Making time for reading should be a priority for anyone in a nonprofit leadership role. Reading is an investment that pays dividends.
Here are three especially valuable ones: identifying solutions to a difficult challenge, stimulating creative thinking, and growing knowledge on professional development.
As a professional, I am constantly looking for information that will help me be a more knowledgeable resource who is better positioned to assist nonprofits in their planning and organizational efforts.
I have selected five books as my next reading priorities.
• Red Teaming by Bryce G. Hoffman
Red teaming is a practice used by the military and intelligence agencies to challenge strategies prior to execution.
By putting plans through a full stress test situation, initial assumptions are either validated or shown to need reworking. Fail points, alternative approaches, and previously unrecognized opportunities are identified during a red teaming process.
Bryce Hoffman shares ways that civilian organizations can successfully apply these same techniques to improve the results of strategic planning, current practices, and new initiatives.
• Measure What Matters by John Doerr
John Doerr is credited with introducing to Google’s founders the concept of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as a strategy for developing a successful business plan for their startup company.
This approach to planning tracks progress by measuring what matters most. Focusing on priority objectives and key results enables organizations to direct resources and effort to specific outcomes.
• Make Change Work by Randy Pennington
For better or worse, change is a constant influence. Organizations are either reacting to changing circumstances or attempting to introduce initiatives that promote positive change. It’s possible that both could be happening simultaneously.
Successfully dealing with change is a challenge. Randy Pennington explains why change fails, how to get leadership support, and how to respond when change isn’t a choice.
• What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
Marshall Goldsmith focuses on helping successful people become even more successful. His strategies for achieving higher levels of success can be adapted to benefit nonprofit and association leaders. I will be on the lookout for opportunities for incorporating his thinking to organizational planning processes.
• Engine of Impact by William F. Meehan, III, and Kim Starkey Jonker
This resource provides nonprofit sector leaders with essentials of strategic leadership for building and maintaining organizations that have a high level of impact.
Nonprofit planning often stops when the plan on paper falls short on implementation. William F. Meehan, III, and Kim Starkey Jonker identify leadership actions that assist in implementing a strategic plan.
I look forward to sharing with my readers what I learn. I will be incorporating the lessons into my presentations and strategic planning engagements.
What are you reading that you would recommend to our nonprofit community? I welcome your comment below.