Friday, February 8, 2013

BIG’s Blog: All We Need Are Good Managers

There is a whole school of thought in organizational psychology that says leaders are either “transformational” or “transactional.” An example of each is Steve Jobs of Apple as a transformational leader and his replacement CEO, Tim Cook, a transactional leader.

A lot of people I know firmly believe that to affect a significant shift in the direction of an organization you need a transformational leader. I disagree. There is no question that Steve Jobs was a transformational leader, but that also gives short shrift to his capacities for invention. More than anything else, Steve Jobs “created” products. But it was Tim Cook, as one of his key lieutenants who worked behind the scenes, to make certain the products were right and delivered on time.

Making the transformation in how you raise the resources your organization needs is a shift in strategy and direction. Making that happen does not take a transformational leader, but a nuts-and-bolts leader who knows how to execute. Our firm and others can provide the strategy, but what we can never do is make it happen in YOUR ORGANIZATION. That takes internal leadership.

By far…by far…our most successful clients who are transforming their Development organizations are …in their words… “strategy-challenged.” But they are phenomenal managers.

Here is the good news. You don’t have to be a transformational leader to transform your Development organization and start growing again. You can find good programs or consultants who can be your change agent...but you need to be a good process manager. You can learn successful strategy but YOU have to lead the change. And that’s the day-to-day work you are already doing…only different.

A Steve Jobs only comes along every hundred years or so. Thank goodness that what we really need in the fundraising world are Tim Cooks.


P.S. Saturday Delivery for the USPS is gone effective the first of August. Just another shoe dropping for the Post Office, and now all your response projections will be off, although that is a small thing compared to the overall decline in response rates over the past five years. Are you ready yet to contemplate transforming your fundraising to become LESS dependent on direct mail?

Welcome to BIG's Blog!  Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers...and email me a comment at:

No comments:

Post a Comment