|What Works |
Each edition of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works."
Most editions include sections from one of two longer articles I'm writing. Why Organizations Thrive and Why Organizations Go Off Course detail lessons I learned while growing the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV), buttressed by my observations of dozens of other groups both in Oregon and across the country.
Collectively, I believe these lessons are a very useful set of principles that any Executive Director can use to improve their organization's capacity to fulfill its mission.
This edition, however, contains a book review of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant.
I'm a big fan of Jim Collins and his business writings. His book Good to Great wasn't a standard book by an academic with musings about why some businesses succeed. Instead, it was the culmination of years of research that generated key lessons about why some businesses made the transition to great.
And more importantly for me, Collins wrote a 40 page monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sector, which did a great job teasing out what lessons there are in Good to Great for nonprofits.
Unlike many business writers who just want nonprofits to act like businesses, Collins gets that you can't equate the two for various reasons. Yet, he doesn't throw up his hands and walk away - instead he thoughtfully identifies which of the Good to Great lessons should still apply and how.
I was excited therefore to read that two long-time students of the nonprofit sector had decided to do a similar research project that would generate conclusions about why some nonprofits thrive. After all, helping nonprofits thrive is my personal mission!
The resulting book, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant, doesn't live up to its pedigree. It's not, in my mind, a "must read."
However, I'm glad I read it and did come away chock full of ideas, some of which I've outlined below.
Read the full article.
Download the PDF from my website.