Two Reviews that Made Us Leap

6
Sep

We had expected the last weeks of summer to be quiet, but they turned out to be anything but. In addition to endorsements from thought leaders Lucy Bernholz andBeth Kanter and a lot of requests for the book from organizations that are gearing up for fall planning sessions, Leap of Reason was reviewed in Businessweek.com and the respected UK-based publication Alliance.

The Businessweek review was written by Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman. Given the stratospheric admiration we have for the late Peter Drucker, Wartzman’s review was particularly meaningful for us. We won’t soon forget such passages as “It is the best thing on management I’ve read all summer,” “It helped me sharpen some of what we’re trying to achieve at my own organization, the Drucker Institute,” and “Drucker would have liked this approach.”

The Alliance review, a sharp encapsulation of the book, was written by Tris Lumley, Head of Development at New Philanthropy Capital. If you’re a subscriber, you can get the review in full. For those who aren’t, here are a few excerpts:

  • “If you hadn’t guessed already, I love this book. It says things that really need to be said if charities are to [fulfill] their promise and help tackle the problems society faces. It says them clearly, and with passion, conviction and insight based on deep experience.”
  • “From time to time, I admit I have doubts about whether the increasing interest in measurement among charities and social enterprises is really translating into greater impact: more people’s lives being changed more significantly and deeply entrenched social issues getting solved. So Mario Morino’s recent book Leap of Reason was a breath of fresh air to me as it addresses this worry head on.”
  • “Part manifesto, part handbook, Leap of Reason attempts to redress the balance and encourages charities and funders to shift their efforts away from purely mechanistic efforts to measure impact towards ensuring that they achieve their aims.”

Positive reviews are gratifying. But even more so are the reports that the book is sparking important questions, conversations, and decisions among boards and leadership teams (even at the Drucker Institute!). We’re now getting these kinds of reports on a weekly basis.

Of course I am biased, but I do believe the book can be a useful conversation starter in board settings—and I’ve now experienced this first-hand. I serve on the board of a Catholic girls’ school, and for a recent meeting the board chair made the book assigned reading and used the book’s “to what end?” framework to focus the meeting. The ensuing conversation was just the kind of candid, focused discussion we aspired to foster through Leap of Reason. As a board, we gained much deeper clarity on what outcomes we’re trying to achieve for the young women attending the school and putting their confidence in us.

– Mario Morino