|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 takes a detour and instead reviews a book I recently read, Great by Choice, by Jim Collins.
I previously reviewed Jim Collins' monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sectors.
In Good to Great, Collins wrote a seminal text on what separated some corporations that became great from others that remained just good or mediocre in similar industries. In Good to Great and the Social Sectors, he extrapolated on how the lessons learned apply to nonprofit organizations.
In Great by Choice, Collins and his research team subsequently address a follow-up question: why do some organizations thrive amidst chaos. Does luck differentiate them from others that fail?
While the book is based on a study of for-profit businesses that thrive/flounder under comparable circumstances, once again Collins delivers lessons that apply to all organizations, not just those motivated by profit.
Running throughout the book, Collins delivers a series of lessons based on the 1911 race to reach the South Pole between teams led by Ronald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott. Amundsen's team reached the South Pole and returned without any deaths. Scott's entire team perished.
Read the full review.
Download the PDF from my website.