Monday, February 15, 2010

Rethinking about Reorganizing

Silos block us from thinking in a coordinated fashion about our customers, says author Ranjay Gulati. I had the pleasure of talking with him about his new book Reorganize for Resilience. It's one part common sense and 99 parts practical advice on how to break down silos and focus on integrated solutions that drive customer value.

Specifically, Gulati writes about five levers we can pull to reorganize ourselves for resilience:
  1. Coordination
  2. Cooperation
  3. Clout
  4. Capabilities
  5. Connections

Gulati also said in my interview with him that sometimes customers can't always articulate what they want, but that is where our creative efforts should be. I was struck by this statement in terms of how non profits work to solve problems for people who are often so overcome by their situations that articulation of solutions is beyond their capabilities. The irony, however, is this invaluable skill employed on behalf of the populations served is often lacking when it comes to funders. Funding organizations and peoples have problems too that need to be solved -- albeit different ones. Helping them to articulate their needs in terms of ROI for support is essential in driving up participation and dollar amounts.

What donor problems have you uncovered? What have been your solutions? Did you have to breakdown any organizational silos in your non profit or the donating org to get a solution in place?

-- David Kinard, PCM

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