Performance Culture

quote1 High performance requires a significant culture shift within an organization. It is primarily about culture and people—not data and technology. quote1

Following are some of the best materials we have found on performance culture. If you have additional materials to suggest, please let us know.

Relentless: Investing in Leaders Who Stop at Nothing in Pursuit of Greater Social Impact

Mario Morino, April 27, 2012
Mario Morino’s City Club of Cleveland speech in which he describes the social and economic tsunamis that are now hitting our shores and eroding social services in America. Instead of leveling across-the-board “haircuts” to all organizations, he argues, we should go much deeper with our support for those leaders who are relentless in pursuit of high performance for those they serve.

The Sound of Ideas: Investing in Nonprofits

ideastream®, May 16, 2012
Mario Morino discusses how to change the culture of philanthropy and the nonprofit organizations it supports on the radio program Sound of Ideas.

Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results

Connors, Roger, and Tom Smith, New York: Portfolio Penguin, 2011
“Three-time New York Times bestselling authors Roger Connors and Tom Smith show how leaders can achieve record-breaking results by quickly and effectively shaping their organizational culture to capitalize on their greatest asset-their people.”

Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough

Friedman, Mark, Bloomington, IN: Trafford Publishing, 2005
How to produce measurable improvements for customers and communities.

“Outcomes: Reframing Responsibility for Well-Being: A Report to the Annie E. Casey Foundation”

Hogan, Cornelius, and David Murphey, Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2002
“Using examples of real individuals and communities, we bring to life the potential for an outcomes perspective to change how government relates to its citizens and, more importantly, to achieve significant progress in addressing issues that concern people everywhere–healthy children, stable families, competent and responsible adults, and supportive communities.”

SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss, New York: Crown Business, 2009
SuperCorp is a remarkable look at the business of the future and the management skills required to get there. …when people are empowered and values drive decisions, everything can come together in magical “Rubik’s Cube moments” of deep satisfaction. …people are more inclined to be creative when their company values innovation that helps the world.”

Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America

Schorr, Lisbeth B., New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1997
“Common Purpose tells the stories of the community builders who are combining what works to transform whole neighborhoods, the early childhood people who help families assure their children’s readiness to learn, the principals and teachers who have built learning communities in which all children learn at high levels, the child protection professionals who are partnering with neighborhood churches, and the community-based organizations that have converted schools and housing projects from hostile fortresses into valued community centers.”

“What Makes Great Boards Great”

Sonnenfeld, Jeffrey, Harvard Business Review, September 2002
“It’s time for some fundamentally new thinking about how corporate boards should operate and be evaluated. We need to consider not only how we structure the work of a board but also how we manage the social system a board actually is. We’ll be fighting the wrong war if we simply tighten procedural rules for boards and ignore their more pressing need—to be strong, high-functioning work groups whose members trust and challenge one another and engage directly with senior managers on critical issues facing corporations.”

Transforming Giants

Harvard Business School Summit, October 2008
“A new type of 21st century company is emerging that is transforming how business is conducted. These are values-driven companies that define a core set of values and rely on these values in making all strategic decisions. … This values-based orientation attracts and motivates employees, appeals to customers, leads to focused innovation, and creates competitive advantage. A focus on values enables companies to change and bounce back quickly from challenging situations.”


Leap for Consultants and Providers

Management consultants, planners, executive coaches, evaluators, software and services firms, and other providers will find the suite of Leap of Reason materials and its message of high performance relevant to their market education, consultative sell, delivery of services, and client support efforts for their nonprofit and public sector clients.


Leap for Government

Leap of Reason, although initially directed at and written for nonprofit organizations, is equally applicable to the challenges facing federal, state and municipal government agencies as they seek to do more with less and improve the social impact of their efforts through their own services or those done through grant and contract programs. As federal agencies incorporate the Executive Branch’s directive to include information about how they plan to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and link their disbursements to evidence, the materials have even greater relevance.


Leap for Nonprofits

The suite of Leap of Reason materials provides informative and provocative material that helps nonprofit boards, management, and staff 1) better understand and start to prepare for the forces changing the social sector; 2) facilitate board and/or staff planning sessions; 3) contribute to leadership and professional staff development, and 4) take important steps toward becoming a high-performance organization.


Leap for Boards

Leap for Boards provides informative and provocative material for boards and leadership teams. While the package is useful on an individual basis, it directed at organizations and helping them prepare for and sharpen the focus of board retreats, strategic planning efforts, visioning sessions, and even self-assessment or introspection exercises.


Ideas Into Action

A framework for managing to outcomes that you can use to evolve to the practice of managing to outcomes.


Leap of Reason Compendium

An excerpt from Leap of Reason that provides a directory of articles, reports, books, and tools that amplify key themes of the book and will help you take the leap toward greater mission effectiveness.


The Inescapable Importance of Culture, Part II

Chairman's Corner - April 2011 - VPPNews
Mario Morino shares the seven most pertinent ways to nurture a performance culture, or in his words, how to "strengthen the connective tissue that binds an organization together and cultivate an orientation toward performance"


The Inescapable Importance of Culture, Part I

Chairman's Corner - February 2011 - VPPNews
Mario Morino offers his definition of "performance culture," emphasizes its importance, and illustrates why it must start with great people.

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