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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Leap of Reason: Post #1: Overview

A Leap of Reason: Managing Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity by Mario Morino (Venture Philanthropy Partners, 2011) reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D., June 2011)

Overview: As a business owner who sits on nonprofit boards, I want to say “thank you” to Mario Morino. In his new book, A Leap of Reason, he presents the bottom-line premise of the book: “We don’t manage to outcomes thus greatly diminishing our collective impact.” Indeed, nonprofits are so guided by their hearts that they often forget their heads. They are ultimately business-like entities—no money, no mission (as Stephen Covey would say). As such, nonprofits can’t act solely on gut feeling, emotion, or intuition—especially in an era of budget trimming (more like severe pruning) and austerity. The country simply can’t afford to keep investing in social-sector activities that can’t sustain themselves. I really think this book could have been called “Good to Great for Doing Good.” Jim Collins, vaunted author of Good to Great, has already written a neat monograph (Good to Great in the Social Sectors) in anticipation of social-sector research he’s doing for a future book. And, with this book, Mario Morino has substantially added to social-sector literature and the progress of this movement. A gifted businessman with an extraordinary and disciplined commitment to philanthropy, Morino has given all of us a new set of glasses to look at the social organizations we all love and care about with a sharper eye that will ultimately help them do more good, for more people, for a longer time! Thanks again, Mario. What follows over the upcoming days are a selection series of “take-home tweets” at the end of each chapter that might be useful for someone considering reading this book.

PS This book was sent to me by the author, whom I and have a lot of respect for.

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