Monday, December 22, 2008

"Strongly Led, Under-Managed"

Today's 'gift' to readers of this blog is a thought piece from another one of my favorite nonprofit resources, the Bridgespan Group.

This article, Strongly Led, Under-Managed, offered a twist on the "leadership/management tensions" discussion: starting with the assumption that leadership is stronger within an organization than management practices. (Most articles I have encountered over the years that address the topic tend to assume that more nonprofits struggle more with leadership than day-to-day management.)

It is not, of course, an either/or proposition. Effective nonprofits gain strength from visionary leadership and sound management practices. I'm one who believes we can't hear and reflect on that often enough.

This article offers two key ideas that continue to resonate, each reinforcing the value and need for balanced attention. As a mission geek, I connected immediately to the authors' description of, and advocacy for, strategic clarity. But I also appreciated the way they addressed the need for managing change processes -- particularly processes that ultimately reflect the mission of the organization.

I'd encourage you to bookmark this article or, better yet, download a PDF version (link at the bottom) and share it with your board.

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