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Community Contribution

Enhancing Organizational Culture for Improved Collaboration and Effectiveness

Laura Alvarez

In April 2017, USAID/Paraguay suffered a series of unfortunate events that impacted staff morale and their ability to act as a team.  The Mission’s FY 2018 budget was zero.  A few months later, the Mission Director departed post, followed by his Deputy shortly after.  The only direct hire left had just arrived at Post.  The State/USAID redesign process was frightening.  Information was not readily available, and without senior leadership, the Mission felt like an abandoned sinking ship.  

Despite these challenges, and with the help of leadership at Post, including a reform-minded and very supportive Chargé d’Affaires, the Mission’s FSNs came together and took ownership for their own fate.  They realized that the Mission’s future was in their hands and that they needed to rise to the occasion.  

They decided that it was time to strengthen the organizational culture to improve internal collaboration.  As a result, the Mission was able to manage adaptively and find creative solutions in difficult times.  

Strengthening an organization’s culture and morale may be time-consuming, but it is a worthwhile investment.  It brings out the best in staff and allows them to perform at their full potential.  Creative ideas flourish, and resilience, determination, and empowerment permeate through all tasks, setting the ground for successful outcomes.  

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