Aug 26, 2011

Outspoken About Outcomes for Nonprofits

Rick Wartzman

In his latest column for Bloomberg Businessweek online, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman explores Mario Morino’s book Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity.

“It is the best thing on management I’ve read all summer,” Wartzman writes, noting that Morino’s book helped him to “sharpen some of what we’re trying to achieve” at the Drucker Institute.

Wartzman explains that Morino, the chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, is pushing nonprofits to “reach clarity on what change they’re trying to create, acquire specificity on how they will accomplish that change, determine what information they need to track how they’re doing, and then use this feedback to make continuous improvements. Technology can help. But more important, Morino stresses, is cultivating the right organizational culture and getting the right people in the right jobs to drive toward the right outcomes.”

Wartzman begins the piece by noting that in 1994, Morino was one of a dozen social sector leaders to meet with Peter Drucker and discuss how to increase their effectiveness and impact. “Though impressed by the emerging movement this group epitomized, he wasn’t convinced that it would amount to wholesale change in the mindset and culture of the social sector,” Wartzman quotes Morino as explaining. For Drucker and the other participants, the key was to figure out how to turn “this emerging movement into a true force for change.”

Morino’s book, Wartzman suggests, is an important step in that direction.

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