Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an excerpt from Engine of Impact that addresses a vital question for the nonprofit sector: How can a nonprofit apply concepts from business strategy to the way that it structures and plans its work? In the past, some people in the sector have doubted the relevance of such concepts to their efforts. After all, they point out, nonprofits don’t engage in the kind of market competition that sets the conditions for business strategy. But, as Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker demonstrate, effective nonprofit leaders understand that a focus on strategy is essential to achieving significant impact.
In this excerpt, Meehan and Jonker summarize a landmark concept from the discipline of competitive strategy—the idea of core competencies, which C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel set forth in a 1990 article—and then show how that concept applies to one organization, Equal Opportunity Schools. The excerpt illustrates the clarity of insight that nonprofits can achieve by rigorously analyzing what they can do in each part of their value chain.
You can read the excerpt here.