The idea that the path from good to great in the social sectors is to become “more like a business” is dead wrong. Great companies make a prosperous society, but not a great society for economic growth and power are the means, not the end, of a great nation. Few businesses excel to greatness. They’re about as only 11 out of 1435 companies—according to my estimates in my previous book “Good to Great”. So, is it unwise to import the practices of business into the social sectors? I shared these thoughts with a gathering of business CEOs, and offended nearly everyone in the room. A hand shot up from a CEO: “Do you have evidence to support your point? He demanded. “Nonprofits are in desperate need of discipline in people, governance, and allocation of resources.” I replied: “Discipline is not a business practice! Most businesses also need discipline. A culture of discipline is not exclusively a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.” I asked the CEO: “If you had taken a different path in life and become, say, a university president, a nonprofit leader, or a hospital CEO, would you have been any less disciplined in your work? Would you have put less energy into your work?” The CEO considered the question, and replied: “No!”
"Collins stressed the importance of having a strong nonprofit sector, saying, “if we only have great business corporations, and I do believe it’s important that we do, we will merely have a prosperous nation, a prosperous society. We will not have a great one. To truly have a great nation and a great society, we have to have great schools, great police departments, great healthcare.” But, he noted, simply being nonprofit does not make an organization great. 'Greatness,' Collins explained, 'is not a function of circumstances. It is a function, first and foremost, of conscious choice and discipline…It doesn’t matter if you’re a hospital, school district, church, professional sports team, or squadron of fighter jets: everyone has constraints, difficulties, irrationalities, and yet some still do better than others in those same circumstances.'"Bridgespan Group
"This is a good companion booklet to the Good to Great book which I heartily recommend. It demonstrates quite unequivocally that good to great thinking and its component concepts are equally applicable to social services and could serve to revolutionize a program or an organization." The Innovation Journal
"Good to Great and the Social Sectors provides many useful lessons for social enterprises. Its attention to effective leadership, attracting the right people, a disciplined approach to all aspects of the organization, and focusing on being great at one thing all strike me as sound and important." Stanford Social Innovation Review
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