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Paradigm Found: Leading and Managing for Positive Change Paperback – April 18, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Part do-it-yourself guide and part memoir, this inspirational primer is aimed at budding social activists and those seeking to build a thriving nonprofit organization. Back in the mid-1980s, when Murray founded the Global Fund for Women and became its executive director, he linked women's rights with population issues, economic development and environmental preservation, well before the international philanthropic community recognized these connections. Discouraged by the experts' pessimism about the state of the world and the old-style hierarchical, donor-oriented philanthropic model, she saw the need for a new paradigm of social relations and organizational structure to overcome world violence and poverty. Drawing on second-wave feminist principles, Murray created a grantee-centered funding organization that put money "directly into the hands of women at the grass roots level so that they could do what they wanted to do rather than what the donors... wanted." Contrary to conventional wisdom, she found that small grass-roots organizations value the feeling of support more than the money they are awarded. In 21st-century, bottom-line–driven America, her orientation toward connection over money is almost shockingly quaint, until her implementation reveals its effectiveness. Her personal story and spiritual yet practical approach to public service will inspire idealists to take action; the nuts-and-bolts how-to information provides the tools to begin. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

A Practical Framework for Positive Social Change

In 1987, Anne Firth Murray had the idea that funding should go to grassroots women's organizations around the globe and that the recipients themselves should decide how to use that money. From that idea, The Global Fund for Women was born. The organization became a major force for good in the world, embodying a new paradigm of philanthropy. In these pages, Murray shares her wisdom, offering guidelines that demonstrate how anyone can turn a clear vision of a better world into reality.

"There are many of us around the world who have been personally influenced by the principles and the model that Anne describes. . . . Readers of this book [will] find inspiration in its practical suggestions and clear guidelines for thinking about their own philanthropic work in new ways." - from the foreword by Esther B. Hewlett

"I am grateful that Anne Firth Murray and thousands of women around the world dreamed, struggled, and succeeded in planting the seeds and reaping the harvest of the new paradigm she describes here so compellingly. Her experience and clarity provide an essential text for us all. Either we learn to lead organizations based on human generosity, kindness, and wisdom, or we will descend further into the chaos created when we disown these qualities." - Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science and Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time

"Paradigm Found is a must-read for anyone interested in social change and the remarkable history of The Global Fund for Women. Murray's own highly personal and fascinating story is inspirational, instructive, and insightful - the story of an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary life." - Thomas C. Layton, president, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation

"Few people in our world feel deeply enough to act on the gender and equity gaps they encounter. When they do, the power of their conviction and unrestrained commitment creates magic. This much-awaited book is more needed than ever in our world today. By sharing her courage, experience, and wisdom, Anne gives readers the opportunity to dream and she demonstrates that we are all offered the possibility to contribute to positive change. I salute this book as I do Anne's work. Paradigm Found is an invaluable reference for any and all who dare to walk their paths to fruition."- Rita Thapa, founder of Tewa and founding president of Nagarik Aawaz "Anne Firth Murray's honest and valuable advice has inspired and encouraged us since the very first month of FACE AIDS, and we are happy to find that same wisdom right here for everyone to read. Her insight is invaluable - it could help anyone build a successful organization. Her story of transforming her idea into the largest foundation in the world focused exclusively on women's empowerment will give you faith in your ability to make an impact on the world." - Lauren Young, Katie Bollbach, and Jonny Dorsey, founders of FACE AIDS

"In Paradigm Found, Anne Firth Murray describes how strong vision, fierce resolve and leadership humility combine gracefully to create a unique laboratory for historic social change. We at Global Greengrants Fund are indebted to Anne and her colleagues for enabling us to better understand some of what distinguishes successful social movements and how financial resources help and sometimes hurt." - Chet Tchozewski, founder and executive director of the Global Greengrants Fund

"…I learned new things about her, about the nuts and bolts of building an organization from scratch, about enrolling others in a grand adventure, and about savoring as well as saving the world. With great gratitude to Anne and to Paradigm Found, I look forward with new eyes and fresh energy to the adventures of my own life." - Barbara Waugh, PhD, director, University Relations, Hewlett-Packard Company

"Do you read the newspapers with mounting despair that makes you want to go back to bed? This is a book to give you back your get up and go. Anne Firth Murray offers hope and practical suggestions for those of us who believe that the world deserves a better future and that, in Gandhi's words, 'we must be the change we wish to see in it.' In telling the tale of one very special organization, Anne provides lively advice and wise insights on the challenges, joys, and rewards of being a social entrepreneur in modern times." - Kavita Nandini Ramdas, president and CEO, The Global Fund for Women

"Anne Firth Murray has given us a wonderfully readable look into her own personal journey to establish what has become the lighthouse funding organization for women's rights and justice around the world, the Global Fund for Women. More importantly, she offers a compelling challenge to mainstream organizational and management theory and provides the reader with a concrete example of how to structure and operate an organization '…the way [she] wanted the world to be: friendly, modest, diverse, honest, respectful, loving, fair, efficient, and effective.'" - Christopher Harris, senior program officer, Ford Foundation


