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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Challenges for Non-Profits to Achieve Greatness, August 12, 2006
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This review is from: Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great (Paperback)
I have direct experience in the social sector with over twenty-five years as an advisor or board member of several, varied non-profits. "Good to Great and the Social Sectors" resonated with me as it fills a very deep void in social sector leadership guidance.

Recently, one executive newcomer to a non-profit called to tell me she was being told to back off by other executives. She was being perceived as "too businesslike"; she did not understand the non-profit world. I asked her to have these people define "businesslike." She learned that "businesslike" meant expecting people to complete assignments on time and be accountable!!

This attitude, which permeates many non-profits, is one of several targets in "Good to Great and the Social Sectors." In fact, due to the diffuse power structure that exists for most social sector organizations, non-profits need even greater discipline - disciplined planning, disciplined people, disciplined governance, disciplined allocation of resources.

And the culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.

Non-business leaders in the social sector must operate differently as they do not have the concentrated power of a business CEO. They have a thousand points of no. It is Collins' observation that they require two skill sets - leadership skills and legislative skills - to be successful. And, he believes you will find more true leadership in the social sector as a result.

The book is organized around five issues that need to be addressed for greatness. These are:

Issue One - How do you define great without business metrics?

Issue Two - What is "Level 5 Leadership" in the social sector?

Issue Three - How can you get the right people on the bus?

Issue Four - How do you apply the Hedgehog Concept (attaining piercing clarity about how to produce the best long-term results) without a profit motive?

Issue Five - How do you use brand to build momentum?

Great societies have both great business sectors and great social sectors. With this in mind, Collins was motivated to write this book. He realized that it was not simply good enough for him to focus on a great business sector but also on a great social sector. He has done us a service. We will gain as a society if all who work with or for non-profits read and apply the lessons of this excellent monograph.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 20, 2007 12:17:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2007 12:20:58 PM PDT
Lost Gecko says:
Wow. That phrase in your review, "They have a thousand points of no" is an astute description of non-profits in the social sector. I have worked for Fortune 100 companies, and I have worked for a healthcare non-profit, and have also volunteered as an elected board member for a neighborhood non-profit. That one phrase describes the greatest difference, and the greatest challenge: "a thousand points of no".

I haven't read the monograph yet, but I plan to, after reading your review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2007 3:59:42 PM PDT
Sorry for the delayed response you posted on May 20th. I hope you enjoyed Collins' monograph.
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