Friday, January 1, 2010

Moving toward Greatness

Last week I read a short Monograph by Jim Collins, titled Good to Great in the Social Sector, and the impact this 35 page booklet had on my view of the role I can have on any agency was profound.
The book starts out with a simple difference between businesses and social agencies speaking about ways to measure greatness. In business, profit is a great way to measure greatness, however in the social sector, greatness must be assessed relative to the mission! This made me ask myself, how does my current agency measure itself? When I read our mission what will be our measure of greatness.

Collins goes on to give five frames that an organization should use to become great:
1. Defining "great" - calibrating success without business metrics
2. level 5 leadership - getting things done within a diffuse power structure
3. First Who - Getting the right people on the bus within social sector constraints
4. The hedgehog concept - rethinking the economic engine without a profit motive
5. Turning the Flywheel - building the momentum by building the brand

Each of these five factors will help to shape an organization and help move it from being simply good to GREAT!

This Diagram illustrates how each of the five frames interact and work together to help move an organization through the "pivot point", the moment when an organization changes its path from good to great! Each of the different frames is an important element all to itself and requires thought and time. This is not an overnight fix, but one that can be used by any member of an organization regardless if they are the head or the maintenance person.
I highly recommend this read, whether or not you have read the original book Good to Great.

1 comment:

Angie Miller, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation said...

Our school corporation is using the "Good to Great"philosophy to create a culture of discipline. We have created our hedgehog concept and are discussing the principles in each building in our school corporation. It has been a great framework for discussion on anything from programs to educational philosophy. If anyone else is using Collins' work in a school corporation we would love to hear about it.