Good to Great: Growth Strategies for Up-and-Coming Nonprofits
Each organization needs to ask if it is genuinely making advancements in its mission—addressing poverty, feeding the hungry, saving the environment, preserving history, etc. A nonprofit can only truly be considered great if it achieves its mission—actually reducing global warming, slowing disease, saving animals, etc.
While nearly all charities strive toward this, not all have been able to make the claim that their existence actually has stemmed the tide toward the missions. So ask yourself these questions about your own organization—if you really are making progress toward achieving your mission—and then make the "conscious choice" to go from where you are (good) to where you want to be (great).
3 stages to the next level
According to Collins, organizations can go from good to great through three practical stages: disciplined people, disciplined thought and disciplined action.
Disciplined people. Great nonprofits have leaders who are ambitious for the cause, the organization and the work, but not for themselves. They are selfless and have a fierce determination to do whatever it takes to deliver results with humility and will. So what separates these so-called "level 5" leaders from the growing sector of competent, professional nonprofit leaders?
It all comes down to building the right team. Nonprofit leaders need to ensure they have "the right people on the bus" in the organization and the wrong people "off the bus." Yes, it can be difficult and unpleasant to restructure a team and let people go, but these are the type of tough decisions leaders are there to make. And the best ones do just that, making the tough calls even when they don't want to.
Then, once the right people are on board, the leader must make sure the right people are in the key seats to steer change and growth. It's all about determining who first, then the what. You can't truly achieve your mission unless you have the right team in place to get the job done.