Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drucker’s Five Important Questions

The Nonprofit Strategy class I am teaching at Maryland was due to discuss SWOT analysis last night, so it has had me thinking about various assessment tools available for nonprofits.

Peter Drucker spent a great deal of time in his later years working on applications of his management ideas for nonprofits – or, as he called them – social sector organizations.  One of the excellent products of that work is The Five Most Important Questions Self Assessment Tool.  Through this workbook, Drucker takes an organization on a tour of his five most important questions:

*What is Our Mission?

*Who is Our Customer?

*What Does the Customer Value?

*What Are Our Results?

*What is Our Plan?

It’s much more than a self-assessment tool, however.  It is really a guide to helping organizations think through their purpose and performance.  Like most anything these days, the Drucker self-assessment tool is available for purchase on Amazon or from the Leader to Leader Institute which Drucker founded.

Clarity on Drucker’s five most important questions can be of great help to an organization as it designs its strategy and focuses attention on increasing its Mission Impact.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Improve Your “Tribe’s” Performance

Interestingly enough, focusing your organization’s “tribe” on your values can actually lead to higher levels of performance.  It makes sense when you think about it.

Imagine that an organization has clearly answered the questions “Why are we here? & What do we stand for?” – and that this is widely understood among the staff and key volunteers; your “tribe.”  Establishing those values gives people something to connect with that is beyond our own self interest.  This fulfills an important human need.  It also gives more meaning to our day-to-day work that enhances productivity.

This idea is underscored in an excellent book, Tribal Leadership, which studies the cultural features of high performance organizations.  FYI – a “tribe” is defined as any group of 20 – 150 people.  Recently, I had a chance to interview one of the book’s authors, Dr. Dave Logan, in connection with a presentation I am giving next week.  As we discussed Level Five “tribes” – those which are the highest performing – Dave said “Getting to Level Five is all about values.  People are trying to make a difference and to make a mark that is bigger than who they are as individuals.  They want to do something remarkable.”

Is your “tribe” clear on your organization’s values – why you exist and what you stand for?  This would be a great thing to check in on during your next staff meeting.  Figure out how to keep these values in the forefront of people’s minds.  The more connected everyone is to your purpose and values, the greater Mission Impact you will make.