Getting from Good to Great

By Steve Lear

Need a blueprint for how to build a great organization? You’ll find one in “Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking is Not the Answer” from top management consultant Jim Collins. In just 35 pages, Collins applies his business savvy to the unique challenges faced by the social sector. His advice? Community organizations don’t need to copy a business model; they need to establish a management model. I highly recommend that you add this valuable guide to your library. Read on for highlights from the book.

Jim Collins: Choose to be Great

  • Our challenge is not making the social sector more like the business sector; it’s how to elevate ALL sectors from good to great.1
  • Measure social sector greatness by mission impact.2
  • Find the best way to review your results regularly and track your progress.3
  • Greatness is not a destination; it’s a journey.4
  • The social sectors typically work within diffuse power structures (legislative leadership). Business sectors usually work within concentrated power structures (executive leadership). The most effective leaders will likely combine the skills of both styles .5
  • Real leadership happens when people choose to follow you.6
  • Focus first on getting the right people in the right places. Use assessments to select only those candidates who are self-driven, disciplined, and committed to your mission.7
  • People are the social sector’s top resource.8
  • Money alone won’t attract the right people. People who work in the social sectors value meaning over money.9
  • The whole purpose of the social sectors is to meet social objectives, human needs, and national priorities that cannot be priced at a profit.”10
  • Achieve maximum impact by having a great organization—not one great program. 11
  • Build a great reputation for your brand, so that potential donors not only believe in your vision but in your ability to achieve it.12
  • Your choices, not your situation, determine greatness.13

Become a Consolutionist!

This book continues to inspire me. If we can choose greatness, we can achieve it! While Collins lays out the path to greatness, Consolution provides the tools to get there: custom coaching and training to clear your productivity roadblocks.

If you would like to join our partnership network as a Coordinator, Coach/Consultant, or Contributor, or if you want to learn more, visit our website at www.theconsolutionproject.org. Let’s work together to keep our Community Organizations healthy, effective, and sustainable.

 

ENDNOTES

1 Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking is Not the Answer (New

York: HarperCollins, 2005), 2.

2 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 5.

3 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 8.

4 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 9.

5 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 11-12.

6 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 13.

7 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 14-15.

8 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 16.

9 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 19.

10 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors

11 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 25.

12 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors

13 Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 31.