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Lessons

We have developed a series of interactive lessons for organizations to use that focus on key themes from The Chief Executive Program convening, The New Nature of Money. Each lesson contains a short video, a model or framework and an exercise on subjects ranging from logic models to measuring effectiveness. For each topic of interest, we suggest you review the slide deck and embedded video introduction to the topic to determine how best to use or adapt it for your own organization's purposes.

 

Flexibility & Sustainability

One of the ways to achieve mission and financial sustainability is to develop flexibility in the system. Flexibility allows an organization to be more adaptive and creative in a changing environment, and allows leadership to thoughtfully respond to these changes rather than react in ways that may damage the organization in the longer-term. Both revenue and expense provide opportunities for increasing flexibility. This discussion-based lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., will help your senior team examine and discuss your financial flexibility.

Measuring Effectiveness

Your organization deals with many challenges presented by internal and external accountability demands. You are always looking for ways to improve operations, to anticipate and be more responsive to competitive pressures, and to define meaningful performance goals that render your work concrete in stakeholders’ eyes. Creating a dashboard or scorecard can help. A dashboard can be an excellent tool for focusing board and CEO attention on what matters most. It can help overcome asymmetry between the precision of financial and mission measures. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., can be used to help you build a scorecard or dashboard for your organization.

Logic Models

A logic model is a set of claims about how an organization produces something of value. It allows us to define and explore the links between what we do and how our efforts affect others. A logic model tells an organization’s story and explains why a program or the organization exists. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., can be used by your team to create a logic model for any of your programs or services.

Program Portfolio Mix

Everything an organization does in terms of programs and service can be sorted by financial and social return. Some programs have a higher rate of financial return, but build less social capital towards mission and some are the opposite. Examining the program portfolio provides insights into what, if anything, needs to change. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., can be used to help your senior team analyze your organization’s program mix and may be especially helpful when considering new programming.

Empathy Map

The most meaningful innovations come from deep and precise understanding of the circumstances and needs of the client. Used in the Inspiration stage of the Design Thinking process, the Empathy Map is a tool for compiling and analyzing information about the people you want to serve. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Suzi Sosa, Executive Director of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge at the University of Texas at Austin, will walk you through creating your own map with your team.

Brainstorming Effectively

Brainstorming can be a powerful tool to help your team effectively generate ideas. In the Design Thinking process, it is used in the Ideation phase – after you have gathered information about the people you want to serve and are ready to formulate ideas on how to best address the problem at hand. As with any tool, how it is applied can make all the difference. Brainstorming can lead to mixed results, however we suggest that leading a group through this distinct process will yield the best outcome.