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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Good to Great and the Social Sectors" by Jim Collins. A Brief Review

Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to GreatGood to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by James C. Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A short addendum to Collins' bigger book, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't". This 36 page monograph takes much from the larger book and applies those principles to the not-for-profit sector. In doing so the author makes some important observations, especially how business and the non-profit environments are distinctly different. "We need to reject the naïve imposition of the "language of business" on the social sectors, and instead jointly embrace a language of greatness" (2). For example, it means that in "the social sectors, money is only an input, and not a measure of greatness" (5). Collins delivers other rightly nuanced assessments that are germane to non-profit organizations that cover superior performance, the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), the hedge-hog principle, etc. One of my favorite lines from "Good to Great and the Social Sectors" has to do with leadership: "True leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to" (13). If you've read the bigger book, and need a hand in figuring out how Collins' work could benefit your church or not-for-profit agency, I happily and highly recommend this monograph.


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