Issue No. 60 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features a hot-off-the-press best practices book for nonprofits. But before we jump to that topic, I must add that the Southern California fires have impacted many of our friends, colleagues and clients. Author Ken Blanchard lost his home in San Diego. At least two of our clients had to evacuate. And so we continue to pray for God’s grace and comfort to those in heart-breaking situations.
Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits
If you work with a nonprofit as a staff member, volunteer or board member, you already know that nonprofit management is not as easy as it looks. The authors of this week’s book agree. They studied nonprofits, the third largest industry in the U.S., for four years and identified 12 “exemplary” organizations that share six similarities in best practices.
Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, The Heritage Foundation, Share Our Strengths and eight other nonprofits made the list. Jim Collins calls the book “inspired and inspiring.” Click on the title to order it from Amazon today. Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant, also dispels six myths about effective nonprofits. Example: not all organizations are perfectly managed, have brand-name awareness, or breakthrough new ideas. They don’t wordsmith their mission statements, they live them. And—they’re big on implementation and execution (my favorite.)
Read chapter one and you’ll have the gist of the whole book, especially the six practices: 1) Advocate and serve, 2) Make markets work, 3) Inspire evangelists (The Volunteer Bucket), 4) Nurture nonprofit networks, 5) Master the art of adaptation, and 6) Share leadership. The best nonprofits realize it’s not about egos and logos. While the authors intentionally excluded religious organizations and churches from the study (a flaw, in my opinion), you’ll benefit from these new insights. For more, visit the authors' website and new blog.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. How effective are we at turning volunteers into evangelists?
#2. Branding has become a big deal to nonprofits lately. Has our focus on branding sidetracked us from collaborating with businesses and other nonprofits?
The Book Bucket: Management by Best Seller Syndrome - Insights from the Management Buckets Workshop Experience
Every week, I recommend another book you should read. Caution! Avoid the “Management by Best Seller Syndrome.” Not every book works at every shop. Before you distribute the next trendy management book to your team, you must create the context and stir in some motivation. Try this introduction at your next staff meeting:
“Last quarter, we added another weapon to our arsenal when we read XYZ. This quarter’s book builds on that methodology and zeroes in on one of the critical balls in The Customer Bucket. Please note that there’s a $10 gift card to Starbucks in your book. Get out of the office for a few hours and enjoy this book with your favorite beverage.”
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. Give an example of when the “Management by Best Seller Syndrome” was detrimental to our organization.
#2. Not every trend, hot new book, or management philosophy will work with our culture here. What are some guidelines we should adopt before we read the latest management best seller?
NEXT STEPS: I can help you integrate management best practices to your unique setting and help you assess your competencies in the 20 management buckets. Email me at John@JohnPearsonAssociates.com.
To bring a one-day or two-day Management Buckets Workshop Experience to your organization or city, call our office at 949/500-0334. Ditto for the six-hour Nonprofit Board Governance Workshop for board members and senior leaders.
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