Two Reviews that Made Us Leap
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, Wartzmans review was particularly meaningful for us. We wont soon forget such passages as It is the best thing on management Ive read all summer, It helped me sharpen some of what were 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 youre a subscriber, you can get the review in full. For those who arent, here are a few excerpts:
- If you hadnt 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 peoples lives being changed more significantly and deeply entrenched social issues getting solved. So Mario Morinos 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!). Were 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 settingsand Ive 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 books 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 were trying to achieve for the young women attending the school and putting their confidence in us.
– Mario Morino
“Stories substituting for facts is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me!”
“You have to have undying passion for the population you’re serving. We can spend time patting ourselves on the back for the 85 percent of the kids who are doing really well in our program. But we need to be as concerned about the 15 percent who aren’t succeeding and learn how we can improve for them.”
“Through a process of self-reflection, our board members asked themselves fundamental questions: How can we improve? How can we make a greater impact?”
“Youre taking someone elses money to get into somebody elses life to try to make a difference. You better be showing you can make a difference!”
“Managing to outcomes is not about simply counting things or gathering information. And it is not about satisfying funders. It is an internal effort aimed at figuring out what works and what doesn’t, so that the organization can provide the best possible services to its clients”
“Every day, you have to say, How can we do this more efficiently and more effectively? Its in our DNA.”
The Leap of Reason Update, our monthly newsletter, highlights stories of high-performing organizations and courageous leaders striving to produce greater impact, at a lower cost, for those they serve. Useful articles, coming events, and other resources that have informed our own learning are regular features.