Power Labs

A series of workshops to build in-depth understanding of power for organisational integrity

Power & Integrity is incubated within     and Power Lab was possible thanks to the support of Oak Foundation.

The rationale

Developing a new holistic approach

As nonprofits become more aware of the potential harm from their work, most struggle to navigate the increasingly complex web of integrity issues and expanding list of requirements. As well as seriously hampering board oversight, the current piecemeal management of integrity practices can lead to harmful gaps and lapses.

With a power-sensitive, whole-system, and synergy-led approach, we believe nonprofits can transform integrity practice across the sector. We are running our Power Labs to start co-creation and learning on how best to apply holistic power analysis in the nonprofit setting.

Holistic integrity areas

These include:

  • anti-corruption
  • anti-racism
  • equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
  • gender
  • human rights
  • leadership
  • safeguarding
  • sustainability
  • blind spots

Power labs overview

Leading the way in addressing organisational power dynamics

Power Labs is a six-month programme, which ran from October 2022 to March 2023. Five UK-based nonprofits participated: UNICEF UK, PoHwer, CBM, The Bridge and NHS Confederation.

Together we are explored:

  • how power dynamics shape organisational and individual behaviours
  • how seemingly separate integrity areas are interconnected
  • practical steps for nurturing positive transformational power and addressing negative power
  • pathways to embody organisational integrity.

We examined how power analysis is foundational to organisational integrity and how to adapt integrity practices accordingly. Rather than starting from scratch, we built on well-evidenced power analysis frameworks used in campaigning and programme work.

The main aim of our Power Labs was to develop practical tools and frameworks and capture learning for sharing more widely across the sector.  We also explored how to create an ongoing community of practice or open space for sharing and connecting.

    Hands and cogs

    Interested to join a lab?

    We have stopped taking applications for our initial Power Labs. But we are  planning a series of Mini-Labs in 2024 to further test and refine the learnings. 

    To register your interest, email Khadija Koroma.


    The Power Lab journey

    Participating teams will worked together in four lab sessions between October 2022 and March 2023. A few weeks’ break between each session will enabled them to reflect, and to refine practices in their working environment. They also had a virtual check-in meeting with their PI partner.

    The teams will developed bespoke action plans for their organisation, as well as contributing to the co-creation of PI’s open-source tools.

    Programme of events

    Pre-lab: Participating organisations had an initial virtual meeting with their PI partner. They also completed a survey and reviewed anonymised results for the whole cohort.

    LAB 1: Organisational integrity

    What is Organisational Integrity?

    • Exercise to build on the Organisational Integrity framework that evolves throughout the lab
    • Seeing the fragmentation
    • Understanding the common risks and opportunities for increased coherence

    Post-session: Applying learning and virtual check-in with PI partner.

    LAB 2: Understanding power

    Understanding power and its relationship with integrity

    • Understanding how power operates in a structural and formal way – exercise to introduce power frameworks
    • How power works in organisations – exercises to demonstrate shared root causes for seemingly separate aspects of integrity
    • A coherent way forward – exploring and evolving a practical framework for moving forward.

    Post-session: Applying learning and virtual check-in with PI partner.

    LAB 3: Leading towards integrity

    How power sensitive leadership can enable positive transformation

    • Exploring transformational power frameworks using experiential exercises and practical examples.
    • What is power sensitive leadership – exercises to explore and identify key principles
    • What is the role of leadership and governance to enable organisations to embody integrity?

    Post-session: Applying learning and virtual check-in with PI partner.

    LAB 4: Towards organisational integrity

    Moving forward

    • How we can work in a more holistic way within our organsations?
    • What is needed to support organisations and the sector to take this forward?
    • Critical reflection and lessons learned from workshop.

    Post-lab: PI will share lessons learned with the Power Lab cohort and offer virtual monthly check-ins for up to 8 months after the workshops. We will also share anonymised learnings more widely in the spirit of open-source working, to support wider sector work addressing power.

    Where and when?

    Power Lab workshops were on the following dates in 2022-2023:
    SESSION 1: October 24th
    SESSION 2: November 28th
    SESSION 3: February 6th
    SESSION 4: March 6th


    Our ability to run these Power Labs is possible thanks to the support of Oak Foundation. 

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