It Only Thrives When You Let It

Posted: August 17, 2010 in Culture, Economy, Innovate, Leadership
Tags: , ,

In the post Nonprofit Does Not Mean Non-Success, I noted that nonprofits should not position themselves from a position of weakness or assumed failure.  It’s important that we also understand that we have competition, a lot of competition.  A company that produces toilet paper knows its competition, can measure it, scale it and strategize to gain market share.  Nonprofits live a different existence — donor dollars are discretionary, a family vacation can replace a donation, other providers (for and non-profit) can entice away both members and donors by creating a perception of greater value.

At times, some nonprofits are there own worst competition — hesitating to act, refusing to ask, focused on minor details, over-planning, under-planning, and deviating from their mission.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon recommends creating “a culture of customer obsession”, rather than obsessing over competition.  It can be challenging to lead when we’re following or reacting to the work of others.  It can prevent us from seeing opportunities or fearing risk and innovation.  Successful organizations are affecting the environment rather than allowing it to affect their operations.

photo by: luisrock62

Wouldn’t it be preferable to be the one others are chasing and trying to keep up with?  Certainly must be more fun.  What is the obsession of your culture?

In following or leading, each will only thrive when and if we allow it — neither occurs without permission.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s