and responds to feedback.
  • Shows kindness and care with visitors and staff.
  • Identifies and effectively deals with difficult characters.
Hospitality - Catering

Sharing a meal brings people together as well as providing nourishment. It is often a most memorable experience, showcasing the local produce. It can require significant skill and resources to cater for a group.

  • Anticipates the food amounts and facilities (e.g. seating, tables, shelter, cutlery and crockery) required for catering for a particular sized group.
  • Understands various dietary requirements and can accommodate them.
  • Creates menus that showcase the local or seasonal produce.
  • Plans for cleaning up and dealing with waste and leftovers.
  • Demonstrates how food can be a tool of transformation.
  • Understands and complies with the necessary local food hygiene regulations.

There are many technical aspects to business management, for example an understanding of how the heating system in your office works, telephone and communication systems, office equipment, electricity or water supply. All require installation, maintenance and upgrading.

  • Evaluates the technical needs of the organisation and implements a plan to provide them.
  • Understands the operation and maintenance requirements of the technical systems that exist to support the operation of the centre
  • Evaluates the appropriateness of new or emerging technologies.
Technical - IT Systems

Information Technology is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of electronic data and information. Technology evolves rapidly and keeping up to date can be challenging.

Related Competencies:

  • Social Media - content & management
  • Financial Administration
  • Blended Learning Competencies
  • Evaluates the IT needs of the organisation and implements a plan to provide for those needs.
  • Understands how to use the available hardware and software.
  • Evaluates the appropriateness of new or emerging technologies.
  • Updates IT systems as internal and external requirements change.
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Community Transition is about finding new ways of doing things.. Some things have to be done a certain way because of the paradigm we live with but we also have the opportunity to be creative with products or services, organisational structures and financial models.

Related Competencies:

  • Decision Making Processes
  • Project Design
  • Is creative in developing new ways of approaching and doing things.
  • Identifies emergent opportunities, partnerships and synergies.
  • Evaluates the potential benefits and costs (time, resources, implications of failure) of an idea.
  • Devises appropriate ways to explore new ideas (For example, Safe-to-fail experiments, trials, research projects).
  • Monitors, evaluates and records the outcomes.
  • Modifies or discards unworkable ideas.
Monitoring and Evaluation

It is important that you have a clear picture of what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it and how you will know how successful you have been. Monitoring and evaluating what you are doing keeps you on track and can prevent you wasting resources and time, making it easier to see what is working and what is not.

Related Competencies:  Record Keeping

  • Defines short, medium and long-term goals and objectives.
  • Determines how to tell how successfully those goals and objectives are being achieved.
  • Puts in place a system to record the metrics of success.
  • Periodically reviews how things are going and modifies systems, resource allocation etc. accordingly.
  • Periodically reviews and updates the goals and objectives.
  • Seeks and evaluates effective feedback
  • Keeps clear and understandable records
Business Management & Organisational Structure

People are your most important asset. Their skills, knowledge, strengths and personalities manifest change and create the future.

Related Competencies:

  • Organisational Structure
  • Internal Communication
  • Legal
  • Health and Safety
  • Understands and complies with the legal obligations to employees, contractors and volunteers.
  • Clearly communicates expectations and responsibilities.
  • Identifies and provides required resources.
  • Devises and implements a clear and effective communication system (for example regular team meetings, chain of command or open door policy).
  • Identifies and utilises a person's strengths and skills
  • Identifies what competencies are needed within the team and provides for the gaining of that competency, recruiting someone that can provide it or outsourcing.
  • Values and is seen to value the whole person.
  • Fosters initiative and creativity.
  • Fosters a mutually supportive team culture with shared vision and values.
  • Devises and implements effective policies and procedures, for example anti-bullying, conflict resolution, anti-discrimination.
Staff/Volunteers/Team - Health and Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of people is parallel to the health and wellbeing of our planet. An effective way to bring about transition is to show that living well is an integral part of that change.

Related Competencies:

  • Health and Safety
  • Understands the intersectionality of the wellbeing of people, the land and society.
  • Identifies the support and care needs of the team and provides the necessary resources.
  • Provides for effective communication and feedback.
Organisational Structure
Organisational Structure and Governance

All organisations have a structure that defines the roles and responsibilities of all of the parts and how they interact. Structures can evolve over time as the needs of the organisation changes.They can be clearly codified or informal

Related Competencies:

  • Decision Making
  • Internal Communication
  • Evaluates the structural needs of the organisation, identifies and implements an appropriate structure.
  • Understands various governance models (e.g. holocracy, sociocracy) and how they apply to organisations.
  • Sets up appropriate and efficient methods of communication within the organisation.
  • Creates and implements policies e.g. Health and Safety, Anti-bullying, Anti-discrimination.
  • Understands the legally mandated responsibilities.
  • Implements a clear decision making process (e.g. consensus, voting)
  • Communicates this to all relevant people.
Decision Making Processes

