New Book Helps Not-For-Profit Directors With Their Strategic Responsibilities

Directors of Non Profit Organizations (NPOs) have many responsibilities, of which one of the most critical is setting the NPO's strategic direction in a way that serves the best interests of the multiple stakeholders (donors, volunteers, employees, clients/users) upon whom the organization depends for support. This is a considerable challenge that can be daunting for many boards of directors, but bestselling author and McMaster University professor Dr. Chris Bart has made it a simple and practical process.

In his new book, 20 Essential Questions Directors Of Non-Profit Organizations Should Ask About Strategy, Bart has created a straightforward monograph and workbook to help directors of NPO's better define, understand and execute their strategic responsibilities with management in easy-to-understand language. As testimony to the book's value and acceptance, it was named the #5 Best Selling Business Book in Canada for 2012.

One very noteworthy question that Bart poses is how an NPO actually defines the term "strategy". Bart writes that this frequently overlooked question is vital due to the existence of many different definitions of "strategy" used by members of the board and its management. These differences have an obvious and potentially negative impact on the organization's performance long term. He then goes on to provide a simple, yet effective strategy definition framework that can be applied to any organization at the outset to avoid future performance shortfalls.

Another important question concerns "implementation", or how the organization has selected, designed, and aligned its internal arrangements to support the strategy. Bart writes, "Given sufficient time, information and human intelligence, any organization is capable of designing an outstanding strategy. The tough part occurs when it comes to executing it-i.e., turning the strategy into a reality." Bart cites numerous tactics for implementation, including: the proper management of information systems to monitor the strategy's progress; recruitment of appropriate employees and volunteers who can execute their share of the strategy; and ensuring that every member of the organization, from the field to the boardroom, understands and shares the same strategic vision.<


With many real-life examples of different NPOs provided in the Appendix, along with a strategy worksheet for directors, Bart has made 20 Essential Questions one of the most straightforward and effective tools available today. 20 Essential Questions has already received praise from some of the most influential figures in the not-for-profit industry.

Tony Valeri, Chair, St. Joseph's Hospital writes: "This book is a must read for not-for-profit directors!!! Whatever the size or complexity of your organization, this book provides the insight and advice you need to get the job done!"

Andy Poprawa, CEO, Deposit Insurance Corporation proclaims: ""In a word - OUTSTANDING! Dr. Bart has captured the essence of the director's role in strategy and provided superb guidance on how to craft an effective strategic framework. His monograph is a must read for every director regardless of the size or complexity of their organization."

Dr. Bart is currently a Professor of Strategic Market Leadership (Strategy & Governance) at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario as well as the Founder, Principal and Lead Professor of The Directors College - offering Canada's first and only university accredited director certification program. His previous bestselling book "A Tale Of Two Employees" has been on the Canadian Business Bestseller List for the past ten years. He lives in Hamilton with his wife Judy.

For review copies or interview requests with Dr. Bart, please contact Raven Cook at raven(at)fpm39(dot)com.