Achieving Breakthrough Performance
Great organizations have one thing in common: great managers. In this article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the authors share four simple management principles that they use to guide organizations from mere mediocrity to stand-out stardom, drawing on their long experience and extensive research.
The concept of “breakthrough performance” can help position nonprofit organizations to create high levels of social impact and lasting change. Nonprofits that deliver positive and consistent results over time are the best placed to grow, perform, and have an impact.
Four management principles are essential to creating breakthrough performance at any organization:
- Costs of service should always decline. This principle is well-known in for-profit industries, but often receives less attention in the nonprofit arena. Cost reduction is a main avenue for increasing outcomes per dollar. Rather than pushing for what is new and different, prioritize your impact.
- Market position determines your options. Greater market share is an important measure of success in both for-profit and nonprofit venues. “Relative market share” can be an effective way to measure an organization’s market position, usually defined in the nonprofit sector as the percentage of potential clients an organization is serving.
- Clients and funding pools don’t stand still. Customer needs are constantly changing and organizations must also evolve and provide new and innovating offerings to retain customers. Sources of funding may also change as a result.
- Simplicity gets results. As customers’ needs and profit/funding pools change, nonprofits must change with them, offering new “products and services” to customers. Making these changes may be complicated and/or lead to costly mistakes; to avoid this, organizations should find ways to simplify their operations and focus.
By bringing these four principles to the fore, nonprofit managers can create breakthrough performance for their organizations and increase their impact.