Following the conclusion of the ELT's interview process, it is our absolute pleasure to welcome Shakeel Lala to the role of Director of People & Culture, having been promoted from the role of GDI Fellow!
Shak has a deep commitment to social impact and powerful ideas for GDI’s role across the globe in shaping an ecosystem of engaged D&A volunteers. Most importantly, as a former GDI volunteer and GDI Fellow (Project Leader) himself, he has first-hand experience in supporting the not-for-profit sector, having led projects for Caring Kids, the Menzies Foundation and many others.
Importantly, he's super aware of not only our strengths but also our weaknesses as an organisation. We are super excited to see the transformation Shak drives to take our incredible GDI community to the next level.
Congratulations Shak! We're thrilled to have a wicked smart and genuinely good human being as the driving force behind the most important pillar of our NFP organisation: culture. To everyone in our network, please don't hesitate to reach out to say hi to our newest executive leadership team member!
1. Tell us a little about your background. Where did you grow up and what did you want to do when you grew up?
I grew up and went to school in Auckland, NZ and moved to Melbourne for university and the start of my professional career. After asking my parents recently what I wanted to be when I grew up, I got blank faces. I believe the best answer is that I kept changing my mind and wanted to be too many different things!
2. Where do you currently work and what does your role involve on a day-to-day basis?
I am the product manager of the Equity Capital Markets and Company Partnerships (B2B) team at Sharesies (a wealth development platform in NZ and AU). On a day to day, I am balancing business development with listed companies, and working with engineers and designers to build these products.
3. Congratulations on your promotion to the Director of People & Culture Role! Why is culture important to you and what type of culture would you like to build at GDI?
Culture and key behaviours ultimately drive GDI’s contribution to the global not-for-profit network. Volunteers are the backbone of GDI, so it is important to me that we have a group that is active, engaged and supported to do their best work.
4. Tell us a little bit about your experiences at GDI so far! What types of projects have you worked on and what have you found most rewarding about them?
I’ve been on a fair number of projects throughout my time at GDI, mostly in the Impact Measurement space. The single most rewarding aspect of these projects is the ability we have to really change how a not-for-profit operates, through a one-off project. We often prioritise the most important problems to solve for an NFP and it’s often enlightening to see how much value we can add through even small tweaks.
5. What are you most excited about as you move into the Director role going forward? What will you be most focused on?
I’m most excited about being able to foster connections in the network of fellows and volunteers, to understand what drives people to contribute their time and how we can continue to keep them excited about solving problems for NFPs.
6. Lastly, what are your favourite hobbies? What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?
My favourite hobbies are playing hockey and fishing - so I’ve been getting to play plenty of hockey through winter, but it’s been terrible for the fishing (especially in Wellington!).
The Good Data Institute (established 2019) is a registered not-for-profit organisation (ABN: 6664087941) that aims to give not-for-profits access to data analytics (D&A) support & tools. Our mission is to be the bridge between the not-for-profit world and the world of data analytics practitioners wishing to do social good. Using D&A, we identify, share, and help implement the most effective means for growing NFP people, organisations, and their impact.