“Nonprofit organizations tend to be overled and undermanaged.” Thomas Tierney, chair and cofounder of the Bridgespan Group, has published several important studies on “the leadership deficit.” But what does he mean by this apparent contradiction?
Tierney’s point is that nonprofit organizations are long on commitment, offering inspiring visions of the work they are doing and the causes they are serving. Yet at the same time they’re undermanaged, or ineffective in actually organizing themselves to be effective.
“It is a simple but kind of obvious insight that has implications,” says Tierney. “If I want to grow, I better be well managed. If I want to have more impact, do more with every dollar I have, I better be better managed.”