The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (8) – a shorter mission statement

This post is another go at mission statements – mixing Peter Drucker’s description of a mission statement as “a concise statement of purpose” (it should fit on a t-shirt!) with the idea that mission should have a bit more of…

The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (7) – mission statements revisited

In this post I explained the difference between vision and mission statements like this: If a vision statement is a statement about ends (the world you’re working to make a reality), a mission statement is about means: what are the…

Who pays? (client / user edition)

It means all kinds of things if the client or user of a non-profit organisation’s services pays. The organisation will be focused on the client, and their needs – “She who pays the piper calls the tune.” The non-profit will…

Who pays? (Donor edition)

“Who pays?” is an important question for all sorts of reasons. In the world of non-profits, donors often pay. This can mean: That the charity is free to act in the best interests of the people it seeks to serve,…

Ben Horowitz on leadership and management

Can you think about systems? Can you think about how broad-scale systems interactions occur and what the implications are? … In order to make that system work you have to be able to see the company through the eyes of…

Ben Horowitz on leadership and making unpopular decisions

This is from Ben Horowitz in a fantastic interview on building a successful culture in your organisation. Highly recommend. If you make decisions that everybody likes all the time then those are the decisions they would have made without you,…

While the iron is hot

Of course it’s a good idea to strike while the iron is hot. If striking iron is what you do and you find some hot iron you should strike before it gets cold. It’s far better to strike than to…

Easier than sometimes

“Definitely, once a week,” is easier than “sometimes,” and “daily” is easier than once a week. A daily ritual keeps something front-of-mind, makes it almost automatic, ensures that whatever else happens, a small step gets made. Once the pattern is…

Easier than maybe

“Always” and “never” are easier than “maybe”. “Maybe” requires a decision, introduces ambiguity. Most of our decisions start as “maybes” (hence the need for a decision). It can help to have a process for deciding, some criteria or a set…

Tim O’Reilly on debugging your organisation

The skill of debugging is to figure out what you really told your program to do instead of what you thought you told your program to do. Tim O’Reilly quoting Andrew Singer on The Product Science Podcast Tim O’Reilly takes…