Posts Tagged ‘Repeatability’

Pete, repeat and me

Pete and Prepeat sat on a fence. Pete fell off and who was left? Repeat.

I don’t know about you but I always found that saying annoyed me more that it inspired me. I got a fresh take on the power of repeat just last week during a gathering of the Consultant Leadership Forum sponsored by CausePlanet and The Denver Foundation. Six times a year we gather to learn from and with each other as we read a selection from CausePlanet’s Page to PracticeTM library. On deck this month was Repeatability: Build Enduring Businesses for a World of Constant Change by Chris Zook and James Allen (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012).

Our discussion revealed that the three key principles outlined in the book are apropos for nonprofits as well as consultants. Zook and Allen’s research revealed that sustainable companies applied three core principles. They have:

  1. A well-differentiated core – clarity of distinction
  2. Clear nonnegotiables – clarity of values
  3. Closed-loop learning – clarity of learning

These principles resonated with me as they speak to the importance of a sustainable nonprofit business model and a successful nonprofit strategy. Where to start? With book in hand, you begin with clarity about what makes your nonprofit unique and what it does well (and what it doesn’t do). You reinforce those via learning from customer and market feedback. Once you set up the learning process you can check-point your core and nonnegotiables to ensure relevance for the future. That’s what Repeat had – and Pete never quite mastered. No wonder Repeat has staying power.

By Karla Raines, Principal, Corona Insights

Read more Radiance blog posts at Corona Insights about nonprofit strategy

CausePlanet members: Register now for our next live author interview with Steve Rothschild on May 29 at 11 a.m. CST.

See also:

Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits

Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability

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Maximize your business planning with “repeatability”

Every once in a while the planets align. And when they do, it’s exciting to share about it. Two books we’ve recently added to our library of recommended titles reinforce one another and make a strong case for 1) purposeful business planning and 2) keeping it simple by adhering to three principles.

We recently featured The Nonprofit Business Plan: A Leader’s Guide to Creating a Successful Business Model. This book does a tremendous job of differentiating strategic planning from business planning and justifies why the two work in tandem to provide your board and executive director with more certainty in, well, an uncertain world.

I had the good fortune of landing one of the coauthors, Heather Gowdy, for a live and in-person interview at the LANO (Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations) annual conference in Baton Rouge this week. The interview was met with a great deal of questions and input—many thanks to those of you who participated.

Consider the merits of The Nonprofit Business Plan while I introduce you to our newest feature at CausePlanet: Repeatability by bestselling business authors Chris Zook and James Allen. This book was recommended to me by one of our readers (we always welcome requests) and its applications in the nonprofit sector are undeniable. The premise? Complexity is the silent killer of innovation.  If you adhere to three simple principles, your nonprofit can be more nimble and responsive to approaching opportunities without succumbing to protracted process or limited information.

Adhering to your well-differentiated core, clear nonnegotiables and closed-loop learning allow your organization to adapt to constant change from a source of stability. Your consistent bond with these key principles becomes your rudder as waves of opportunities present themselves or the changing environment demands a fitting response. If you worry about mission drift or charting unfruitful territory, consider how repeatable your business model is.

For those of you new to CausePlanet, we aim to satisfy professional curiosity, inform better book choices and promote best practices through Page to Practice™ book summaries, author interviews and relevant discussion by peer contributors. Download these book summaries or other titles by visiting our summary store or subscribing to summary library. Or try us out by printing a free sample.

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