|What Works |
Most editions of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works."
Mostly "What Works" focuses on either Why Organizations Thrive and Why Organizations Go Off Course, both of which 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.
This month I'm taking a detour to review the book The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution, by David La Piana.
I recently read The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution by David La Piana after a Facebook friend raved about it.
The book, first published in 2008, is broken into three parts. Part One makes the case for a "Strategy Revolution" in which nonprofits ditch "traditional strategic planning" processes in favor of what the author suggests is a more nimble, ongoing process of strategic thinking. Part Two consists of a series of 10 tools that organizations can use to implement the book's suggested processes. Part Three (which is available either as an accompanying CD or online) consists of a series of guides organizations can use in facilitating La Piana's suggested processes.
The inclusion of practical tools as Part 2 and 3 for organizations is worth applauding at the outset. Too many nonprofit books focus on theory, but leave it to the reader to reinvent the wheel in figuring out how to implement. The tools seemed uneven to me, particularly those that attempt to be templates that can be used by a wide variety of nonprofits of all sorts and sizes. Nonetheless, the tools will give a significant leg up to organizations as long as they recognize they are time-savers that they must further adapt to their circumstances rather than use uncritically. More books aimed at nonprofits should follow the lead of including practical tools.
Of course, the best, most useful tools are worthless if the underlying process the author suggests is flawed. Which brings us to the heart of the matter.
La Piana argues that traditional strategic planning is broken. . . .
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