Management Tip of the Day: Ways the social sector can innovate

Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:54am EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - There are many reasons why innovation in the social services sector is hard, with tight budgets and fickle donors just the start. But don't give up hope, says Harvard Business Review.

The Harvard Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"The social sector is not known for innovation. It could be because of limited resources, or because the consequences of failure are so high. Whatever the reason, it's never too late to start.

Here are three ways your social sector organization can take small but meaningful steps toward innovation:

1. Question what you do. Encourage everyone to ask the question: Is there a better way to do this? This creates a culture of evaluation and new ideas.

2. Engage members. Don't leave it up to staff to figure it out alone. Ask donors, board members, and clients to brainstorm with you about how your organization can improve.

3. Partner, partner, partner. Chances are that others in your space are strapped for resources like yourself. There's no reason to be proprietary over innovations. Bring together partners to discuss new ideas and share resources to test them out.

- Today's management tip was adapted from "Taking on Failure - and Innovation - in the Social Sector" by Erica Williams.

(For the full post, see: here)

 
<p>Elderly people visit a public garden in Tokyo in this July 16, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Files</p>