Monday, August 25, 2014

Parameters for efficient and effective organizational performance?

By Steven M. Worth, President at Plexus Consulting Group, LLC

Would having specific standards or performance benchmarks be helpful to professional and volunteer leaders of associations? Would such standards be helpful to potential donors in evaluating which organizations merit their time and financial support? If so, what do you think of the following as areas worthy of standards development?

• Money handling procedures that minimize potential for embezzlement
• HR hiring and promotion processes that assure alignment of personnel resources with organizational purposes
• CEO versus average staff income ratio—what is optimal?
• Cybersecurity training and procedures in place
• Secure office space
• Audit committee processes in place

• Fact-based, consensus driven strategic plan in place and promoted to all stakeholders
• Metrics identified to measure meaningful progress against strategic goals
• Strategic partnerships identified and utilized effectively to achieve shared vision
• Incentive plans in place that are effective and fair
• Has clearly stated code of ethics and means in place to enforce them

• Has policies in place that ensure ecologically and environmentally sustainable practices
• Over 50% of income comes from sale of mission-driven products and services
• Has plans in place to expand market share
• Invests in R&D to ensure continued relevancy
• Has significant reserves to ensure stability but not so large as to hinder growth

1 comment:

Plexus Consulting Group® said...

There are six key points needed to make this work:

First: It must be effective--the concept starts with developing relevant standards (perhaps as described above) that if implemented would make a difference in reducing fraud in the nonprofit sector (currently running at $40 billion a year).

Second: It must be affordable--a criticism that is sometimes leveled at ISO by organizations that have invested a lot to qualify then wonder if it was worth the cost.

Third: It must be prioritized by those whose opinion is critical to the nonprofit community and who are not invested in the status quo. This would be donors, government regulators, and perhaps insurance companies.

Fourth: It must be promoted ferociously so that it creates overwhelming public awareness and demand.

Fifth: It must meet ISO and ANSI standards so that it has credibility and viability in global markets.

Sixth: Everyone in the nonprofit community should have a way to participate.

We think we have developed an approach that addresses all six of these key elements. We are just looking for a sponsor to be able to launch it. This is something that is eminently do-able, but it does require significant funds to get off the ground.