The creative tension of experimentation and rigor. New programs planned with discipline and new methods for established programs. Cost conscious test-driven project development. Managing evolution and revolution.

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

Metrics based on logic models. Nonprofit "business intelligence" driven by your programs, not technology. Acquiring, displaying, communicating, and applying the right numbers. A commitment to evidence.

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.” — Bertrand Russell

An accurate and deep intuitive understanding. Disciplined thinking and shared understanding. Theories of Change and Logic Models. Rigorous, testable project plans. Toward the learning organization.

“He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Whole systems thinking. Leveraging networks, both inside and outside the organization. Respecting barriers and managing change. Testing models. Decisions based on evidence. The right information to the right people at the right time. Think big, start small.

"It's easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." — Roger von Oech

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Old Themes, New Directions

It’s the old cliche of opportunity to be found in crisis.The circumstances of 2010, for banal reasons, forced the staff of The Gilbert Center to step back, to retreat. We suspended new publications. We suspended our training programs. (Don’t worry, they’ll be back.) We even suspended Nonprofit News. We looked at our work over the last twenty years for clues about moving forward in 2011.

The themes that emerged had a powerful coherence to them. We’ll be describing them more in the weeks to come, but in brief they are:

  • Innovation: Test driven project development. Managing evolution and revolution.
  • Intelligence: The right numbers. Evidence. Metrics based on logic models.
  • Insight: Disciplined thinking. Theories of Change. Logic Models. Rigorous, testable project plans.
  • Integrity: Systems thinking. Testing models. Decisions based on evidence.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be reintroducing Gilbert Center programs in the context of these themes. If you’re interested in updates about this, please subscribe to Nonprofit News:


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