January 2017 - Transformation & Aspirations

January 2017 - Transformation & Aspirations

“We are each made of goodness, love and compassion.  Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.” – Desmond Tutu


When I joined CNPL in July 2014, I never imagined that I would be involved in transforming the organization from start up to growth stage, and that it would involve integrating with NVPC or that I would take on the leadership mantle as part of the transition. Having led global teams in MNCs, and chaired a well-established women’s NGO in Singapore, I was up for the challenge.  Nothing that is worth doing is easy, and I could never have pulled it off without the support of an amazing team.





As we begin the new year, it is timely to look back so we can appreciate how far we’ve come and find ways to chart the way forward.  


We celebrated our first anniversary being part of NVPC, where we believe that Building a City of Good is a collective effort of all peoples in Singapore, including those from the private, public and people sectors.  By evolving to become NVPC’s leadership consulting arm yet remaining true to our vision of transforming leadership at the crux where strategic decisions are made by non-profit leaders, we have consolidated CNPL’s position as the trusted advisor and thought partner for NPO Boards and Executives.   


We have also sought to strengthen our core competencies in functional areas as well as account and programme management to offer a more holistic suite of solutions.


  • PeopleSearch: Our matching solutions now cover a myriad of leadership roles and domain expert functions.  BoardMatch covers roles in Board of Directors, Board Committees and Advisory Councils, while ExpertMatch covers roles such as Mentor, Coach, Advisor and Facilitator.  Our Leaders Labs also create opportunities for sharing on topical issues and best practices while facilitating networking in an informal setting.
  • Leadership Development: We relaunched ComPass (for NPO Executives) with a new Case Study for the Development Centre, and refreshed the Coaching partnership model.  For the first time since the programme started in 2009 under NVPC’s remit, Social Leadership Singapore is now a programme managed by CNPL. 

  • Organization Development: We expanded the PulseCheck solution to include Board self-assessments for experience, competency and effectiveness.  Our Leadership on Track workshop series now includes Strategy, Synergy and Star.  In response to market needs, we are now able to design and facilitate Board retreats. 


CNPL is uniquely placed to bring together volunteers with leadership experiences and expertise with NPOs who need it most.  We hope to do more to raise awareness about charities that would benefit from skills-based and leadership volunteering, across all sectors so we can create a space where people choose to volunteer as a normal way of life, where people who need help choose to ask for help, and help will be given freely. We have also seen leadership volunteers grow in humility and tolerance for ambiguity as they appreciate the differences and challenges that characterise the NPO sector.  We have seen the Leader of Good emerge. 


However, there is still much work to do to clarify the roles and competencies of Board volunteers and NPO executives to bring about real partnership.  NPOs of different sizes and at different stages of their life cycle have unique leadership requirements.  In the last few years, we have seen the standard of management raised as more professional staff have been developed and/or moved into the NPO sector to take on executive roles.  Our goal is to continue enhancing leadership capacity so that Board volunteers and NPO executives can do the leadership work necessary to move their agenda forward.


Looking ahead in 2017, we are poised to be the catalyst for mission-driven NPOs and non-profit leaders to advance their learning and accelerate their social impact. We hope to bridge the gap between ideas and practice of Governance as Leadership, by providing consulting solutions, leadership development support, and developing and sharing insights and best practices. 


What keeps us going is knowing that every engagement and intervention we are involved in, influences the non-profit leader’s mindsets and skillsets, and shapes the leadership capacity and governance standards of the non-profit sector in Singapore.  And we pursue this work in service of the NPO sector and the leaders like you who aspire to be the best they can be, to help transform Singapore into a more giving nation.


Yours Truly,

Winifred Loh
Director, CNPL 


“Goodness is the investment that never fails” – Henry David Thoreau