Dear Executive Director Following a Founder

At least a few times a year, I find myself saying that the hardest job in the nonprofit sector is that of the new executive director following the founder. Having been one (with only limited success), having supported some through different consulting engagements, and having worked with founders and executives at every point in the organizational life[…]

An Adventure Logic Model

Example LOGIC MODEL In courses and workshops, I used the following example to illustrate the essentials of the logic model.   Goal: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.   Resources: Starship Enterprise (best ship in the Federation) Warp drive   […]

Unsticking Organizational Problems: Try looking through a new window

Sometimes as leaders (and consultants working to help leaders with organizational growth and change), we just feel stuck. Stuck in the middle of a sticky, dense, complex, uncomfortable, irritating, nagging problem that we cannot seem to get beyond. For some reason (usually reasons, plural), this time, we can’t see the components — or the overall, or[…]

What social value is your business creating?

What type of social value or environmental value is your business creating? Most for-purpose businesses and social enterprises are driven by one value theme. The meaningful, powerful, driving social or environmental value exists primarily in • the thing (product or service) that you do or make, • the way you do it (being different from the typical[…]

New Year’s Revolution: Routines, Reflection, Rules

The brief end-of-year season is closing and I find myself shifting to a January spirit for reflection, planning, and setting the pace for the incoming year. Recently, I’ve run across a few ideas that I’m incorporating into my annual reflection and planning. 1. New Year’s Revolutions, instead of Resolutions. Cute with the language. But maybe[…]

My Call for Tempered Social Innovation

A quote is making the socmed rounds today, attributed to Reid Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” The point is iterate fast and release often. Hmmm…yeah, right, but. I’m a business owner and a (perhaps some would say overly) creative, but[…]

Time, Rhythm, and Magic

At a breakfast session of emerging social enterprisers last week, or maybe the week before, we guest speakers were asked about time — how do you manage so many competing priorities (presumably, without going crazy, which in my case presumes much). While we could not offer the wished-for answer, Here is the key to a secret stash[…]

Social Enterprise Models Prepare the Way Forward: A Guest Post

By John Herron At the UMB School of Social Work on an evening in May, Gar Alperovitz, speaking about his new book, suggested the best way to look at work being done on social change is to regard it as preparation for a new economy. Alperovitz says it takes a generation or two to realize[…]