Much of the success that my internship site, Opportunity Finance Network, has had can be attributed to the strong organizational culture of the organization as well as the strong communication channel starting from top leadership to the bottom. The top executives within the organization do a great job at maintaining strong values, attitudes, and expectations among their employees so that everyone shares similar purposes and motivations. The leadership team at OFN ensures that they meet 1-2 times at least every year with a leadership consultant who coaches them on how their organization is doing and how to improve communication within the organization. This helps them maintain consistency and well thought-out strategies as they move forward when it comes to maintaining goodwill and handling possible conflicts. OFN’s strong values consist of social justice and striving for economic equality with the high expectation of there being much work to be done with a positive and determined attitude.
In today’s current work environment with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ways in which people communicate with each other are very different virtually as opposed to in-person. From conversations with my supervisors about what the office in Washington, D.C was like, it seemed like a very open and friendly environment. They often talk about fun office activities and trips they took together around D.C as OFN values a positive and fun work environment to offset the often heavy issues they’re handling. Now they hold virtual bi-monthly all staff meetings that I have attended where they spend time catching up with each other and the leadership team reports relevant news and metrics for the whole organization to be aware of. They also have weekly virtual morning coffee meetings and happy hours where they all seem very familiar and friendly with each other.
Given the nature of the work they are doing, they are often dealing with very socially relevant and heavy topics of racism and economic equality. Because of this it is easy for them to all work hard with each other in attaining these important goals. It also leads to a very productive, inclusive, and socially aware working environment. This is one of my favorite aspects of being able to work with such an impactful organization and being a part of a truly diverse and inclusive organization striving for just that across the U.S.