Monday, May 15, 2017

Instead of new projects, why not help old projects be great?

Tomorrow will be the 4th annual #OnTheTable event, hosted by the Chicago Community Trust.  I have written about this for the past three years. Here's last year's article.

As you prepare for the event I encourage you to read this article:

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

Notes from reading Good to Great:

Good to Great: Lessons for the Social Sector - click here

I’ve applied Good to Great concepts in the leadership of the tutor/mentor programs I led from 1990 -2011 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 for members of the organization to constantly look for ways to improve. I describe my own approach to this in the Operating Philosophy, posted on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC 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've constantly worked to teach volunteers, Directors, friends, and leaders of the programs I've led, and from other Chicago area tutor/mentor programs, to take on roles where they become agents, and advocates, for tutor/mentor programs.

Here' are a few articles that you might consider, as you think of helping youth in Chicago.

Tipping Points - what are some of the actions that might make a system-wide difference?

Re-Thinking Philanthropy and Funding - click here to see article with this graphic.

If we can stabilize the flow of talent, dollars and ideas into youth serving programs in all high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities, we can help every organization become great, and stay great.

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

Here's a final link to consider. It is titled, "Helping urban youth move through school. What do we need to know."

This is not a short term process, or something you can learn in a few hours. Just as faith leaders ask you to spend a few minutes in reading and reflection every day, I ask the same.

I've posted more than 1000 articles on this blog that focus on learning, collaboration, marketing and on-going actions that help fill high poverty neighborhoods with great programs helping youth through school and into adult lives. Dig in to the articles and links I point to in my blogs and web library and engage others in on-going conversations.

As you talk with others during this round of #onthetable, I hope some of you begin to map out actions and strategies that participants can use to mobilize others, form learning communities, and develop  year-round actions that also grow to become great in what they do to provide the needed flow of resources required to win the war against poverty, inequality, injustice, etc. that plague our communities.

I'll be Tweeting my participation in two conversations and what I see on my Twitter feed, from my @tutormentorteam account. I hope to meet some of you there.

Enjoy your conversations!

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