Nonprofit leaders are great story tellers. But stories alone can be misleading, even dishonest. At the end of the day, at the end of the month and at the end of the fiscal year—nonprofit boards and CEOs need to know if they’ve hit the target.
You need stories to touch hearts, but you also need an objective goal to assure donors you’re hitting the mark. This assumes that there IS a target and that everyone knows, in advance, what success looks like.
That’s why The Results Bucket is so important. Fortunately, there’s help. After Jim Collins sold two million copies of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, he discovered that “business thinking” was not all that great.
Collins has now written a 35-page monograph on his new thinking about this. You must read Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer. (Order it from www.Amazon.com or read an excerpt at www.JimCollins.com.)
He writes, “In the social sectors, the critical question is not ‘How much money do we make per dollar of invested capital?’ but ‘How effectively do we deliver on our mission and make a distinctive impact, relative to our resources?’”
Nonprofit leaders and managers have always known it’s easier to measure results when cranking out widgets. It’s much more complex when providing social and spiritual services. How do you measure spiritual devotion?
Collins has some helpful concepts in his monograph. He says, “It doesn’t really matter whether you can quantify your results. What matters is that you rigorously assemble evidence—quantitative or qualitative—to track your progress.” He suggests you might need to think like a trial lawyer (qualitative) or a laboratory scientist (quantitative). He uses the greatness of the Cleveland Orchestra as a brilliant example.
Collins says that “all indicators are flawed,” so settle upon a “consistent and intelligent method of assessing your output results.”
Hey…it’s only 35 pages. Buy it, read it, execute the ideas—and be sure you focus on The Results Bucket.