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (April 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577315332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577315339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Conley on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Anne Firth Murray is my heroine. She had the courage to make my fantasy reality. She founded an organization to empower and fund individual women and groups of women all over the world, to help pull them out of poverty and realize their dreams. And now, nearly 20 years later, Anne is semi retired and teaching at Stanford University

Paradigm Found, Learning and Managing for Positive Change, New World Library was published several months ago and is an account of her experience starting The Global Fund for Women in 1987. Anne's vision for The Global Fund was to transform the world through empowering women. Her original goal was to raise and give away 10 million dollars by 2000 and by 1996 she had raised enough money to give away more than 1000 grants totaling more than 6 million USD in more than 100 countries.

Anne is a New Zealander by birth but attended universities in the United States. She worked as a writer at the United Nations; she taught in Hong Kong and Singapore and was an editor with Oxford, Yale and Stanford University presses. Then she discovered the world of philanthropy and has been involved in it for the past 25 years. From 1978 to the end of 1987, she directed the environment and international population program for the Hewlett foundation in California but found herself asking why aren't women singled out for aid?

Women comprise more than 51% of the world's population. "Women worldwide do almost all of the world's domestic work, yet we seldom receive income for the time and effort this work entails. Women provide more healthcare than all the organized health care services, and yet many women lack equal access to health care for themselves. Women grow more than half of the world's food, yet we own only 1% of the world's land.
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Anne Firth Murray has written a truly marvelous and thought-provoking book, straight from the heart. It is hard to classify in one particular genre or another. Rather it is written in a unique style as a combination of a memoir, a good story, a motivational/inspirational book, and a manual. I really enjoyed not only learning about the history of the Global Fund for Women and all the wonderful, dedicated people that made it happen, but also learning more about Anne Firth Murray's life and the ideals she describes in her book.

It satisfies those who love good autobiographies and inspirational stories. And it also satisfies those who seek to learn about how one builds a strong organization from the roots up, from meaningful ideals to meaningful change. For me, this book was rejuvenating and energizing to read. It gave me new ideas and has inspired me all over again. I would think that each new reader who flips through its pages will experience similar self-reflection and inspiration in her or his own way.

This is a treasure of a book. I think it is a great book for all to read--young and old, women and men, and people working in all capacities. Students and young people are who starting out in pursuit of careers in human rights or in non-profit work will benefit in particular from the inspirational guidance that this book offers.
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This book is an excellent resource for those who are just starting out with their non-profit ventures or those who already have. Anne gives a nice list of principles that worked for the Global Fund that can easily be put to practice by other organizations. She also describes the down side of some of these principles and does give a few examples.

I do however have a few complaints to add to the praise: My first complaint is that while there is a lot of discussion of the principles, there aren't enough concrete examples of how exactly these were put into place or what exactly some of them mean when put into action. I also found one contradicting point in the philosophy: The guiding principle is "no hierarchy"... yet it seems the organization very much follows a hierarchy with Anne at the top. But to her credit, she does try to create an atmosphere of equals, although I wonder how much of this is a dream and how much reflects reality... to be a bit of a critic.
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What I find fascinating about this book is that the insights it provides come from a stand, a way of life and a passion. The author's vision has taken the shape, among other things, of the Global Fund for Women. Her vision continues to inspire others in their endeavors through the pages of this wonderful book.

This book is packed with a multitude of tips and recommendations for people who intend to create their own organization. The ones that I find the most inspiring are: Learn! Listen!

I found Paradigm Found a page-turner. I couldn't put it down, and not because it is a thriller, but because of the authentic and clear voice in which this story is told. I continue to go back to it to find inspiration and I continue to recommend reading it to anyone interested in how to make a dream come true.
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Anne Firth Murray is the founder of The Global Fund for Women and shares her insights on leading a non-profit organization in Paradigm Found: Leading and Managing for Positive Change. Written in a highly accessible style, Paradigm Found spans the genres of memoir, manual, and motivational. Though based on her experiences with leading a specifically focused global non-profit organization, Murray's words transcend the separation between industries and sectors as she speaks to the need of a new style of leadership on a larger span.

She discusses many different aspects of positive leadership throughout the text including leading by inclusion, self realization and actualization, the importance of communication, developing and staying true to your mission, effective succession planning, and knowing when to pass the torch. One of her statements that stuck most with me is the way she described the path of leadership as spending the first 30 years of life gathering knowledge and clarifying beliefs, the second 30 years of life applying that knowledge to make the world a better place, and the next years still learning and supporting others by sharing experience and knowledge.

Though her sentiment for change is urgent, her words stress the value of thorough introspection, discussion, and inclusive collaboration. To her, our new paradigm is lead by respect, compassion, and connection.
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