Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Good to Great. How do we get there, and stay there

How many of you have read the Jim Collins book titled "Good to Great and the Social Sectors"?

Here are some links to blog articles where the writers summarize this book

http://ericswanson.blogspot.com/2006/02/good-to-great-and-social-sector.html

http://www.bridgestar.org/Library/GoodGreatSocialSector.aspx

I’ve applied Good to Great concepts in the leadership of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection (and before that in my leadership of the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring Program) since 1977 when I learned about Total Quality Management (TQM) while working as an Advertising Manager at Wards.

The key to constant improvement, is a commitment of leadership, and members of the organization to constantly look for ways to improve. I describe this in the Operating Philosophy, posted on the Tutor/Mentor Institute web site.

However, I'm convinced that the only way non profits can become great, and remain great for many years, is if they can develop consistent revenue streams that enable them to hire and retain talented people, and that give these people time during the work day for expanding their network and learning from others, reflecting, and innovating new ways to improve from year-to-year.

Thus, I'm constantly working to teach our volunteers, Directors, friends, and leaders of other tutor/mentor programs, to take on roles where they become agents, and advocates, for tutor/mentor programs.

The Major League Baseball draft is going on right now. The first round pick is represented by an agent named Scot Boras, who is known for negotiating multi-millions dollar contracts for the talent he represents.

Each volunteer who wants to help Cabrini Connections and other tutor/mentor programs make a difference in the lives of kids needs to view him/herself as an "agent" working to build the best support possible for one, or many, tutor/mentor programs.

With this type of help, we can be great, and we can stay great.

That will result in more youth through school and into jobs and careers, which is the focus of this Forbes magazine article.

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