The Nonprofit Organizational Culture Guide is a handbook for nonprofit leaders interested in “surfacing” or bringing to light their organizational culture in order to understand it better, with the understanding that doing so will improve management and provide an environment in which staff can pursue their missions more effectively and efficiently.
The first two chapters explore the literature of organizational culture, and look at six different nonprofits to examine culture “in action,” especially during times of stress.
Arguably the most important part of the book is the description of the process for Revealing Organizational Culture (ROC) in Chapter 3. It identifies three different kinds of stories that can be used to surface culture: the creation story, survival stories, and heroic or successful staffs stories. It also recommends using a mind map to help illustrate these stories to staff.
The remainder of the book shows you how to apply what you’ve learned from the ROC process, and suggests making at least a cursory assessment of organizational culture a part of your development activity.
In the preface, Peter J. Brinckerhoff recalls some wisdom given to him from an executive director about why nonprofit staff and volunteers show up each day. He stated that there are two reasons: “Our mission, and the way we treat each other.” This truth stuck with Brinckerhoff over the years, and conveys how important understanding the relationships (and culture) inside an organization can be to fulfilling its mission.
This book is available in the New York, DC, and San Francisco libraries under call number 600 TEE:
The Nonprofit Organizational Culture Guide: Revealing the Hidden Truths that Impact Performance by Paige Hull Teegarden, Denice Rothman, and Paul Sturm. Jossey Bass, 2011.
Catalog/Reference Librarian, The Foundation Center
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