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Motherhood, Pumpkin Pie, and Moneyball

These days, Republicans and Democrats could turn a discussion over motherhood or pumpkin pie into a bitter partisan dispute. But appears they might actually be able to agree about the value of “Moneyball.” If you’re not familiar with the “Moneyball for Government” meme, we recommend you download (for free) the…

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Staring Down Death and Building Up Institutions

Social entrepreneurs can change the world. Look no further than Malala Yousafzai, the remarkable young woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize two weeks ago. When Malala was 14 years old, a Taliban gunman shot her in the face to silence her voice. But Malala stared down death. She was reborn as the world’s most compelling advocate for girls’ right to learn.

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TMI?!

You know the expression “TMI?” Our kids—Lowell’s tweens and Mario’s young adults—have used the expression to shut down some serious discussions over the years. In the social sector, a fear of TMI may be shutting down some serious creativity. Yes, there is such a thing as too much information when you’re managing an organization. But generally speaking, those of us in the social sector are operating with too little information (or too little of…

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‘Tears to my eyes, joy to my heart’

Leap of Reason Update: August 2014 In response to the dark story we featured in our July update, our dear friend Lou Salza encouraged us to read an inspiring one that “brought tears to eyes and joy to heart”: The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, about the University of Washington crew team’s…

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Data Gone Wild

Leap of Reason Update: July 2014 As regular readers of this newsletter know, we love great reporting about organizational cultures that embrace data as a way of ensuring material, measurable, and sustainable good for the people or causes they serve. In the past few editions, for example, we have pointed to the data-driven 10,000 Homes…

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8,000 Words Worth More than a Picture

Over the past few months, more than 50 top nonprofit thought leaders and practitioners convened by the Leap of Reason team have been working hard to produce a much-needed definition of the term “high-performance organization.” We hope our common—but not least-common-denominator—definition will provide a solid foundation for subsequent efforts to design ways to make high performance the norm in the social and public sectors.

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Tight Budgets + Big Data = More Moneyball

The first systematic effort to shift the federal government’s focus from “what was done with public funds” to “what was accomplished was the the 1993 U.S. Program Results Act (GPRA). Unfortunately, the pioneering efforts of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have not yet produced a major change in how the federal government allocates taxpayer dollars. And yet, we’re now starting to believe the lumbering Ship of State might actually turn.

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Learning Without Limits

You’ve heard about the ways in which e-learning is transforming higher education. But we are convinced that e-learning will play a role in changing how we transfer and access knowledge in all aspects of life. Check out the new report Just in Time: The Beyond-the-Hype Potential of E-Learning to learn more.

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