Book Beat

In Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative

An effective leader inspires employees, drives results, and has the power to turn around a struggling organization. But how does one actually learn these leadership skills? The consistent pressure to lead without sacrificing team performance, keep employees happy, and drive bottom-line results can be overwhelming—and even seem impossible. Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results, and the Power to Deliver Both (©2013, Greenleaf Book Group Press), by Dr. Tasha Eurich demonstrates that effective leadership stems from four vital points: (1) be human and drive performance; (2) be helpful and drive responsibility; (3) be thankful and drive improvement; and (4) be happy and drive productivity. The book also helps you discover:

  • Why 70% of leadership skills are learned;
  • How strong leadership creates prosperity for leaders, teams, and organizations;
  • Why the concept of great leadership is simple, but frustratingly not always easy;
  • How to apply the Bankable Leadership model in any organization;
  • Why most organizations do a bad job of developing their leaders;
  • The reasons that organizations treat employees like children and how they can be changed;
  • The differences between the cool parent leader versus the trail of dead bodies Leader; and
  • The concept of delusional development and how it applies to many of today's organizational leaders.

The Brand IDEA: Managing Nonprofit Brands with Integrity, Democracy and Affinity

Mark Satterfield, author of The One-Week Marketing Plan (©2014, BenBella Books, Inc.), believes that marketing doesn't have to be expensive, time-consuming, or expensive. His theory, which he outlines in his book, is that you need a system, rather than a series of unconnected activities, to be successful. And, as we all know, successful marketing is all about developing relationships first and selling second. His how-to book focuses on creating niche markets, creating an offer that will lead people to your organization, creating an effective website, developing a series of marketing messages, and getting traffic to your website. In part two of his book, he focuses on social media, including starting a blog; video marketing; publicity; direct mail; and strategic partnerships.

Creating Value in Nonprofit-Business Collaborations: New Thinking & Practice

Everyone says they want innovation in their organization, but when an ambitious employee offers it to a CEO, for example, the idea is often shot down, says Dr. Neal Thornberry, Faculty Director for Innovation Initiatives at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, and author of Innovation Judo (©2014, Evolve Publishing). Innovation should be presented as opportunities, not ideas. Opportunities have gravitas while ideas do not! Thornberry outlines a template for innovation that work:

  • Intention: Once the "why" is answered, leaders have the beginnings of a legitimate roadmap to innovation's fruition. This is no small task and requires some soul searching. He noted that he once worked with an executive committee, and got six different ideas for what ‘innovation' meant. One wanted new products, another focused on creative cost-cutting, and the president wanted a more innovative culture. The group needed to agree on their intent before anything else.
  • Infrastructure: This is where you designate who is responsible for what. It's tough, because the average employee will not risk new responsibility and potential risk without incentive. Some companies and nonprofits create units specifically focused on innovation, while others try to change the organizational culture in order to foster innovation throughout. Creating a culture takes too long; Don't wait for that, says Thornberry.
  • Investigation: What do you know about the problem? Data collection is crucial, whereas brainstorming often proves to be a waste of time if the participants come in with the same ideas, knowledge and opinions that they had last week with no new learning in their pockets.
  • Ideation: The fourth step is also the most fun and, unfortunately, is the part many organizations leap to. This is dangerous because you may uncover many exciting and good ideas, but if the right context and focus aren't provided up front, and team members cannot get on the same page, then an organization is wasting its time. That is why intent must be the first step for any group seeking to increase innovation. Innovation should be viewed as a set of tools or processes, and not a destination.
  • Identification: Whereas the previous step was creative, now logic and subtraction must be applied to focus on a result. Ideas are great, but they must be grounded in reality. An entrepreneurial attitude is required here, one that enables the winnowing of ideas, leaving only those with real value-creating potential.
  • Infection: Does anyone care about what you've come up with? Will excitement spread during this infection phase? Now is the time to find out. Pilot testing, experimentation and speaking directly with potential members/donors/customers begin to give you an idea of how innovative and valuable an idea is. This phase is part selling, part research and part science. If people can't feel, touch or experience your new idea in part or whole, they probably won't get it. This is where the innovator has a chance to reshape their idea into an opportunity, mitigate risk, assess resistance and build allies for their endeavor.
  • Implementation/Integration: While many talk about this final phase, they often fail to address the integration part. Implementation refers to tactics that are employed in order to put an idea into practice. This is actually a perilous phase because, in order for implementation to be successful, the idea must first be successfully integrated with other activities in the business and aligned with strategy. An innovation, despite its support from the top, can still fail if a department cannot work with it.