Randall Moss asked me to review “The Future of Non-Profits” and I’m glad he did. While it’s specific to non-profits, some of the content can be applied to other organizations. In fact, the book is a practical guide with several resources to get readers started with innovation in their own organizations.
My abbreviated review for his promotional efforts:
It’s a must-read for anyone looking to go beyond the status quo and instigate sustainable change in an organization. Randall Moss and David Neff translate decades of hard-earned experience into an action-oriented book. The rapid rate of change brought by digital technology has rendered the word innovation a broadly-defined cliché. “The Future of Non-Profits” reclaims meaning for this word.
The book is organized into three sections to help readers build out a process around innovation within their own organizations:
- definitions and strategies,
- the three pillars of innovation (awareness, structure and staffing) and
- implementation and future considerations, including the future of fundraising and communications.
Throughout these sections it reinforces some important points that apply to more than just non-profits.
Innovation’s Not Just for R&D Labs: This isn’t news, but it’s important. Innovation doesn’t need to be cordoned off in a special location, away from the rest of the company. And it doesn’t have to equate to inventing the next QR Code or writing music that hasn’t been invented.
The Process of Innovation: Following a well-defined process can lead to more incremental innovations. This can have a greater impact on an organization over time and this approach can make innovation a sustainable process.
Entrepreneurs & Selling In To Your Organization: To me this is what gives the book some sharp teeth. It’s a realistic review of who you’ll need on your team to succeed, how to recruit them and how to innovate within the organization vs. innovating despite the organization.
Lead with Examples: The book serves up several cases throughout to show how much fundraising has changed. With Goodwill International on Twitter, American Cancer Society fundraising on Second Life and Susan G. Komen’s “Race For the Cure” attracting half a million “likes” on Facebook, even well-known non-profits are regularly changing their approach.
Advocacy, Action, Donation
While the above examples lend themselves to fundraising, organizations should evaluate whether or not social gaming, Twitter, Flickr, geotagging and even mobile apps might help their cause.
Change? Her Name is Constant
“Change is a constant” was first uttered in 535 BC by Heraclitus. Nearly 1,500 years later, this snowball keeps rolling down the slope, seemingly gaining speed.
As a result, innovation is no longer a nice to have. To live in a state of constant iteration and still GTD, books like “The Future of Non-Profits” need to rise to the top of your to do list.