Good to Great and the Social Sectors

A monograph is not a book, so (despite my previous post) I can mention that I read Good to Great and the Social Sectors by Jim Collins last week (before I went on vacation). I never read the original book for which this monograph is a companion, but, even alone, this essay provides many useful insights.

Collins has done a great job of looking at the vexing question of bringing discipline into the governance and management of non-profit organizations. I am on the board of Hazon and of JCDS, Boston's Jewish Community Day School. On both boards, we grapple regularly with how to measure progress or success. At a school there are some obvious metrics, such as student enrollment, staff retention, academic scores, graduate achievements and so forth. However, there are many seeming intangibles to track at a school which prizes values so highly, and similarly at a non-profit like Hazon. It is pretty obvious that these are tougher to measure in the cold hard way we can measure corporate profits. This monograph is short, to the point, and helpful, and makes great reading for anyone serving on the board of a non-profit.

I recommend it highly.

1 comment:

Ish Hazon said...

Wanted to add my voice to Richard's: I thought that both Good To Great and Omnivore's Dilemma were outstanding.

Next up: Heat, by Bill Buford, which takes the food conversation to a whole new level...