Every organisation needs to make decisions, from day-to day operating decisions to decisions with significant impact. It is important that people understand who makes what decisions and how they are made. Certain individuals or groups can be given autonomy in specific areas

  • Identifies and implements a system for defining autonomy, i.e. who makes what decisions
  • Implements an appropriate decision making process i.e. how decisions are made. This can include a process for introducing proposals, discussion and evaluation of information and opinion.
  • Understands the various methods for making decisions and where they are applicable (e.g. preferendum, voting, consensus)
  • Understands the methods of collecting and communicating information to allow decisions to be made (e.g. Safe-to-fail experiments, trials, community engagement)
Business Management Competencies - Learning Pathway Options (How competency is learned & developed)

Trainings / learning for this competence:

  • LAND Centre level: Core experience as a minimum
  • iACT Centre level: extended learning journey
Entry level ‘Taster’  →   Core ‘Experience’ →   Extended ‘Journey’
Financial Administration General familiarisation with elements of financial administration: banking apps; invoicing systems; filing
  • Start Your Own Business course
Work experience in different businesses with different financial administration systems
  • Certificate qualification in financial admin
  • Diploma or degree qualifications in financial administration
Financial Planning Articles or guidelines on good financial planning.
  • Start Your Own Business course
Learning by doing - work experience as part of a financial management team. Research into sustainable financial models.
  • Diploma or degree qualifications in Business Management
  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
Grants & Funding Applications Articles and guidance documents on how to write funding applications Experience in writing a variety of successful funding applications
  • Online or in-person courses on funding applications and administration
Extended work experience in a fundraising role, including various routes for raising funds - grants, sponsorship, donations, legacies, memberships, etc
Legal - Health & Safety Articles or guidance documents on Health and Safety. Experience working as part of a Health and Safety management team.
  • Online or in-person courses on aspects of Health and Safety Management
Professional experience of writing and implementing Health and Safety policies and procedures.
  • Degree, Masters or Professional level qualifications in Health and Safety Management.
Legal - Regulatory Compliance Articles or guidance documents on Regulatory Compliance (charities regulator, employment law, directors’ obligations) Experience working in compliance with regulations.
  • Professional Development courses in relevant subjects - law, directors’ training
Experience working in or with regulatory bodies.
  • Advanced Professional Development courses in relevant subjects.
Hospitality Articles and guidance documents on people care, event management, and hygiene. Experience in the hospitality industry.
  • Diploma or Degree qualification in Hospitality Management
Catering Articles on food allergies, dietary requirements and nutrition basics.

Knowledge of local food systems and seasonal produce.

Environmental Health guidance documents.

Experience in the catering industry.
  • Online or in-person courses on environmental health management systems, hygiene, allergens, food safety.
  • Diploma or Degree qualification in Food Safety/Catering Management
Technical - IT Systems Articles or guidance documents on effective use of IT systems.

Experience in the basic operation of various software programmes.

A good, up-to-date, working knowledge of IT systems
  • Training programmes in specific IT systems (accounting packages, office programmes,  web design)
  • Training programmes on web accessibility requirements.
  • Training in GDPR compliance
Experience with open-source or other alternatives to commercial systems.
  • Diploma, Degree or Masters qualification in IT management
  • Training in programming/coding, app development, advanced web development.
Staff, Volunteers & Team Articles or guidance documents on workers’ rights, people management.

An understanding of the importance of “People Care”

Experience in managing staff and volunteer teams.

An understanding of the issues faced by staff and groups of volunteers and the policies and procedures that need to be in place: welfare, privacy, anti-discrimination, equity, diversity & inclusion, safeguarding, anti-bullying, conflict resolution, workers’ rights.

  • Diploma, Degree or Masters qualification in Human Resources Management
Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Articles and videos on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, alternative or novel financial systems and opportunities in challenging times.
  • Start Your Own Business course
Experience with business start-ups or product development.
  • Courses in Product Development, Market Research
Extensive management experience in a successful business or social enterprise with strong commercial elements.
  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
Monitoring & Evaluation Articles or guidance documents on appropriate methods of monitoring and evaluation, Key Performance Indicators, data analysis. Experience working on projects that have a monitoring and evaluation element.
  • Short course(s) / Workshops on monitoring & evaluation methods & tools
Extensive experience in any field with a monitoring or evaluation element.
  • Diploma, Degree or Masters qualification in any technical or scientific field.
Organisational Structure Competencies - Learning Pathway Options (How competency is learned & developed)

Trainings / learning for this competence:

  • LAND Centre level: Core experience as a minimum
  • iACT Centre level: extended learning journey
Entry level ‘Taster’  →   Core ‘Experience’ →   Extended ‘Journey’
Organisational Structure & Governance

Decision Making Processes & Systems

Articles or guidance documents on organisational structure, governance and decision making. Experience of working within different models for organisational structure, governance and decision making.
  • Online or in-person training in sociocracy, social permaculture, viable systems models, consensus and other decision making processes.
Extensive experience selecting and implementing structures and processes
  • Advanced training in relevant structures and processes