Innovation Within Non-Profits (Part II): 5 Cultural Misfit Cues
by Tiffany Crosby on 10/27/15
Innovation has become the business buzz world. Every one wants it but no one wants the risks and costs associated with it. Innovation, by it's very nature, breeds failure. You will have many more failed attempts than successful attempts. Is the culture of your non-profit organization ready for that? If you're not sure, answer these 5 questions to see where you at on the innovative culture spectrum.
1. Are you prepared to start programs on a pilot basis AND end them if they are not successful?
2. Are you ready to give employees permission to experiment with a critical process?
3. Are you willing to act as a catalyst to change including handling vocal naysayers and resistant board members?
4. Do your systems allow you to rapidly redeploy resources to different programs or services?
5. Are you willing to lay everything on the table (i.e., no sacred cows) AND do an honest assessment of effectiveness?
If you can answer yes to all five of these questions, then you have a solid foundation on which to build an innovative culture. However, if you've answered no to anyone one of the five, then you have some additional work to do before you can fully embrace innovation.
Why is this important you may ask. Just take a look at the economic realities surrounding non-profits. There are less overall resources and increasing needs. Non-profits can get any leaner than they already are; in fact, many need to make additional investments in people and infrastructure. So, if you can't cut costs -- what are you to do? Innovate, innovate, innovate.
Are you ready?