While at Clemson, professors and nonprofit advisors enforced “RUN YOUR NONPROF LIKE A BUSINESS!” Too many nonprofs start out with good intentions but lack the know-how when it comes to running a functioning, goal-oriented, sustainable organization.
Business-focused thinking makes sense for nonprofit leaders. Collins agrees, but drives his readers to be “Great” without looking to imitate the business world that sometimes settles for only being “Good”. In my opinion, Collins’ tagline “Why Business Thinking Is Not The Answer” is simply a technicality and an attempt to sell more books. (But hey–it got you to read this blog and me to read the monograph.)
A Bit of Knowledge From Good To Great And The Social Sectors: Finding great people to work for less in the nonprofit sector than they would in the business world is difficult. Firing underpaid employees or volunteers in this sector often seems impossible. Collins points out that the lack of resources in the nonprofit world should make us MORE selective in who we hire to work them, not less. If you’re going to do it, really do it. Donors give because they believe in the mission (and numerous ulterior motives we can throw in there). If you don’t have competent people who can accomplish the mission, you need to wait until you find them.
Two Great Thoughts from Collins: “True leadership exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to. If people follow you because they have no choice, then you are not leading.”
“Time and talent can often compensate for lack of money, but money cannot compensate for lack of the right people.”