In early March, I sent the text for the third edition of Mission-Based Management to John Wiley & Sons. If all goes well, the new edition will be out in the fall. I'm really pleased about the new content. In addition to updated stories, examples, and bringing the book up to speed for 2009 and beyond, I made two major changes in the theory of the book.
The first change was to add a tenth criterion to my Characteristics of Successful Nonprofits. Readers of either of the first two editions will remember that these characteristics laid the foundation for the rest of the book. The new characteristic, listed second after "A Viable Mission" is "Ethical, Accountable and Transparent". In the chapter on this subject I talk about not only the expectation for transparency and high values, but also how ethics, accountability and transparency begin inside the organization, between staff, between volunteers and between staff and volunteers. Placing this second after Mission, and before characteristics dealing with board, staff, marketing, technology, controls, strategy or finance, is intended to emphasize the importance of these issues in today's nonprofits. As I say in the book,
"The mission is why you do what you do. Your values are how you do it."
The second change is to ramp up the chapter on technology, and not just the content to catch up to changes since the Second Edition. Rather, I try to convey my deeply held belief that the future of philanthropy is in the successful merging of technology and mission. Thus, instead of just getting better at tech, instead of accepting that tech is here to stay, I labeled this characteristic
"Embracing Technology for Mission." And, that's what its going to take.
More on both of these issues in future posts, and I'll be previewing the entire book in posts starting around Labor Day.
Speaking of holidays, if you are here in the US, enjoy yours and remember those who have, and do, serve us so well.